HomeInDepthTri-BordersBorder Crime: The Northern Triangle and the Tri-Border Area

Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and the Tri-Border Area

InSight Crime has spent two years chronicling criminal activity in Central America’s Northern Triangle and the Southern Cone’s Tri-Border Area – two regions pivotal to transborder crime.

We have mapped out criminal actors and economies in 39 border departments across six countries – Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

To visualize our research, InSight Crime has developed an interactive dashboard – an online mapping tool that allows users to explore different types of criminal activities and groups in both regions.

Interactive Map


Six deep-dive investigations into corruption and transnational crime will be progressively rolled out during the online series, with each investigation highlighting a particular country. For full details and registration, click on the event listing.

Border Departments and OC

Alto Paraguay, Paraguay

PARAGUAY / 25 FEB 2021

One of Paraguay’s most sparsely populated but most homicidal departments, Alto Paraguay serves as an important cocaine transit corridor.

Concepción, Paraguay

PARAGUAY / 25 FEB 2021

In Concepción, powerful drug traffickers have penetrated local politics. With corruption rife, some municipalities have started to resemble criminal enclaves.

Itapúa, Paraguay

PARAGUAY / 25 FEB 2021

Itapúa is a minor marijuana producer but an important transit corridor for cannabis smuggled into Argentina. Some areas of the river border it shares with Argentina are considered hotspots for…

Ñeembucú, Paraguay

PARAGUAY / 25 FEB 2021

Despite boasting one of Paraguay’s lowest murder rates, Ñeembucú is an important transit point for marijuana heading to Argentina.

Canindeyú, Paraguay

PARAGUAY / 25 FEB 2021

Located on Paraguay’s border with Brazil, Canindeyú is a key criminal hub in the tri-border area.