State and Community Responses to Extortion

EL SALVADOR / 30 APR 2019

Many victims, especially those in the Northern Triangle nations of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, feel powerless to fight back against extortion. The fear generated by the powerful street gangs within communities tends to assure that once they are threatened, most people pay up, or hand over what is being demanded.

States across the region are also struggling to slow this growing criminal enterprise and, in many cases, their responses have made matters worse.

But there are exceptions to both across the region. In this section, we outline some of the ways that communities and states have resisted or responded to extortion throughout Central America.

Chapter 1

Municipalities Fight Back in Guatemala’s Gang-Preyed Upon Neighborhoods

BARRIO 18 / 26 APR 2019

On the outskirts of Guatemala City lie impoverished neighborhoods, home to millions who commute to work in the capital city. These so-called “dorm cities,” long neglected by the state and lacking in…

Chapter 2

How the Private Sector Helped Counter Rural Extortion in El Salvador

EL SALVADOR / 26 APR 2019

El Salvador’s sugarcane industry and the national police have succeeded in reining in extortion in the countryside by way of a private-public partnership that stands as a potential blueprint for rural economic actors to follow across…

Chapter 3

Honduras Private Sector and Anti-Extortion Police: An Unholy Alliance?

EXTORTION / 30 APR 2019

Honduras’ private sector, under the banner of regional chambers of commerce, joined forces with the country’s elite anti-extortion unit in what was a fruitful collaboration. But the collaboration between businessmen…

Chapter 4

In El Salvador, a Thin Line Between Community Policing and Vigilantism

EL SALVADOR / 30 APR 2019

Authorities in El Salvador are keen to expand a much-praised local policing model believed to have helped two rural communities tackle bloody gang control. But a visit to the areas revealed a…

Related Content

HONDURAS / 18 MAY 2012

Reporters Without Borders has said that the biggest threat to press freedom in Honduras is powerful landowner Miguel Facusse Barjum,…

BARRIO 18 / 18 JUN 2015

A high-level security official in El Salvador said a stolen car, found with a grenade booby-trap, was a failed gang…

BARRIO 18 / 16 FEB 2017

El Salvador's prison system is the headquarters of the country's largest gangs. It is also where one of these gangs,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …