In this investigative series, InSight Crime tells the story of how coveted border territories have been transformed into fertile breeding grounds for corruption in Central America’s Northern Triangle and the Southern Cone’s Tri-Border Area – two of Latin America’s most crime-ravaged regions. Installments will be published from January to March 2021.
Based on two years of investigative reporting and extensive fieldwork, we explore the importance of state participation in transnational crime syndicates, from dirty cops to corrupt mayors to paid-off judges, and even narco-administrations.
InSight Crime has developed an interactive dashboard that allows users to explore different types of criminal activities and groups in both regions.
The mayor of Moyuta, Guatemala, knows how to do politics and business along the rough and tumble Guatemalan-Salvadoran border.
The party that has governed Honduras since 2010 has become a federation that welcomes politicians and officials involved in criminal businesses ranging from timber to drug trafficking to the misappropriation of public funds.
In a Paraguay border state, drug traffickers and dirty politicians find common ground, and political fights spill into the underworld.
There were few better at money laundering than the Brazilian Dario Messer, who, while scrambling to save himself from Brazilian authorities, did one last tour of his prime refuge, Paraguay, where he sought help from many of his partners in crime, including the Paraguayan president.
An ambitious mayor, a well-connected deputy mayor, dirty cops, a corrupt judge, and a lot of marijuana. This is the story of Itatí, the sleepy town that went from religious hub to key stop on Argentina’s marijuana highway, and the mayor that helped make it happen.
On the El Salvador’s eastern border, a subtle transfer of power could have seismic consequences in the underworld.