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ANALYSIS

Criminal GameChangers 2018: The Full Report

24 JAN 2019 BY INSIGHT CRIME STAFF EN

With InSight Crime’s Criminal GameChangers 2018, we highlighted the most important trends in organized crime in the Americas over the course of last year. From a rise in illicit drug availability and resurgence of monolithic criminal groups to the weakening of anti-corruption efforts and a swell in militarized responses to crime, 2018 was a year in which political issues were still often framed as left or right, but the only ideology that mattered was organized crime.

You can read all the chapters online or download a PDF of the full report here.

Criminal GameChangers 2018 | Organized Crime in the Americas

1. The Year Crime Became an Ideology

Two years of Donald Trump’s strange, haphazard foreign policy has had a devastating impact on foreign relations in the region and has opened the door to transnational organized crime.

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2. Political Shifts in Colombia, Mexico Cloud Outlook 

Presidential elections in the two countries at the heart of Latin America’s drug trade both brought significant change in 2018.

3. Threatened by Inquiries, Central American Elites Strike Back 

Struggles against corruption have not died out, but they end the year weaker than they started it.

4. Venezuelan Migration a New Gold Mine for Organized Crime 

Turbulence reigned in 2018, but there was one constant: the flow of Venezuelans fleeing their country.

5. As Opioids and Cocaine Boom, the Americas Wilt

While traditional criminal organizations have widened their portfolios dramatically in recent years, drug trafficking remains the most important earner in the region.

6. The Criminal ‘Winners’ in Latin America

Which criminal structures have gained the most strength in Latin America in 2018? Three groups, all based in different nations, have engaged in aggressive expansion, both territorial and economic, and are set to dominate the region’s criminal landscape.

7. Five Reasons LatAm Organized Crime Will Strengthen in 2019

It is hard to be optimistic for 2019. The current trends all point to a strengthening of organized crime throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

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