HomeNewsBriefPolice: Foreign Gangs Use Nicaragua as Hideout
BRIEF

Police: Foreign Gangs Use Nicaragua as Hideout

NICARAGUA / 12 APR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Authorities in Nicaragua have reported "isolated cases" of foreign gang members in the country, illustrating the growing prominence of street gangs throughout Central America.

Nicaragua's national police spokesperson, Fernando Borge (pictured), told news service ACAN-EFE that police had detected foreign gang members along its northern border with Honduras, and that authorities had either deported them or begun to deport them. The spokesperson said Nicaragua is prepared to detect any further incursion of foreign gang members.

Borge said the spread of foreign gang members across the region was "a threat," but added that "the important thing is to always maintain collaboration between all the police institutions."

Security analyst Roberto Orozco told ACAN-EFE that the foreign gang members cross into Nicaragua through its northern border with Honduras, and that they use the country as a temporary hideout rather than a base of operations.

InSight Crime Analysis

So far, Nicaragua has been spared much of the violence that has shaken the region. In 2010, the country had a murder rate of 14 per 100,000 people, compared with at least 40 for each of the Northern Triangle countries. Neighboring Honduras had a rate of 86 per 100,000, making it the most violent country in the world.

A variety of factors may explain this disparity. Nicaragua's socialist legacy means police have closer ties to their communities. In the past, Nicaraguan emigrants moved to Costa Rica and Miami over Los Angeles, with its pervasive gang culture. This meant fewer criminals were deported back home to start their own local cells, as happened with the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs in El Salvador.

However, the region's relative insecurity may also be due to the influence of the Mexican Zetas, who have steadily moved south through the region, consolidating their presence through partnerships with local youth gangs. Nicaragua may be the next step. Aminta Granera, Nicaragua's head of police, has already warned that gangs from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador may move south into Nicaragua. The incursion of foreign gangs to use Nicaragua as a hideout could be a sign that this process has begun.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

NICARAGUA / 9 FEB 2012

Nicaragua's national police sacked 173 officers in 2011, most of them for corruption, but said that organized criminal groups had…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 20 FEB 2014

Authorities in Nicaragua seized over 1,400 cubic meters of timber harvested illegally from a northern forest reserve in 2013 --…

NICARAGUA / 6 AUG 2012

This Nicaraguan drug trafficking group is linked to the Reyes Aragon family, headed by Augustin Reyes Aragon and his six…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.