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Nicaragua

Nicaragua has long been one of the least violent countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Although some local gangs and at least one transnational criminal organization have a foothold there, so far the country has not experienced the high homicide rates common in its Central American neighbors.

Latest News

Nicaragua Elites and Organized Crime: Ted Hayman, the Cocaine Fisherman

INVESTIGATIONS / 15 JUL 2021

Nicaraguan Fisherman Ted Hayman Forbes and his drug trafficking network operated from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Colombian island of San Andres in the Caribbean. His capture and sentencing…

Nicaragua Elites and Organized Crime: The Case of Henry Fariñas

INVESTIGATIONS / 15 JUL 2021

The murder of a prominent folk singer in Guatemala thrust a Nicaraguan nightclub owner into the spotlight and revealed an illicit drug trafficking network that stretched from Colombia to Mexico.

Nicaragua Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

INVESTIGATIONS / 15 JUL 2021

In the process of expanding their influence, criminal groups often develop close ties with elites in an effort to gain protection and access to better resources. This facet of transnational…

Nicaragua Profile

Criminal Actors

Armed Groups

Nicaragua has largely avoided the permanent presence of transnational criminal groups, but this has not prevented such actors from using the strategically located Central American nation as a launchpad to transport drugs to the United States. In place of well-defined criminal structures, homegrown armed groups provide key transport services while also engaging in a variety of criminal activities, from illegal logging to animal smuggling and cattle rustling. Official corruption emanates from the highest levels of government.

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Personalities

Francisco Zeledon

FRANCISCO ZELEDON / 2017-03-09 21:34:20

Francisco, or Frank, Zeledon, allegedly runs a drug trafficking network from the city of Bluefields on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. He is best known in the region as a businessman, landowner…

Amauri Carmona Morelos

AMAURI CARMONA MORELOS / 2017-08-28

Amauri Carmona Morelos, who also goes by the name Alberto Ruiz Cano and Amauri Paudd, is an alleged drug trafficker operating along Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast. Carmona reportedly had links to…

News

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 25 JUN 2021

Prosecutors in Honduras say they will ask Nicaragua to extradite an alleged MS13 leader who has been on the lam for five years since being charged with money laundering -…

ELITES AND CRIME / 4 JUN 2021

With his leading opponent under house arrest for money laundering charges, Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega appears to be weaponizing the justice system to block his competition before upcoming presidential elections.

COCAINE / 13 APR 2021

The dismantling of a Costa Rican drug gang that worked with agents in an elite investigative unit to steal cocaine shipments from rival traffickers is yet another sign of the…

ARGENTINA / 29 JAN 2021

While unrest gripped much of Latin America in 2019, it was the coronavirus that took center stage and ripped through the region in 2020, upending everything from commercial trade to…

ELITES AND CRIME / 27 JAN 2021

Nicaragua's Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, on the southern border with Costa Rica, is under assault.

COSTA RICA / 15 JAN 2021

Recent interceptions linked to the illicit smuggling of migrants at Nicaragua’s border with Costa Rica have illustrated the extent to which clandestine groups and individuals dedicated to the trade continue…

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