All About Contraband

CONTRABAND / 14 MAR 2016

In this two-part series, Venezuelan journalist Javier Mayorca examines the evolution of organized crime in Venezuela, from the first manifestations of official corruption and contraband during colonial times and the…

COLOMBIA / 3 MAR 2016

Colombian officials in cities along the Venezuela border have reported huge drops in contraband smuggling after six months of closed border crossings, but on the ground, smuggling networks appear to…

COLOMBIA / 11 SEP 2015

The near complete closure of the Colombia-Venezuela border could spell disaster for communities reliant on the black market economy of smuggling, despite the efforts of the Colombian government to…

COLOMBIA / 4 SEP 2015

A Venezuelan official has asserted Colombian authorities are responsible for rampant cross border smuggling, yet this finger-pointing ignores the dynamics of this illicit trade, much of which lie firmly on…

COLOMBIA / 27 AUG 2015

On August 19, following an attack that left three military wounded and which the government attributed to paramilitaries, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closing of…

BRAZIL / 25 AUG 2015

Customs authorities in Uruguay have seized over two tons of contraband chicken as part of a crackdown on the smuggling networks that are exploiting tax laws and exchange rates to…

COLOMBIA / 21 AUG 2015

Venezuela has deployed troops to its border and called for crisis talks with Colombia after an attack against its security forces sparked outcry over contraband smuggling and armed groups in…

CONTRABAND / 19 JUN 2015

Nicaragua's government is facing growing calls to combat illegal livestock trafficking, an activity that frequently goes hand in hand with other types of organized crime in the region. …

COLOMBIA / 17 JUN 2015

Colombia’s Congress has passed a new law that increases penalties for those involved in running contraband, raising concerns that small-time smugglers and local communities that depend on the trade for…

COLOMBIA / 29 MAY 2015

Authorities in Colombia have reportedly started using armed helicopters to stop gasoline smugglers crossing the border from Venezuela, an aggressive measure that underscores both the seriousness of the problem and…

CONTRABAND / 12 MAY 2015

Paraguay has only one judge in charge of handling contraband cases, a startling admission in a country where smuggled contraband goods like sugar and cigarettes are endemic, highlighting the judicial…

ARGENTINA / 30 APR 2015

Two recent cases from opposite ends of South America show how criminal activities as diverse as contraband smuggling and human trafficking converge around one simple everyday product: textiles.

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