All About Contraband

CONTRABAND / 23 DEC 2020

In a region where 50 percent of the population already makes its living in the informal market, it was perhaps of little surprise that black markets exploded in 2020 amidst…

COCA / 22 DEC 2020

President-elect Joe Biden has a chance to reset the table on US-Latin American relations, but the Donald Trump administration’s schizophrenic, transactional approach may leave some lasting scars that will be…

BARRIO 18 / 21 DEC 2020

Welcome to InSight Crime’s Criminal GameChangers 2020, where we highlight the most important trends in organized crime in the Americas over the course of the year. …

CONTRABAND / 14 DEC 2020

An ongoing gang war in Ecuador’s prisons has made 2020 the bloodiest year on record for inmates, underscoring how the country’s penitentiary system cannot contain the escalating conflict among an…

BOLIVIA / 3 DEC 2020

Authorities in Bolivia this month have seized several large contraband shipments, as the country's economic struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic continue to increase demand for black market goods.

BAGDAD / 26 NOV 2020

A burst of attempted contraband smuggling into Panama’s largest prison complex has challenged governments claims about the success of recent reforms in bolstering security within the country’s penitentiaries, as well…

CONTRABAND / 25 NOV 2020

A flu vaccine in Mexico has become the latest drug to emerge on Latin America’s burgeoning black market medicine trade, highlighting how criminal groups are increasingly providing items believed to…

CONTRABAND / 3 NOV 2020

A sizeable seizure of adulterated rum shipped to Honduras from Europe reveals the extent to which black markets for alcohol in Latin America have expanded in response to limits on…

COLOMBIA / 21 OCT 2020

Fashion continues to fuel money laundering in Colombia, generating millions in losses for the country's textile industry.

CONTRABAND / 20 OCT 2020

A massive robbery of nearly 38,000 cancer drugs from a warehouse in Mexico City points to a growing sophistication in the country’s lucrative black market for medicine, with those involved…

CONTRABAND / 9 OCT 2020

Police in Peru have recently seized large quantities of contraband cigarettes in one of the capital’s most populous districts, in what is just the latest reflection of the regional boom…

CHILE / 8 OCT 2020

While ruins have long been looted to supply the black market trade in antiquities, silver and textiles stolen from a museum in Chile reveal how thieves also target depositories of…

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Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…