All About Costa Rica

The variety of extortionists in Central America speaks to the ease with which opportunists can set up their own schemes. Independent actors have taken advantage of the low barriers entry…

COSTA RICA / 26 APR 2019

Costa Rica’s economic crisis and its strategic position along drug trafficking routes have created the perfect storm for a new type of extortion to take root: loan sharking.

A cheap phone and a few dollars’ worth of prepaid credit serve as the rudimentary tools of extortionists in Northern Triangle countries. Here are some of the most common schemes…

COCAINE / 12 MAR 2019

A remote port along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica has long seen shipments of bananas and pineapples conceal another product: cocaine. Now that the Moín port, near the town…

BRAZIL / 3 JAN 2019

Welcome to InSight Crime’s Criminal GameChangers 2018, where we highlight the most important trends in organized crime in the Americas over the course of the year. From a rise in…

COSTA RICA / 17 DEC 2018

Costa Rica has been a beacon of peace in a conflict- and crime-ridden region since the abolition of its armed forces in 1948, yet a rise in violent crime…

COSTA RICA / 10 OCT 2018

The ways in which bands of fuel thieves in Costa Rica are tapping oil pipelines in order to steal and later resell the good are growing increasingly sophisticated, providing further…

COSTA RICA / 11 SEP 2018

Authorities in Costa Rica arrested an alleged leader of an international drug trafficking organization while he was dining with the son of a Nicaraguan Supreme Court magistrate, raising longstanding questions…

COSTA RICA / 16 AUG 2018

Costa Rica’s recently-elected President Carlos Alvarado Quesada has officially hit 100 days in office. But his government is still struggling to stall worsening violence that is being driven by local…

COSTA RICA / 12 JUN 2018

Cell phone trafficking in Costa Rica prisons has become a lucrative and rarely punished business, allowing criminals to continue their illicit activities and letting crimes like extortion persist.

COSTA RICA / 24 MAY 2018

Authorities in Costa Rica have arrested several members of a drug trafficking network led by former security officials, highlighting a trend of deepening security force corruption in the Central American…

COSTA RICA / 17 MAY 2018

The dismantling, for the second time in two years, of a drug trafficking organization in Costa Rica led by a man held in a maximum security prison is a worrying…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…