All About El Salvador

In terms of total monetary loss due to extortion, El Salvador tops all Northern Triangle countries. The country pays out an estimated $400 million a year in extortion. One of…

The Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are now home to some of the most sophisticated extortion schemes in Latin America. The birth of these extortion markets is…

The Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang’s (Barrio 18) primary criminal economy is extortion, or what they call rent. In the early 1990s, when the gangs first formed among…

Extortion spurs violence in Northern Triangle countries, which consistently have some of the highest murder rates in Latin America. But it is destructive in other insidious ways as well.

Extortion is a particularly destructive crime because victims often have little recourse. Initial state responses have proven counterproductive, and more recent measures – though more efficient – are simply not…

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…

EL SALVADOR / 9 APR 2019

Senior officials named in a US government list of corruption suspects in Central America have all been sentenced for their crimes -- a fact critics say raises concerns of leniency…

EL SALVADOR / 28 MAR 2019

El Salvador Attorney General Raúl Melara has called for evidence and witness statements to be unsealed in all corruption cases, and for such information to be made available to the…

EL SALVADOR / 13 MAR 2019

The US Treasury Department extended economic sanctions imposed on PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-run oil company, to two of its subsidiaries in Central America, increasing the pressure on some of the staunchest…

EL SALVADOR / 21 FEB 2019

It is straight to business for El Salvador’s president-elect Nayib Bukele as he faces unparalleled expectations when it comes to tackling the country’s security policy.

ARGENTINA / 20 FEB 2019

Since beginning in Brazil with the “Operation Car Wash” (“Operação Lava Jato”) investigation in 2014, the Odebrecht corruption scandal has been headline news across Latin America. Presidents, lawmakers, and business…

EL SALVADOR / 6 FEB 2019

A court in El Salvador has ruled that a corruption network run by a former attorney general and powerful businessman constituted an organized criminal structure, officially confirming what many had…

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Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

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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…

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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…

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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…