All About El Salvador

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…

BARRIO 18 / 5 FEB 2019

A spike in police slayings have El Salvador's officers on edge as some called on social media for extrajudicial executions of suspected members of the street gangs, an issue that…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

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THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…