All About Extortion

BARRIO 18 / 1 OCT 2020

It was late 2016 and officials in San Salvador were preparing for the grand opening of a sparkling new market in the city’s Historic Center.

EXTORTION / 7 SEP 2020

With dozens of Venezuelan athletes now playing on Major League Baseball teams in the United States, a powerful gang has begun to extort local academies and scouts in charge of…

EXTORTION / 1 SEP 2020

Extortion can be defined as the action through which one individual obtains a resource from another through intimidation or threat of violence. This criminal activity has been used by organized…

ARGENTINA / 7 JUL 2020

A criminal group in Argentina has found a novel target for extortion: black market currency dealers who are moving large amounts of cash to dollar-hungry Argentines in an economy hit…

BARRIO 18 / 16 JUN 2020

Police in Guatemala say the economic pressures stemming from the coronavirus lockdown are exacerbating internal divisions within the Barrio 18 street gang, a symptom of the structural weaknesses that have…

COVID AND CRIME / 13 APR 2020

The measures in the fight against the coronavirus in Central America have caused two starkly different reactions from criminal groups, some are continuing to extort local populations while others have…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 18 FEB 2020

Social leaders across Colombia were murdered at an almost unprecedented rate in 2019, and for a wide range of causes. Criminal gangs seeking to protect their illegal economies, such as…

BOLIVIA / 8 JAN 2020

Bolivian authorities were taken by surprise on November 7, 2018, when they captured three Venezuelans during an operation to dismantle a "gota a gota" loan shark network, a criminal activity…

EXTORTION / 30 DEC 2019

New data in Guatemala has revealed that almost half of all extortion phone calls originate from a single place: the country’s largest prison.

EL SALVADOR / 2 DEC 2019

El Salvador officials have announced the deployment of more than 3,000 troops to protect coffee farms from theft -- a puzzling move, given that crop theft is not considered one…

EXTORTION / 28 NOV 2019

Police officers on patrol in Guatemala came under fire as they investigated colleagues for allegedly demanding payments from local gang members, underscoring the breadth of extortion in the Central American…

EXTORTION / 25 NOV 2019

In the northern Venezuela state home to the city of Maracaibo, gangs are taking an extremely violent measure against business owners who refuse to pay extortion: attacking them with what…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

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…