All About Extortion

EXTORTION / 30 APR 2019

Honduras’ private sector, under the banner of regional chambers of commerce, joined forces with the country’s elite anti-extortion unit in what was a fruitful collaboration. But the collaboration between businessmen…

EXTORTION / 29 APR 2019

In Panama, women in the sex trade are exposed to monetary and sexual extortion by corrupt police officers. But a new prosecution system has gone some way to reducing this…

EL SALVADOR / 26 APR 2019

El Salvador’s groundbreaking "Operación Jaque" (Operation Check) has provided a wealth of information on the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), revealing the gang’s financial inner workings, its money laundering mechanisms and details…

The notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang (Barrio 18) are behind the majority of extortion rackets in the Northern Triangle. The development of their criminal structures over the…

Although gangs dominate the extortion markets in Central America, corrupt state agents will collude with them and even run some of their own extortion schemes.

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…

Through the use of violence, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang (Barrio 18)  have become the most feared criminal brands in the Northern Triangle. Much of their violence…

BARRIO 18 / 26 APR 2019

In parts of Guatemala City, opening a small business or setting up an informal stall can carry a death sentence. Every week, shopkeepers and business owners pay extortion in…

EXTORTION / 26 APR 2019

The gangs’ bloody business of extorting transport in Guatemala has provided a pernicious environment and the perfect cover for some  economic and political elite to embezzle millions of dollars from…

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.

EL SALVADOR / 26 APR 2019

Financial extortion in El Salvador spares neither women nor men. But women simultaneously suffer from a more insidious form of extortion shaped by the threat of sexual violence that blurs…

EL SALVADOR / 26 APR 2019

El Salvador’s sugarcane industry and the national police have succeeded in reining in extortion in the countryside by way of a private-public partnership that stands as a potential blueprint for rural economic actors to follow across…

About InSight Crime

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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…