All About Guatemala

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…

ELITES AND CRIME / 25 APR 2019

Controversy is swirling in Guatemala after evidence emerged showing that President Jimmy Morales used a helicopter owned by a presidential candidate…

ELITES AND CRIME / 18 APR 2019

US authorities have charged a Guatemalan presidential candidate with soliciting campaign funds from Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel…

GUATEMALA / 16 APR 2019

Guatemala’s most dangerous prison has a new king. Howard Wilfredo Barillas Morales, alias “Matazetas,” is the latest convict to control Pavón prison.

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…

GUATEMALA / 28 MAR 2019

A series of arrests in Guatemala has brought down a criminal group made up of police officers working as drug dealers and hitmen, showing how the country has not been…

ELITES AND CRIME / 26 MAR 2019

A Guatemalan judge has issued an arrest warrant for former attorney general and current presidential candidate Thelma Aldana, who previously led several high-profile corruption cases against political elites.

BELIZE / 13 MAR 2019

A poorly defined and lawless border region between Belize and Guatemala is proving to be fertile ground for eco traffickers to further their criminal interests, underscoring how a lack of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.