All About Illegal Mining

ILLEGAL MINING / 17 MAY 2021

The escalating violence between security forces and a gang that formerly enjoyed official protection in Venezuela's foremost mining region shows how the breakdown of criminal and political alliances can lead…

BOLIVIA / 13 MAY 2021

Smuggling networks are feeding illegal mining operations across the Amazon Basin with mercury, despite global efforts to clamp down on the use of the substance.

COLOMBIA / 7 APR 2021

Illegal gold mining is devastating South America's jungles. The trade has been destroying large swaths of forest and flooding rivers with toxic mercury at an alarming rate.

BRAZIL / 12 MAR 2021

The Brazilian agency that inspects mining sites and seizes illegally mined ore is vastly understaffed, a consequence of a government that has given free rein to the mining sector.

COLOMBIA / 11 MAR 2021

Forests in Colombia are being ravaged by illegal mining, a criminal economy that has come to rival the drug trade for profits.

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 3 MAR 2021

Latin America’s forests are being cut down at an accelerating rate. Asian markets are driving a trade in wildlife products, while wildcat miners decimate Amazon jungle from Peru to Guyana…

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 9 FEB 2021

A new report on human trafficking in Venezuela's Bolívar state shows that forced labor camps and sex trafficking rings are rampant in the region's illegal mines.

ELITES AND CRIME / 27 JAN 2021

Nicaragua's Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, on the southern border with Costa Rica, is under assault.

CONTRABAND / 23 DEC 2020

In a region where 50 percent of the population already makes its living in the informal market, it was perhaps of little surprise that black markets exploded in 2020 amidst…

BRAZIL / 13 OCT 2020

A recent operation in northern Brazil has put a spotlight on the country’s often overlooked illegal diamond trade, but authorities are only scratching the surface of the fast-growing criminal economy.

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 8 OCT 2020

Peruvian authorities have destroyed yet another illegal mining site in one of the nation’s most popular national parks, but the ongoing failure of official efforts to target this trade strongly…

CHINA AND CRIME / 24 SEP 2020

The jaguar’s head slumps over the back of an all-terrain vehicle. A lifeless paw outstretched above a large muddied tire provides a glimpse of its former mass and power.

About InSight Crime

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Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

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Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

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World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

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InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

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Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…