All About MS13

BARRIO 18 / 7 FEB 2020

Prosecutors in El Salvador have charged high-ranking politicians with electoral fraud in connection to their controversial negotiations with gang leaders, opening a Pandora’s Box for public officials -- long unable…

BARRIO 18 / 22 JAN 2020

Colombia’s last rebel army is now the most powerful criminal syndicate in Latin America, as it expands across Colombia and far into Venezuela, deepening its involvement in the drug trade.

BARRIO 18 / 20 JAN 2020

El Salvador has ended 2019 with its lowest murder rate in years. But though the government has taken credit for the drop, there are likely multiple factors at play.

BARRIO 18 / 15 JUL 2019

A government crackdown on phone use in prisons has led inmates in El Salvador to adopt desperate measures to communicate with the outside world, including using toilet paper, toothpaste and…

BARRIO 18 / 2 JUL 2019

A network of corrupt hospital officials is allegedly helping imprisoned gang members communicate attack orders to other associates, in just the latest state institution to be co-opted by the country’s…

BARRIO 18 / 21 JUN 2019

The new administration of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has already shown that it will adopt hardline measures to combat the MS13 and Barrio 18 street gangs -- measures that…

EL SALVADOR / 7 JUN 2019

The online magazine Revista Factum interviewed a spokesperson for the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) who spoke on behalf of the entire gang. In this interview…

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…

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 in Guatemala City is rife, and it is mainly carried out by street gangs and copycat groups. Shops, large businesses, and the public transport sector have all been affected…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

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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…