All About Vigilantes

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 22 DEC 2015

This article explores the security and political effects of militia forces that emerged in Mexico in recent years in reaction to violent organized crime, most prominently in the states of…

VENEZUELA / 16 NOV 2015

Communities in Caracas are turning to private security and vigilante groups in response to the state failures behind Venezuela's security crisis, but examples from around the region show this can…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 13 NOV 2015

Mexico's human rights commission has called on government officials to investigate the criminalization of vigilante groups in the state of Michoacan, documenting a series of foreseeable outcomes that are now coming…

VENEZUELA / 17 JUN 2015

Criminal groups are reportedly terrorizing a Venezuela highway that runs through so-called "peace zones," in an ironic manifestation of how ungoverned areas -- in this case fostered by government policy…

MEXICO / 9 JUN 2015

A meeting between self-defense forces in Mexico's southwest state of Guerrero ended in violence that left 16 dead, a troubling sign these groups may descend into the sort of bloody…

AUC / 25 MAY 2015

When Colombia approved the creation of citizen security groups in the early 1990s, it was supposed to bolster the state's fight against violence and crime. Twenty years later, these groups…

MEXICO / 15 MAY 2015

Authorities in Mexico have found dozens of mass graves and hundreds of bodies near the city of Iguala since September, when 43 students disappeared from a nearby town, and criminal…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 23 APR 2015

Twelve members of a self-defense group in Mexico's Michoacan state went missing after going out on patrol in November 2014. Their families now say that police were involved -- whatever…

VIGILANTES / 30 MAR 2015

A recent study shows an alarmingly high support for vigilante justice in numerous countries in the Americas, a phenomenon linked to a lack of faith in often corrupt and inefficient…

JALISCO CARTEL / 16 MAR 2015

It would be easy to think that given all that has happened in Mexico's Michoacan state over the last few months, everything has changed. Knights Templar leader Servando Gomez, alias "La…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 27 FEB 2015

The capture of yet another high-level target -- this time Servando Gomez, alias "La Tuta," the leader of the Knights Templar -- should be cause for celebration in Mexico, but…

MEXICO / 14 JAN 2015

An intelligence report has revealed that the armed group the Viagras, which forms part of Mexico's government-backed vigilante force, is actually a criminal enterprise operating under the façade of the…

About InSight Crime

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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…