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Cuban Doctors Used in Extortion Scheme by Venezuelan Gov’t

A new investigation has revealed how Cuban doctors are used by the Venezuelan government in an extortion scheme to remain in power, revealing new forms of criminal collaboration between the regime of Nicolás Maduro and Havana.

Colombian Loan Sharks in Mexico Enjoy Major Cartel Protection

A new report says that some of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations are overseeing loan sharking schemes headed by Colombian nationals throughout the country, providing further evidence that such groups are seeking new revenue streams outside of their traditional strongholds.

Growing Extortion Spurs Wave of Deadly Bus Attacks in Guatemala

Though violence has decreased in Guatemala, recent deadly attacks against buses show that public transport remains under siege by gangs, which have increased their...
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GameChangers 2018: Venezuelan Migration a New Gold Mine for Organized Crime

Turbulence reigned in 2018, but there was one constant: the flow of Venezuelans fleeing their country. The unceasing migration has left thousands of people homeless, penniless and ripe for exploitation by organized crime groups.

For Informant, a Treacherous Road to Justice in El Salvador

Even under the best of circumstances, there are few incentives to become a cooperating witness in an extortion case in El Salvador. And, as one witness has found out, participation is no guarantee that anything will change.

Majority of Businesses Hurt by Crime in Mexico: Report

A new report from Mexico’s statistics institute provides fresh evidence that the nation’s ongoing security crisis has taken a toll on the local economy, particularly on large businesses.

Underreporting Helps Extortion Thrive in Mexico, Latin America

Citizens in Mexico are extorted once every hour and 15 minutes, underscoring how fundamental this activity is for the country’s criminals and how severe underreporting makes it increasingly difficult for authorities across the region to combat this crime.

5 Ways the MS13 Launders Money

A number of recent operations have revealed that the MS13 has developed a financial structure that’s helped them increase their income. But how does the gang weave its dirty money into the legal market?

Guatemala Gang ‘Copycats’ Terrorize, Extort

The repeated appearance of “copycats” in Guatemala shows how criminals are taking advantage of the country’s widespread extortion and its near primal fear of street gangs.

Cell Phone Trafficking in Costa Rica Prisons Lucrative, Aids Extortion

Cell phone trafficking in Costa Rica prisons has become a lucrative and rarely punished business, allowing criminals to continue their illicit activities and letting crimes like extortion persist.

Women in Guatemala: The New Faces of Extortion?

A visit to a women’s prison in Guatemala shows the increasing role that women play in extortion rackets. The ubiquity of extortion markets in urban, poor neighborhoods has converted this criminal economy into a major source of informal employment for women -- many of whom have connections to members of gangs.

In El Salvador, a Thin Line Between Community Policing and Vigilantism

Authorities in El Salvador are keen to expand a much-praised local policing model believed to have helped two rural communities tackle bloody gang control. But a visit to the areas revealed a murky combination of factors behind the security gains, including indications of vigilantism.