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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.

Women, Youth Primed for Gang Recruitment in Venezuela

A new report from a Venezuela non-governmental organization working on migration issues shows that Colombia's criminal groups have been recruiting Venezuelans into their ranks at an accelerated rate.

Rastrojos Demonstrate Power with Attack on Venezuela Military Base

A recent attack by Colombian criminal group, Los Rastrojos, on a military base in Venezuela confirms that the group is gathering strength in the country and will not hold back in its confrontations with Venezuelan security forces in order to safeguard its criminal markets along the border.

The Colombian Mafia

The mafia in Colombia today is comprised of a maelstrom of localized groups, shadowy power brokers and sub-contracted labor that combine to bring order to the underworld chaos and make billions from trafficking everything from cocaine to influence

Shifting Criminal Dynamics Signal Violent Future for Colombia-Venezuela Border

Venezuela’s continued spiral into economic, political and social crisis and the demobilization of Colombia’s largest guerrilla group have shifted criminal dynamics on the Colombia-Venezuela border, transforming the region into one of the most important organized crime hubs in Latin America.

Members of the Rastrojos

Chaos in Venezuela Contributing to Resurgence of Colombia’s Rastrojos?

Ongoing political and economic chaos in Venezuela may be aiding the resurgence of the Rastrojos, once one of Colombia's most powerful crime groups -- a worrying trend in light of the challenges that this development could pose to both countries' security.

José Orlando Sánchez Cristancho, former leader of the Norte del Valle Cartel

Colombian Criminal Arrest Reminder of Dissolved Cartel’s Influence

Authorities arrested a former leader of a now dissolved Colombian drug trafficking organization, a sign that the group's legacy in the country's underworld lives on. 

Luis Enrique Calle Serna

Plea Deal Lands Colombia Drug Boss Light Sentence in US Court

A Colombian drug boss whose surrender to US authorities helped decimate what was once among the country's most powerful criminal organizations has negotiated his way into receiving just a nine-year prison sentence in a US court.

Cali is Colombia's most violent city

Report Breaks Down 15 Years of Bloodshed in Colombia’s Murder Capital

A new analysis of 15 years of homicide statistics in Colombia's most violent city, Cali, highlights the direct correlation between underworld evolutions and violence in the country.

Santos Román Narváez Ansazoy, alias "Román", and the seized gold ingots.

Arrest Signals Persistence of Rastrojos Faction in Colombia Drug Trade

The arrest of the alleged leader of Rastrojos faction "los Comba" is a sign that the criminal group was able to grow under the authorities' radar since its near demise in 2012.

cocaine consumption in South America booms

Surging South America Cocaine Use a Market Boom for Crime Networks

Growth of cocaine use in South America is outpacing any other region in the world and creating an emerging market boom for organized crime groups that are engaging in more cross-border cooperation aimed at making the most of growing local demand for the drug.

Contraband between Colombia and Venezuela is taxed by criminal groups

Crime Groups Win in Colombia – Venezuela Border Closure

Venezuela's decision to close its border with Colombia in 2015 has been hugely profitable for criminal groups, who now have unprecedented control over contraband movements in the region.