South America Cartels




Organized Crime




Mexican Drug War

Invasion of the drug cartels

Hitman pleads guilty

SAN ANTONIO -  Investigators said Ruben 'Menace' Reyes Jr. went to San Antonio police after his own gang tried to kill him, admitting that he killed 16 people as part of the gang's efforts to control the drug market here through extortion and violence.  He was charged only in connection to 5 killings.  (San Antonio Express-News)   MORE:   Hitman faces life in prison    Julian Pesina


Drugs, guns bust

TORONTO - OPP said that 13 people had been arrested as a result of a year-long investigation into the importation of drugs and weapons into Canada dubbed 'Project Monto.'   (CTV) 


Cartels fight over gold revenues

CARRIZALILLO - Heroin traffickers are battling over millions of dollars paid by Canadian mining giant Goldcorp to a village in Mexico's southern gold belt, leading to a wave of murders.  Residents of Carrizalillo in the impoverished state of Guerrero say the some $3M a year in rent paid by Goldcorp for their land, which mine is built on, is fueling a bloody feud between two rival cartels.  (Reuters)


Gang members arrested 

EDMONTON - ALERT said that members of the La Familia gang, which has alleged ties to Mexican drug cartels and the Mara Salvatrucha gang, had been arrested in Edmonton following an ALERT investigation.   (CTV)  MORE:   La Familia arrests in AB   4 arrested      


Suspect found dismembered

SABANETA - El Tiempo newspaper reported that the body of Quebec City native Frederic Lavoie, 31, was found on May 12 in the town of Sabaneta.   (Sun Media)    



The author of a pioneering blog about Mexico's drug war (Blog del Narco) has said that she has fled the country and that her blog partner has gone missing.  The young woman, using her pseudonym Lucy, said her colleague phoned her to say a single word – "run" – and then vanished, prompting her to flee to the US and then Spain.  (Guardian UK)


US drug blacklist

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama has added Belize and El Salvador to a blacklist of countries considered major producers or transit routes for illegal drugs.   (BBC)  PREVIOUS:  US war on drugs  


Lethal business model

Farm boys from a tiny county that once depended on sugar cane have perfected an ingenious business model for selling a semi-processed form of Mexican heroin known as black tar.  (LA Times) 


SAN DIEGO - Federal agents in San Diego have arrested Edgar Veytia, 46, the attorney general for the Mexican state of Nayarit on charges that he conspired to smuggle heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine into the US.  (Orlando Sentinel) 



SANTO DOMINGO - The Dominican Republic's former top counter-narcotics official and 24 other people were arrested in connection with the theft of more than a ton of cocaine from a police storeroom. (EFE)   MORE:    Arrest warrants for DICAN officers


Drug smuggling submersible

ALAMEDA - The US Coast Guard showed off a 20 ton haul of cocaine confiscated from sea traffickers - setting a record for the agency with $5.6B of the drug intercepted over 12 months.   (Daily Mail) 


Mennonite ties to cartels

Canadian and American authorities are concerned about Alberta Mennonites bringing Mexican cartel drugs into Canada.  (CBC)   


Drug lord released

MEXICO CITY - The court cut short Rafael Caro Quintero's 40-year sentence for the 1985 killing of US Drug Enforcement agent Enrique Camarena.  (BBC)   Enrique Camarena   Rafael Caro Quintero


Report on cartels in Canada

VANCOUVER - Escalating Mexican cocaine cartel violence is claiming the lives of increasing numbers of ambitious Canadian mobsters, an RCMP internal report says.   (Toronto Star)    MORE:   Cartels spread their tentacles


Project below the beltway

WASHINGTON - The DEA announced the results of “Project Below the Beltway”, a two-year series of investigations targeting the Sinaloa and Juarez Cartels and violent street gangs as part of on-going initiative against the cartels and their distribution network in America.  (DEA PR)


Cash filled suitcase

MEXICO CITY - A senator has filed a criminal complaint against the governor of the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz and two of his employees over the seizure of nearly $2M in undeclared cash on an official plane.   (LAHT)   MORE:  Politics of Mexico   PAN   PRI   Federal prosecutor arrested   Loans arrest   Coahuila  


How Canucks blew a deal on blow

It looked to James Frost like a big payday was coming.   The plan was simple.  Buy cocaine from Colombian drug lords. Smuggle it into Canada on a yacht.  (Toronto Star)  




CHILPANCINGO - Hundreds of residents of a mining region in southern Mexico have taken up arms to confront the criminal outfits terrorizing the area.  A rural cooperative - known as an ejido - gets $54,000 a year from Canadian-owned miner Goldcorp.  Guerreros Unidos and Los Rojos are engaged in a struggle for control of Mezcala.  (EFE) 

Cartel burial ground

Skeletal remains found

Record high murder rate

Informe de victimas de homicidio  .pdf  (in Spanish)

Murder rate reaches 20-year-high 

Guide to drug cartels

Tomas Yarrington

Javier Duarte

Lawyers hired by Guzman 

Human rights in Mexico   .pdf

El Chapo in the US

El Chapo captured    

Guzman escapes 

Recaptured drug lord

El Chapo speaks  

Sean Penn  

'My article failed'

Damaso Lopez Nunez

Angel Eduardo Prado Rodriquez

New security plan 

ATF secret bank account


Surviving cartels

Latin America money laundering


Zetas controlled prison

Gisela Mota Ocampo

Carlos Rosales Mendoza

Drug lord escapes, again

Mile-long escape tunnel

How Guzman got caught 

Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)

2014 Iguala mass kidnapping  

2011 San Fernando massacre

2010 San Fernando massacre  

Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano

Servando Gomez Martinez

Hector Beltran Leyva

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez  

Cartels in US  NDIC

Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas

US protected cartel  

US accused of protecting cartel  

Corruption in Mexico  


Benjamin Arellano Felix 

Nazario Moreno  

ATF gunwalking scandal

Omar Trevino Morales

Vicente Carrillo Fuentes

Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Enrique Plancarte Solis  

Crime survey

Entorno Inteligente  

Gonzalo Inzunza 

Arellano Felix 

Drug war deaths  

Francisco Blake Mora 

2011 Monterrey casino attack

Miguel Angel  

Marisol Valles 

Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen

Mexico's most wanted  

Sergio Villarreal

Project Gunrunne

Diego Fernandez de Cevallos

The draft report .pdf   

'Most Holy Death'

Guzman winning

Teodoro Garcia Simental

Cartels areas of influence

Drug lord Guzman on Forbes list

Ismael Zambada Garcia

Eduardo Arellano Felix

Francisco Javier Arellano Felix

Sandra Avila Beltran

'Project Gunrunner' strategy  .pdf  

Edgar Valdez 

Mexico's drug war  

Majority of arms comes from the US

The world's most dangerous place?

Latino prison gangs  

Hector Leyva    Edgar Villarreal

Marcos Arturo Beltran-Leyva

Lethal connections: Part 1   Part 2  

Part 3   Part 4   Part 5  

Part 6   Part 7   Part 8

Arellano-Felix Organization

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman

Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambaba

Zhenli Ye Gon

National Drug Assessment 2009   .pdf

Arellano Felix cartel

Beltran Leyva cartel

Federation cartel

Colima Cartel 

Gulf Cartel

Jalisco New Generation cartel

Juarez cartel

Knights Templar Cartel

La Familia Michoacana

Los Zetas

Sonora Cartel

Tijuana Cartel

Cocaine seizure

APARTADO - Police seized 12 tons of cocaine, the largest single drug seizure in the history of the country.  The drugs were discovered stored underground when around 400 anti-narcotics police stormed 4 farms in a banana-growing area in the NW department of Antioquia.  Police said the drugs belonged to Colombia's most-wanted man, Dario Antonio Usuga, who is the chief of the country's largest drug-trafficking gang, the Clan del Golfo. (AFP)    

Cocaine haul 

Nobel peace prize for Juan Manuel Santos

War for cocaine corridors

Move to quell gang war

Blow to logistics infrastructure

Undergoing transformation 

New peace pact

Modified agreement

Shock vote

Voters reject peace deal

Blurring the line

Security secretary arrested 

Colombian conflict 

79,000 missing

Colombia challenges 2016

More than 45,000 'disappeared'

Cease fire

Organized armed groups

Clan Usuga

Victor Ramon Navarro-Cerrano

Daniel Barrera 

Drug-trafficking groups replaced rebels 

Colombian parapolitics scandal  


Sub builder gets 27 years

Narco submarine

Homemade submarines

Los Urabenos

Los Zetas

Pablo Escobar

Medellin Cartel

Popular Liberation Army

Diego Murillo Bejarano2

Manuel Marulanda

Black Eagles (Aguilas Negras)

Carlos Mario Jimenez

Victor Manuel Mejia Munera

Norte del Valle Cartel

Luis Carlos Galan

Cocaine express

Alfonso Cano  

Carlos Renteria 

The FARC computer


Paramilitaries in Colombia 

Cali cartel  

Gilberto & Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela

Colombia's new urban drugs war

Where the drug lords are kings

Norte del Valle Cartel

Alberto Santofimio 

2006-2007 para-political scandal

Colombia scandal widens

Confession details

Exports booming

CANAYRE - It happens about 4 times a day, right under the nose of Peru's military: A small single-engine plane drops onto a dirt airstrip in the world's No. 1 coca-growing valley, delivers a bundle of cash, picks up more than 300 kilos of cocaine and flies to Bolivia.   (AP)

Peru new king of cocaine

Toledo in US

Arrest warrant for ex-president

 Alejandro Toledo  Peru

60 bodies found

Internal conflict in Peru

Contract killings

New king of cocaine

Peru OC news  

Peru to bomb Amazon cocaine labs

Cocaine bust

PATACAMAYA -  The more than 7 tons of cocaine chlorhydrate found by Bolivia's anti-drug force in a shipment of ulexite that was being exported to Honduras and then was to have been shipped to the US is valued at $379M.   (EFE)

7 tons of cocaine        

Coca leaves seized


Caught red-handed


US deports 'minister for cocaine'

Luis Arce-Gomez

Bolivia halts US anti-drugs work

Law enforcement in Bolivia

Evo Morales   

Held hostage by gangs

SAN SALVADOR - Last year in El Salvador, more than 1 person in every 1,000 was killed, a figure more typical of a country at war.   (AFP)

Murders fell 

Crime in Honduras 

21 murders in 24 hours

Police strike

Troops sent in   


Clash kills 4


Ex-attorney general arrest

Arrest a promising sign 

Death squad dismantled

Crime in El Salvador 

3 arrested

2 separate massacres    

Where women are killed by their own families

Gunmen attack bar


Hidden burial ground

Gang shootout with police


6,723 murders


Prosecutor gunned down

Gunned down

Most violent city in the world

Honduras murder rate

Puerto Rico murder count 

Enforcement head gunned down

Troops deployed to fight crime

Murders increase

Children become migrants

Record number

Under siege

Crime in El Salvador   

El Salvador  

Gang truce over

Honduras gang violence 

Barrio 18

El Salvador murder rate falls  

OC deaths down  

Drug gangs blamed

Officers arrested 

International homicide rate

Homicide capital of the world

Deadly day

Arrests in slaying

Gang truce

Mara Salvatruch13

Mara 18

Rising bloodshed

Bodies dumped

Worldwide murder rate

Drug sub 

Sub seized   

Narco submarine

Drug lord dead

Paramilitary drug lord killed  

Confirmed dead  

Pedro Guerrero Castillo 

Nine held over Honduras massacre

Gang linked to Honduras attack

Central America’s gang crisis

Al Qaeda seeks tie to local gangs

Feds nab 375 gang members

Massive international sting nets 660


USB sticks provide look inside criminal gang 

13 gunned down

17 died in factory shooting


Paulo Maluf  

Drug sub

Narco sub 

Drug sub

25 Politicos arrested

Crackdown appears to be working

Kingpin caught with his pants down

Another money container found

'Drug lord's' farm invaded

Juan Carlos Ramirez-Abadia



Least violent year since 1991

RIO DE JANEIRO - In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second largest city there were 1,202 murders in 2015.   (EFE)

Murder in Brazil 2014

14 homicides per day 


Police suspected

Deadly weekend

Police demand more protection

Gang busted  

Cocaine seized

Rio Times

Report on regime brutality

National Truth Commission   

1964-1985 military dictatorship

Abuse 'rife' under Brazil military rule

Police shoot 5

4 MPs arrested 

OC hit


8 executed

Comando Vermelho

Gun battles in Rio leave 19 dead

Brazil breaks up 'killing firm'

Police investigated

12 shot after policeman killed

At least 12 murders in 1 night

Money laundering ring busted

O Estado de Sao Paulo


Police guilty

Police sentenced

Carandiru massacre

Cops arrested

Brazil bar shooting rises 

Death squad take down  

Body count reaches 39  

Dozens of policeman held  

Gangs shoot down copter

Brazil arrests 75 Rio cops for OC ties

San Paulo killings go on

Brazilian Crime Group Defies Police

Gang violence grips Brazil

Brazil's mighty prison gangs

Brazil holds Colombia ‘drug lord’

Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez

Diego Montoya

Olympic Games 2016

Brazil's powerful prison gang  

Police at war with prison gang

Gang leader captured


Drug lord arrested 

Henry de Jesus Lopez 




GUATEMALA CITY - The FECI began to press charges against a crime ring headed by ex-President Otto Perez Molina and ex-Vice President Roxana Baldetti suspected of stealing millions of dollars in public funds. (EFE)  

La Linea

Otto Perez Molina      Roxana Baldetti

Marvin Montiel Marin

Bar attack leaves 11 dead

Gunmen attack cantinas 

34 held

Hitgirls hired

Narco elite vs oligarchy

Gangs employing 'child hitmen'    

Murdered officers 

Chemicals seized

800+ years


Sepur Zarco sexual slavery case

Guatemalan Civil War 

Gang takedown

Barrio 18

8 arrested

At least 19 murders

Guatemala moves against cartels   

President declares emergency

Cocaine sub captured

Violence continues

2 tons of cocaine seized

Killer linked to cartels

Juan Gerardi

Vigilante justice

Mara Salvatrucha

Drug kingpin arrested



Dictator is a candidate

CARACAS - President Nicolas Maduro placed himself 'at the disposal' of Venezuela's PSUV party and the Great Patriotic Pole coalition as a candidate for re-election in the nationwide balloting that would be held in April.   (LAHT)

Democratic and credible elections impossible

Venezuelan presidential election 2018   

Restructure foreign debt

PDVSA to pay China's Sinopec   

China's Sinopec sues PDVSA

PDVSA gets another default from S&P

Latest magic thinking

Maduro creates Petro   cryptocurrency  

No strategy

Execs arrested   Citgo

S&P cuts more bonds to default   

Payment stuck by sanctions

Former top oil officials arrested   

General to run state oil company  


Crystallex International Corporation

Judgment in Canada


Nicolas Maduro

2014-2017 protests

Crisis in Venezuela



Mass exodus 

3 zeros gone

Solution for inflation 

Food riots

Shortages in subsidized food system

Possible ICC probe 

Lootings flare after Perez massacre  

Rebel cop killed  

EU sanctions 7 officials  

Ex-PDVSA officials charged

DoJ press release

Venezuela loses right to vote at UN 

Wannabe dictator ban opposition

Maduro bans opposition parties

Ruling party sweep mayoral races

More details on settlement


US Federal registers judgment for Rusoro

Another judgment against   Rusoro  

Rating agencies declare default


Debt restructuring

Beginning of end-game 

Commission named to re-negotiate debt


Money printing, production plunge hyperinflation

Tomorrow will be ugly


Venezuela sanctions  


Executions, forced disappearances 

Latest dictatorship step

AG removed

Constitutional Assembly 

Mine dispute settlement

IIO complaint

Vladimir Padrino Lopez   Nestor Reverol

Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez    

US sanctions more

Diosdado Cabello

Next Cuba


How a rich country collapsed

Civil war coming 


Sham election

Supreme Court  

Maduro appointments control the courts  

Luisa Ortega      

Maduro claims victory

Getting the vote    Smartmatic

AG links Maduro to Odebrecht

Fugitive says she has proof of corruption 

Opposition's unlikely ally 

White House announces new sanctions

Parliament repudiates Constitutional Assembly

Assembly declares itself all-powerful

Constituent Assembly unanimously approved Maduro

Growing dictatorship

Companies under siege

Dark times signal bright future for OC  

Goldman Sachs funding Maduro

Irresponsible deal 

Did Goldman just sell 'Hunger Bonds'?

Lloyd Blankfein 

Electoral authoritarianism

Opposition leaders taken away   SEBIN

Assembly a 'new coup d'etat'

Maduro seeks to expand his militias 

2016 person of the year   OCCRP

TSJ voids Parliament vote   TSJ  



Constitutional crisis 

Henrique Capriles

Court blocks probe 

US Treasury press release

US sanctions    

Venezuelans indicted  

US indicts 

Nestor Reverol     

Canadian company closer to $1.4B award

PDVSA profit disappears

Venezuela uses Chinese bank    

Venezuela fails to make court ordered payments 

Rafael Ramirez

Missing $400B

Worse than living in a war

Oil shock and economic catastrophe

Organized Crime Observatory

Nicolas Maduro   Cilia Flores


Venezuelans guilty in PDVSA bribery

PDVSA officials plead guilty in $1B bribe

Venezuelan parliamentary election 2015


28,479 homicides in 2016

State of emergency is constitutional

Maduro's allies stack Supreme Court  

Government staged coup

Into dictatorship 

Vladimir Padrino Lopez

Venezuela becoming the capital of OC

Life is undervalued and death overpriced 

Report issued (.pdf in Spanish)

Designated drug kingpin

Treasury designated

Venezuela 'supplies half of Britain's cocaine'


Hugo Chavez

Maletinazo (the suitcase scandal)


List of criminal organizations



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