South America Cartels




Organized Crime




Mexican Drug War

Invasion of the drug cartels

Murder of priests

POZA RICA - In this eastern Mexican oil town already weary of rising gangland violence and extortion, the abduction and murder of two priests this week sank many residents only deeper into despair.   (AP)   MORE:   Kidnapped priest found dead  


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)  MORE:  Black tar moves in, and death follows   Good life in Xalisco can mean death in the US  


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)


Gang leader captured

BUENOS AIRES - One of Colombia's most wanted drug dealers, Henry de Jesus Lopez, has been arrested in Argentina.  He is alleged to be the leader of the Urabenos gang.  (BBC)   MORE:   Drug lord arrested  Henry de Jesus Lopez 


Most wanted arrested

GUADALAJARA - A Los Angeles gang member on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted fugitive list who authorities say killed 4 people has been arrested in  Guadalajara, Mexico.  (LA Times)   MORE:   FBI's wanted arrested   Joe Luis Saenz   


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)  



ATF secret bank account  

WASHINGTON - They weren't known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  

El Chapo in the US

Cartel boss killed

Cartel leader killed

Youtube: gunship

 2nd gang leader among 15 killed 

Surviving cartels

Decapitated bodies

Jalisco cartel show of force

Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)

Zetas founder arrest

Drug money laundering operation  

Money man arrest

New strategy failing

250+ skulls found

Official apathy 



Accused of torture


Human rights in Mexico   .pdf

Report cites other attacks


Arrest warrant

Javier Duarte

Lawyer confesses to aiding Duarte  

El Chapo captured    

Guzman escapes 

Money laundering ring

Zetas controlled prison

US drops murder charges

Mexico approves extradition to US

Recaptured drug lord

El Chapo speaks  

Sean Penn  

'My article failed'

Mexico starts extradition process


Video-storming of hideout

Inside the raid

Prison riot

Riot at prison

Power brawl leaves 49 dead  

Fast and furious rifle in hideout

Money launderer captured

Zetas turned prison into mass grave

Latin America money laundering


Officials arrested

Bodies found

Mayor gunned down

Gisela Mota Ocampo

New mayor shot  

3 held

Murder is linked to control of police   

Founder tortured and killed

Carlos Rosales Mendoza

Remains of at least 19 people

Bodies dumped in ravine  

Life in prison  


6 tons seized

US stop semi-submersible

US Coast Guard

Cartel boss nabbed

Angel Eduardo Prado Rodriquez


New security plan

'When everybody has responsibility'

Mexican president to overhaul police 

Charred remains of 1 of the 43 identified

'El Pony' captured 

Missing identified

2014 Iguala mass kidnapping  

Enforcer pleads guilty

Cartel hitman a serial killer 

ATF gunwalking scandal 

High security prison escape

Drug lord escapes, again

Mile-long escape tunnel

On the run, again

Video of escape

7 charged with aiding escape   

Bodies found

Violence in Nuevo Leon 

Tourists warned

Mexico travel warning

Cartel downs helicopter

Cartel infiltrated police force

'El Ingeniero' taken down  

Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano

Military executes civilians

2011 San Fernando massacre

2010 San Fernando massacre   

Drug lord whistleblower

Servando Gomez Martinez

Hector Beltran Leyva

Colombia Reports

Vigilantes refuse to disarm

Government to disarm militias

Vigilantes take control of communities

Armed militias a headache for government

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez  

'Commander Pepe' captured   

Omar Trevino Morales

Servando Gomez

Cartel boss nabbed

'Chapo' arrested  

'Shorty' arrested

How Guzman got caught

Vicente Carrillo Fuentes

Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Cartel boss held     

Call for El Chapo to be freed

Business was good

Enrique Plancarte Solis  

Crime survey

Entorno Inteligente  

Gonzalo Inzunza 

Cartel boss captured


Cartel activity exaggerated

Cartels in US  NDIC

DEA shooting

'El Mamito' captured

Cartel boss killed

'El fabuloso' killed  

Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas

US protected cartel  

US accused of protecting cartel  

Corruption in Mexico  


Benjamin Arellano Felix 

Nazario Moreno  

Accused of 200 murders

3 linked to 200 murders, kidnappings   

Arellano Felix 

Drug war deaths  

Francisco Blake Mora 

Social media a target

2011 Monterrey casino attack

Cartel bosses arrested

Police arrest la Familia founder

'El Chango' captured   

Familia Michoacana nearing extinction 

Miguel Angel  

Marisol Valles 

Cartels recruitment of US citizens

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

Shock vote

BOGOTA - Colombia's government and Marxist FARC guerrillas will scramble to revive a plan to end their 52-year war after voters rejected the hard-negotiated deal as too lenient on the rebels.   (Reuters) 

Voters reject peace deal

Modified agreement

New peace pact 

Nobel peace prize for Juan Manuel Santos

War for cocaine corridors

Move to quell gang war

Los Urabenos

4 tons seized

Los Zetas

3 tons seized

Cocaine was for Los Zetas

Blow to logistics infrastructure

Undergoing transformation

Pablo Escobar

Cartel boss killed

Colombian conflict 

79,000 missing

Colombia challenges 2016

More than 45,000 'disappeared'

Cease fire

Drug lord killed

Organized armed groups

Clan Usuga

Cocaine haul

Victor Ramon Navarro-Cerrano

Popular Liberation Army

Most wanted killed 

19 years 

Wanted captured 

Sub builder gets 27 years

Trafficker gets 25 years

Narco submarine

'El Loco' arrested

Daniel Barrera 

Drug lord arrested

Last of the big capos

Top leader killed

Medellin Cartel

Cops guests at wedding

'Top guns' of Tumaco

12 arrested

Colombian parapolitics scandal  

Narco surrenders

Kingpin surrenders  


Cocaine express

Leader killed

Alfonso Cano  

Money to rebels

Carlos Renteria

US targets 'Super Cartel'

Blow to cocaine trade

Police officers killed

Deadly FARC attack


Drug lord nabbed

Traffickers handed over

Drug-trafficking groups replaced rebels 

Homemade submarines 

Seized drug money stolen

Another money container found

Ex-warlord admits guilt

Leader accepts responsibility

Militia boss pleas guilty

Diego Murillo Bejarano

Manuel Marulanda

'Super cartel' smashed    

'Don Mario'  


Hitmen reveal horror of the kill

Power vacuum fuels drug war

Militia arrested

Black Eagles (Aguilas Negras)

Colombia extradites militia head

Carlos Mario Jimenez

Police catch drugs twin

Police 'kill Colombian drug lord'

Victor Manuel Mejia Munera

Norte del Valle Cartel

Colombia ex-justice chief jailed

Luis Carlos Galan

Rebel leader is dead

The FARC computer


Paramilitaries in Colombia 

Cali cartel  

Gilberto & Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela

Colombia's new urban drugs war

Colombia seizes $54M drugs cash

Where the drug lords are kings

Madrid clashes over Latin gangs

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

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  

Bodies dumped 

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


Gang truce over

Honduras gang violence 

Bodies found at clandestine burial ground

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

Worldwide murder rate

Drug sub 

Sub seized   

Narco submarine

Drug lord dead

Paramilitary drug lord killed  

Confirmed dead  

Pedro Guerrero Castillo 

Exporting a problem

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

Police investigated

12 shot after policeman killed

At least 12 murders in 1 night

Money laundering ring busted

'World cup of terror'

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  

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

Brazil nabs drug lord

Gun battles in Rio leave 19 dead

Brazil breaks up 'killing firm'

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

Gangs shoot down copter

Gangs go to war

Traffickers shoot down police 




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

Mass police slaying

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



Riots escalate 

CARACAS - Protesters clashed with security forces during protests in Venezuela after a ban from office on a top opposition leader breathed life into a fractured movement and fueled the first sustained anti-government demonstrations since 2014.   (SMH)

Protests escalate

Venezuelan debts coming due

 Constitutional crisis

 Maduro attacked by eggs and stones

Opposition barred  

Henrique Capriles   

Reporters arrested

Not censorship

Tareck El Aissami 

Sanctions for VP

US Treasury press release

US sanctions    

Lawsuit grows

2014-2017 protests  

Supreme Court  

Maduro appointments control the courts  

Companies under siege

$500,000 to Trump inauguration

Dark times signal bright future for OC  

Corruption arrests


Maduro seeks to expand his militias 

2016 person of the year   OCCRP

Corrupt court rules

Maduro's court annuls impeachment

TSJ voids Parliament vote   TSJ  

Congress declares Maduro to have abandoned post

Venezuelan protests

Anti-president protest

50% wage hike



General rewarded

Mortgaged to Russia

PDVSA    Rosneft 

PDVSA said in a defensive statement

Venezuela uses Chinese bank    

28,479 homicides in 2016

Venezuela uses bank to sell $5B bond to itself



Venezuela fails to make court ordered payments 

PR attempt

Banknote pulled from circulation 'to beat mafia'

Closes border

Court blocks probe

Maduro bypasses legislature to decree budget


US charges 2 more

Venezuelans indicted  

US indicts 

Nestor Reverol     

Stage completed

State of emergency is constitutional

Maduro's allies stack Supreme Court  

Supreme Court rules against aid

Emergency in face of recall

Political crisis deepens  

1M signatures to recall

Government staged coup

Government says it foiled a coup   

Into dictatorship

Rafael Ramirez 

Power to military

Vladimir Padrino Lopez

Protests increasing  

Thousands buy food

Personal hygiene products shortage worse

Missing $400B


Looting deaths

Food shortage 

Food riot

Shortages in Venezuela

We're hungry and tired

Medical shortage

CCTV captures bakery looting

Oil shock and economic catastrophe

National Guard 'occupies' brewer

Ransack stores, riot in streets

Worse than living in a war  

Oil shock and economic catastrophe

At risk of unravelling

National Assembly power cut off

May 2016 President raises minimum wage 30%

Oct 2015 President raises minimum wage 30%

Runs out of money to print new money

Public sector 2 day work week ends

2 day work week

Police cut queues for food

Water and power drying up   

Venezuela becoming the capital of OC

Life is undervalued and death overpriced 

Organized Crime Observatory

Drug smuggling arrests

Nephews held

Nicolas Maduro   Cilia Flores

Guilty pleas in bribery scheme


Venezuelans guilty in PDVSA bribery

PDVSA officials plead guilty in $1B bribe

Switzerland to hand oil firm bank records to US

Killing a gangland hit

PSUV militias blamed

Violence before election

Venezuelan parliamentary election 2015


Most wanted gov't officials 

Report issued (.pdf in Spanish)

Designated drug kingpin

Treasury designated

Venezuela 'supplies half of Britain's cocaine'

Hugo Chavez


Chavez says 'nothing to hide'

US mulls request to extradite

Chavez proposes changes to constitution 

Chavez grants Belarus rights to oil fields

Chavez silences critical TV station

Venezuela steps up land seizures

Chavez threat to seize food shops

Venezuela to seize foreign oil projects

Maletinazo (the suitcase scandal)


List of criminal organizations



Prime Time Crime

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