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Honduras: Land of gangs and violence

Criminal gangs pose an existential threat to state and society in Honduras. For many, the only option is to flee. One of most violent countries in the world Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. In 2011-2012, there were 86 homicides per...

MS13 Is a Street Gang, Not a Drug Cartel — and the Difference Matters

In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that pursuing the Mara Salvatrucha, a Salvadoran gang also known as MS-13, was “a priority for our Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.” “Drugs are killing more Americans than ever before, in large part thanks to powerful...

Amid escalating violence, El Salvador’s young people are struggling to build a future

In a quiet side street of one of San Salvador’s infamous northern districts, lies a small community centre. All day, it is filled with small groups of children playing, paying little attention to how precarious their surroundings are. Severe violence is an established reality in...

Central America Gangs Selling Drug Trafficking Services on Dark Web: UN Official

(Insightcrime.org) A UN official stated that Central American gangs are strengthening their ties with transnational drug trafficking groups, in some cases using the dark web, raising questions about the potentially evolving role of Central American gangs in the transnational drug trade. Amado Philip de Andrés,...

Central America Second To Syria In World’s Worst Conflict Zone

(Q24N) Death tolls have declined in world conflict zones but civilians remain pawns of armed groups, increasingly in urban areas, says the London-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Its annual report highlighted problems in Central America. Syria remains the world's "most lethal"...

Mafia of the Poor: Gang Violence and Extortion in Central America

Q24N (via Crisigroup.org) Born in the aftermath of civil war and boosted by mass deportations from the U.S., Central American gangs are responsible for brutal acts of violence, chronic abuse of women, and more recently, the forced displacement of children and families. Estimated to number...

El Salvador to Extend ‘Extraordinary’ Anti-Gang Measures until 2018

Q24N (InSight Crime) Officials in El Salvador agreed to extend "extraordinary measures" to fight organized crime despite doubts about their effectiveness and alleged threats to citizens' rights, raising questions about the motives for the government's decision. The Commission for Public Security and the Fight against...

El Salvador Police Prepare to Take Their Own Revenge Against Gangs

(Q24N) From Insightcrime.org - The same day they buried the seventh police officer killed by gang members in November, the government announced a new response plan, "Nemesis," which means revenge. This plan stems from measures that have already been implemented and promises very little....

Are Mara Salvatrucha Gangs Expanding in Costa Rica?

(Q24N) The head of the Honduran armed forces has claimed that powerful gangs are expanding their presence in Costa Rica, but the extent of this criminal migration might be overstated. In a recent interview with Costa Rican news Diario Extra, Francisco Álvarez Urbina said that...

Turf Wars Continue

QCOSTARICA - In a gangland killing that rivaled a Hollywood gangster movie, another partner of Marcos "El Indio" Zamora, Manuel Emilio "Pechan" Marin, 22, was gunned down Thursday night, along with his companion, Anthony "Damas" Ibarra, 23. They died in their bullet riddled Honda...

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