Extortion in a Guatemalan Prison

In court testimony, a extortionist working in a Guatemalan prison explained the process of how he joined an extortion network that was operating within the Guatemalan criminal justice system. During his testimony, the extortionist stated that on a bad week, he would make at least $6,000,and was able to get a single victim to pay… Continue reading Extortion in a Guatemalan Prison

Effects of Organized Crime to Central America’s Economy

A study conducted by the World Bank found that the economic costs to the Central America region due to organized crime violence is $6.5 Billion per year. The costs associated with the violence decreases the region’s GDP by 7.7 percent. The impact of organized crime and drug trafficking violence on the countries GDP is as… Continue reading Effects of Organized Crime to Central America’s Economy

Guns in Mexico and Central America

A report released by the Collective Security Analysis for Democracy stated that there were 2.8 million unregistered firearms in Central America, and an additional 15 million unregistered guns in Mexico. According to the study, the majority of these guns are used by organized crime gangs and drug trafficking cartels to carry out their illicit activities.… Continue reading Guns in Mexico and Central America

Arrests in the Rio Grande Valley

Criminal justice agencies on the US-Mexico border have seen arrests for human smuggling in the Rio Grande Valley increase by 65 percent as more people attempt to enter the US. In March 2013, US Border Patrol agents arrested 16,000 people who were attempting to enter the country. Between October 2012 to March 2013, authorities found… Continue reading Arrests in the Rio Grande Valley

Size of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)

Federal authorities in the United States estimates that street gang Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, has at least 30,000 members in its organization. The members are spread out across the Americas region, with members known to be in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Human smuggling fee from Central America to the United States

Drug cartel Los Zetas was charging migrants between $7,000 to $10,000 per person to be smuggled from Central American countries through Mexico and into the United States. The drug trafficking cartel diversified into human smuggling and had recruiters in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to transport people along supply routes towards the U.S. border.

Drug Violence in Central America

In El Salvador, the homicide rate increased by 37 percent in 2009 as there were 71 murders for every 100,000 residents. Other Central America countries had high homicide rates as well, with Honduras having 67 per 100,000, and Guatemala having 52 murders per 100,000 residents. By comparison, Mexico has 14 murders per 100,000 and the United States has 5.4 per 100,000 residents.