While the attention of organized crime specialists and the international media has focused on the notorious drug cartels of Mexico and Colombia, Brazil’s little-known Primeiro Comando da Capital is emerging as the Western hemisphere’s most potent crime threat. A new report calls the trafficking group South America’s “most powerful prison gang” ― and warns its operations are quietly expanding.
Conceding that American counter-narcotics policies have at times caused “considerable harm” in many countries, a bipartisan commission on drug policy in the Western Hemisphere said Washington should address the domestic demand that has driven the illicit narcotics trade, even as it continues the fight against transnational cartels.
Victims of a former Colombian right-wing militia commander are demanding his return after he finished a 12-year drug sentence in the U.S. For the moment, though, the U.S. intends to send him to Italy instead.
The strain on resources caused by the coronavirus and U.S. pressure to curb border-crossers are among the reasons why Mexico’s war against narcoviolence has made little headway. A new report issued by the International Crisis Group says massive corruption continues to allow the cartels to thrive.
Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro was charged in the U.S. on Thursday with federal drug trafficking crimes after an investigation by federal authorities in Washington, New York and Florida. Charges were also filed against Venezuela’s chief justice, defense minister, intelligence officials and the members of FARC, the largest rebel group in Colombia.
The killings of nine American citizens in northern Sonora state came as Mexico confronts a rising tide of violence driven by drug cartels and gangs pilfering gasoline from pipelines, which has turned once-placid pockets of the country into no-go areas.
So far this year, federal attorneys have prosecuted 39 percent of the cases referred to them with child sex trafficking as the lead charge. That’s down from 49 percent in the last year of the Obama administration. The National Human Trafficking Hotline identified almost 15,000 people who were likely trafficked in 2018—more than any year since at least 2012.