More Barrio 18 News

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Extortion Explainer 4: Undermining Institutions

The impact of extortion in the Northern Triangle is colossal. Beyond the economic damage amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars a year, the crime affects vast...
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Street Gangs

The notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang (Barrio 18) are the main protagonists of extortion rackets in the Northern Triangle. The development of...
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Copycats

Through the use of violence, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang (Barrio 18) have become the most feared criminal brands in the Northern Triangle. Much...
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Independent Criminal Groups

The variety of extortionists in Central America speaks to the ease with which opportunists can set up their own schemes. Independent structures...
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Extortion and Sexual Violence: Women’s Unspoken Suffering

Financial extortion in El Salvador spares neither women nor men. But women simultaneously suffer from a more insidious form of extortion shaped by the threat of...
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Municipalities Fight Back in Guatemala’s Gang-Preyed Upon Neighborhoods

On the outskirts of Guatemala City lie impoverished neighborhoods, home to millions who commute to work in the capital city. These so-called “dorm cities,” long...
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How the Private Sector Helped Counter Rural Extortion in El Salvador

El Salvador’s sugar cane industry and the National Civil Police have succeeded in reining in extortion in the countryside by way of a private-public partnership...
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Guatemala’s Small Businesses: A Pot of Gold

In parts of Guatemala City, opening a small business or setting up an informal stall can carry a death sentence . Every week, shopkeepers and business owners pay...
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El Salvador Gangs Influence Local Politics in the Capital: Report

Electoral pacts between politicians of all stripes and gangs in El Salvador are no longer surprising, but a new investigation has revealed the extent of these...