Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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Proxy Gang Wars Fuel Record Homicides in Ecuador’s Prisons

An ongoing gang war in Ecuador’s prisons has made 2020 the bloodiest year on record for inmates, underscoring how the country’s penitentiary system cannot...
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PCC: A Prison from Which There Is No Escape

It was a Tuesday night, January 14, 2020, after “free time” when prison authorities found his...
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PCC Investigation: Introduction and Major Findings

It was August 31, 1993, and the sun was shining when eight men entered a makeshift soccer pitch in the middle of the Taubaté...
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Drones Rain Contraband on Panama Prison

A burst of attempted contraband smuggling into Panama’s largest prison complex has challenged governments claims about the success of recent reforms in bolstering...
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Cooking Cocaine in Full View of Guards at Paraguay’s Largest Prison

A drug kitchen was openly run by inmates inside Paraguay’s biggest prison, Tacumbú, in one of the clearest representations to date about how corruption has taken...
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Mexico to Close Prison Infamous for Narco Parties, ‘El Chapo’ Escape

A federal prison that housed some of Mexico’s most powerful crime bosses will shut down, marking the end for a facility that saw everything from high-profile...
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Deaths Inside Venezuelan Prisons Doubled During Pandemic

Inmate deaths have doubled in Venezuela's jails during the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that underscores how the country's anarchic prisons foment violence and...
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Honduras Unable to Curb Rising Violence Inside Prisons

Targeted killings, massacres, and deadly riots have all occurred in Honduras' maximum-security prisons this year, putting a spotlight on how violence has spiraled...
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Coronavirus Unrest Sparks Surge in Riots in Latin America’s Prisons

Inmate uprisings have ripped through prisons in Latin America amid COVID-19 outbreaks, offering further evidence that the region’s prison systems are buckling...
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What are the Signs a Latin American Prison Is Working or Not?

As part of his work in human rights, transitional justice and prison reform, Michael Reed has been inside dozens of prisons across the Americas. Reed, a dual...
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Gang Violence Increasingly Spreading to Women’s Prisons in Honduras

Deadly violence within female prisons in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador is rare. But a spate of recent murders in a Honduran prison appears to be a warning...
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Rift in Bagdad Crime Syndicate Fueling Violence in Panama

Homicides in western Panama have surged in a cycle of revenge killings, as one of the country's largest gangs struggles to maintain power and control over...