Nearshore Americas

Region’s Criminal Enterprises Anticipate Record-Breaking Year

Organised crime syndicates will likely go from strength to strength in Latin America and the Caribbean all through the 2019, predicts Insight Crime, pointing to the absence of a united effort from regional countries to crack down on criminal gangs.

Most of the crime syndicates operating in the region are transnational, therefore no country can think of eliminating them single-handedly.

Even the United States has ‘divided Latin governments rather than nudge them towards common policies and unity in the face of growing criminal threats,’ said the foundation in a detailed assessment of organized criminal activity in the region.

There is little or no new approaches to deal with the old problem, said the organization, adding that bringing harsh military crackdown will only worsen the situation. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is talking of creating a national guard to take on organized crime. His predecessor had also set up a similar unit, but it could do nothing to reduce homicide rates.

Brazil is reportedly planning to arm its own people to combat crime, but such an act will lead to arming criminal gangs with more sophisticated weapons  the analyst group argues. Last year, Brazil saw a stunning 175 murders a day.

Mexico and Colombia have long been the traditional allies for the United States in the fight against organised crime. But the relationship has now been strained, with President Donald Trump referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and threatening to decertify Colombia in the war on drugs.

With many former and current presidents facing corruption charges, the region lacks a moral authority to deal with the crime, says Insight Crime.

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Meanwhile, Cocaine production is at a record high and the U.S. is in the grip of its deadliest drug crisis to date. Cocaine production is in full swing in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, says the report, adding that cocaine alone generates billions of dollars for criminal gangs.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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