Mexican groups currently use Central American gangs to launder money, infiltrate local police, and traffic drugs. With the crackdown on Mexican cartels, the role of Central American gangs could increase.
A new report exposes the environmental consequences of criminal activity, such as gangs clearing land in a Guatemalan reserve to launder money through cattle ranches.
Violence perpetrated by criminal groups led to 5.6 million Latin Americans living in displacement in 2011, mainly in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru, according to a displacement monitoring center.
Although much has been made of Mexican cartels' spread into Central America, they have not supplanted Colombia-based drug traffickers, who are still highly active in the region.
The number of 'narco-refugees,' Mexicans trying to escape drug violence by seeking asylum in the US, increased almost 50-fold from 2006 to 2008.
Otto Perez Molina is the front-runner in the Guatemala presidential election after Sunday's first round, though he did not garner enough votes to avoid a November runoff.
Honduras is the latest Latin American country to deploy soldiers to fight organized crime. But evidence suggests that this does little in the long term, and may even make things worse.
6,060 year sentence: The sentences for Manuel Pop Sun, Reyes Collin Gualip and Daniel Martinez include thirty years for each death, plus thirty years for crimes against humanity. The three men are former members the Guatemalan military's elite Kaibil unit.
The arrest of Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar follows a series of recent drug-war gains by Mexico's government.