100.000 Gang Members in Central America

Organized crime, especially the one related to drug trafficking, recruits its members in young, marginalized populations.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Antonio María Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), stated that “Central America is very vulnerable to organized crime, due to a series of factors which include underdevelopment, large flow of guns and a young population”.

Costa remarked that crime has skyrocketed in the isthmus, as a result of being in a prime position for trafficking drugs from South to North America, rapid urbanization and abundance of weapons.

He insisted on strengthening the countries to fight against organized crime. This fight must be faced from a regional perspective, defining standard guidelines”.

More on this topic

Travel Alert Over Violence in Honduras

March 2015

The US Government has renewed its travel alert warning stating that the levels of violence and crime remain "critically high, but have declined in the past two years."

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that the level of crime and violence in Honduras remains critically high, although it has declined in the past two years.

Central America: Highest Homicide Rate in the World

April 2014

Drug trafficking and gangs are the main factors responsible for intentional murders in the most violent countries in the world: Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala.

According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the United Nations (UNODC), in 2012 Honduras recorded 90.4 killings per 100,000 inhabitants.

Drug Trafficking in Costa Rica on the Rise

April 2009

Life in Mexico is becoming uncomfortable for drug traffickers who find it easy to install themselves and continue their operations in Costa Rica.

According to the Costa Rican Drug Institute (ICD), the confiscation of cocaine rose from 3 thousand tons in 2002 to more than 32 thousand tons in 2007, and this does not appear to be due to increased efficiency of the authorities responsible for traffic enforcement, but merely that Costa Rica has become the passage route by air, sea and land for the drug to United States. It is estimated that the relationship between drugs captured and the total traffic through the country is 1:10.

Crime and Violence in Central America

March 2009

Central America is literally being occupied by criminal forces and the result is not only physical but also economic insecurity for its citizens.

Crime and violence, especially that which is generated by organized crime, drug trafficking first, are increasing in the region, while the states seem overwhelmed by the problem.

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