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South-East Asia human trafficking now a global crisis, Interpol says

Singapore Reuters Organised crime rings who fuelled an “explosion” of human trafficking and cyber scam centres during the pandemic have expanded from South-East Asia into a global network making up to $US3 trillion a year, the head of Interpol said on Wednesday. “Driven by online anonymity, inspired by new business models and accelerated by COVID, […]

El Salvador President Bukele poised for a landslide as voters cast ballots

San Salvador, El Salvador Reuters Salvadorans voted on Sunday in elections expected to hand President Nayib Bukele another landslide victory, with many happy to overlook the young leader’s authoritarian drift after he crushed gang violence that had paralysed life in the poor Central American country. Bukele, 42, appears poised to become the first Salvadoran President […]

In Mexico, mothers of the missing turn to drones to look for unmarked graves

Guadalajara, Mexico Reuters Maria Aguilar has been searching for her son for over a decade. She, like thousands of Mexicans whose loved ones are missing, has spent countless days scanning vast tracts of barren land for clues, in the hope of finding his remains. Now Aguilar and the “missing persons” collective she founded will be […]

Mexico high schoolers take up arms after village kidnappings

Acapulco, Mexico Reuters A volunteer police force in rural Mexico that says it has been overwhelmed by local kidnappings has recruited schoolchildren as young as 12 to join its ranks, the latest sign of how some parts of the country are struggling to cope with organised crime. Armed with rifles and sticks, and with their […]

At least 12 dead in suspected attempt to rescue son of Mexican cartel hitman

Mexico City Reuters At least 12 suspected criminals were killed on a highway near Hermosillo in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, a state official said Sunday, in what authorities called a foiled attempt to rescue the son of a cartel hitman. Another seven escaped and some are probably wounded, the Sonora’s State Attorney’s office […]

Ecuadorean prosecutor killed by gang, two arrested – police

Guayaquil/Quito, Ecuador Reuters Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of Ecuadorean prosecutor Cesar Suarez who was allegedly targeted by a gang, police said on Thursday, as security forces continued interventions in prisons. Ecuador is reeling from a wave of violence, with President Daniel Noboa declaring 22 gangs as “terrorist” groups and […]

Organised crime prosecutor in Ecuador’s Guayas killed – AG’s office

Quito, Ecuador Reuters Ecuadorean prosecutor Cesar Suarez, who focused on pursuing organised trans-national crime in Guayas province, one of the country’s most violent areas and the site of an on-air attack on a television station last week, has been killed, the Attorney General said on Wednesday. Ecuador has suffered a recent burst of violence, including […]