By Steven Dudley and Jeremy McDermott for Insight Crime. Welcome to InSight Crime’s Game Changers 2015, where we highlight the year’s most important trends in organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean. This year saw some potentially game changing developments related to government corruption, organized crime, and rising pressure to alter alliances between members of the state and criminal groups. It also saw important shifts in the criminal world, in particular related to street gangs and the realignment of large criminal enterprises.
From Mexico to Brazil and numerous places in between, officials came under fire for establishing mafia-like schemes that defrauded their citizens and ensured impunity for government officials connected to criminal groups. The long-term results of the widespread outcry from multilateral bodies, non-governmental organizations, private sector, political organizations, and religious and civic groups designed to disrupt these criminal networks are not yet clear, but the short-term impact has been profound.