NarcoFiles: The New Criminal Order

Drug trafficking is a globe-spanning business. Cocaine might start life at a plantation in Colombia before being repackaged in Mexico, processed in the Netherlands, and sold on to users as far away as Bulgaria. Markets are booming in Asia, Africa, and Australia, generating billions in illicit revenues that flow back across the world through bank wires, cash transfers, and other transactions.

But the harms are not felt equally. It is developing nations that are most often strangled by the drug trade’s tentacles of violence, corruption, environmental destruction, and economic instability. The borderless nature of these crimes — and the gangs and cartels behind them — requires cross-border cooperation by journalists trying to expose them.

NarcoFiles: The New Criminal Order, the largest investigative project of its kind to originate in Latin America, was launched with this in mind.

OCCRP, the Centro Latinoamericano de Investigación Periodística (CLIP), Vorágine, and Cerosetenta / 070 gained early access to the data from two organizations, Distributed Denial of Secrets and Enlace Hacktivista. They then shared the leak with more than 40 other media outlets. Journalists from over 23 countries worked on the investigation, chiefly in Latin America but also in Europe and the United States.

Using leads found in the leaked data, reporters produced dozens of stories revealing the myriad ways in which organized crime groups are evolving, expanding, and experimenting in the modern world — while leaving new victims along the way….

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