Central America

Latin American Crime Cartels Turn to Cryptocurrencies for Money Laundering

Mexico City: December 8, 2020 – In April 2019, Mexican police arrested suspected human trafficker Ignacio Santoyo in a plush area of the Caribbean resort of Playa del Carmen after linking him to a prostitution racket extending across Latin America.

Yet it was not the 2,000 women Santoyo is alleged to have blackmailed and sexually exploited that ultimately led to his capture, but the bitcoin he is suspected of using to help launder the proceeds of his operations, officials said. Source: U.S. News

November 11, 2020 — As countries, companies, and citizens across Latin America and the Caribbean turn to digital communications to plan and build their networks of the future, including 5G, the United States is working closely with partners throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to promote digital-driven growth and realize the region’s tremendous potential, while promoting security, privacy, and inclusion. Source: MirageNews

Nicaragua’s proposed ‘cyber security’ laws threaten press freedom

November 9, 2020 – On September 28, representatives of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s authoritarian regime unveiled a draft cybercrime law that would introduce an array of new crimes that would seriously undermine press freedom. Nicaraguan journalists view the proposals as a response to critical reporting on the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as well as its abuse of power and corruption. Source: I.P.I Media

September 20, 2020 — Latin American states have benefited from regional cooperation to improve their cybersecurity but are not leveraging this cooperation for issues of international peace and stability in cyberspace. This paper examines the region’s international role and balancing exercise. Source: Eurasia Review

ATLANTA, Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — LexisNexis® Risk Solutions today released its biannual Cybercrime Report, which tracks global cybercrime activity from January 2020 through June 2020. The report analyzes how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the global digital economy, regional economies, industries, businesses and consumer behavior. The period has seen strong transaction volume growth compared to 2019 but an overall decline in global attack volume. This is likely linked to growth in genuine customer activity due to changing consumer habits. Source: CISION PR Newswire

August 12, 2020 — Тhе Іntеr-Аmеrісаn Ваnk аnd thе Оrgаnіzаtіоn оf Аmеrісаn Ѕtаtеѕ, іn іtѕ lаtеѕt аnnuаl rероrt оf Суbеr-ѕесurіtу іn Lаtіn Аmеrіса аnd thе Саrіbbеаn, hіghlіghtѕ thаt суbеr-ѕесurіtу іn соuntrіеѕ lіkе Веlіzе аnd оthеrѕ іn thе rеgіоn, іѕ ѕеvеrеlу lасkіng wіth ѕоmе gоvеrnmеntѕ hаvіng mаdе mоdеѕt рrоgrеѕѕ аnd оthеrѕ ѕtіll lаggіng bеhіnd іn thіѕ аrеа. Іt аlѕо рrоvіdеd dаtа ѕhоwіng оf Веlіzе’ѕ еѕtіmаtеd 375,769 рорulаtіоn оvеr 239,441 сіtіzеnѕ hаvе а сеll рhоnе ѕubѕсrірtіоn аnd 176,922 hаvе іntеrnеt ассеѕѕ wіth а реnеtrаtіоn rаtе оf 47% аѕ оf 2017. Source: Breaking Belize News

July, 2020 – Within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by UNODC and the El Salvador National Police for the establishment of the Cybercrime Unit in the Division of Investigation, a number of a series of training activities have been developed to strengthen the capacities of criminal justice professionals in the prevention and fight against cybercrime in El Salvador. Source: UNODC

Guatemala: July 2, 2020 – In the framework of the Cybercrime Programme 2020, the project “Strengthening capacity to prevent and combat cybercrime” managed through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Central America and the Caribbean (UNODC ROPAN), delivered two webinars on cybercrime and computer forensics on 24 June and 1 July. Source: UNODC