Planet Watch

Behind oil slump: shale boom or geopolitics?

Experts tell us the North American shale oil boom is responsible for low prices despite Middle East unrest. But the price slump serves Western aims of weakening Russia and Iran.

The Andes

Shining Path leaders indicted in US court

Three leaders of Peru's Shining Path guerrilla movement, two still at large, were indicted in a US district court in New York on charges of "narco-terrorism conspiracy."


Mexico: notorious kingpin Caro Quintero freed

Mexico’s most notorious kingpin, Rafael Caro Quintero, was released from Puente Grande federal prison in Jalisco where he had been incarcerated for the past 28 years. 

The Andes

Peru: life term for neo-senderista

Peru’s high court sentenced “Comrade Artemio,” one of the last “historic” leaders of the Shining Path guerilla movement, to life in prison on terrorism and drug trafficking charges.

Central America

Honduras: deadly DEA raid —again

A suspected drug trafficker was killed in the first DEA-backed drug raid in Honduras following a five-month suspension in radar intelligence sharing between the countries.

The Andes

Bolivia: prison corruption scandal widens

A Brooklyn businessman was freed from prison in Bolivia on money-laundering charges after he accused authorities of extorting him and illegally seizing his goods.


HSBC gets off easy in ‘drug war’ case

HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, will pay the US government $1.92 billion in fines for its failure to prevent the laundering of drug money—but no one will face criminal charges.

The Andes

Peru: narco-mineral integration

The US Justice Department has frozen the assets of mineral companies owned by Peru’s Sánchez-Paredes family, finding that they are fronts for cocaine trafficking.


Mexico: Wal-Mart faces money laundering scandal

Two US Congress members say there’s evidence that Wal-Mart Stores didn’t take legally required steps to prevent money laundering and tax evasion through its Mexican subsidiary.