In Latin America and the Caribbean, as in most of the world, organized crime destabilizes governments, plagues neighborhoods, undermines institutions and greatly affects how regional powers interact on trade, economic and military matters. InSight Crime, hosted by the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University, seeks to deal with these issues by creating an information resource and networking tool designed for students, academics, analysts, researchers, policymakers, journalists, non-governmental workers, government officials and businesses, to obtain the information and contacts they need to tackle the problems that organized crime increasingly presents in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The cornerstone of the initiative is a one-stop shop website that summarizes major new events and provides original ground-level multi-media reports and in-depth investigations on organized crime that go beyond coverage in the traditional media. InSight Crime connects the players, organizations, and events in the region with regular news analysis, and provides the most thorough and up-to-date information on organized crime in the region. The website also serves as a clearinghouse for government reports, academic studies, and analysis from think tanks and foundations, connecting people to initiatives and ideas that circulate, often unseen.
CLALS hosts the DC-based office of this innovative project so as to maximize its visibility and influence in the scholarly community as well as in non-academic institutions located in Washington. InSight Crime has an additional center of operation in Colombia. InSight Crime networks directly with journalists, investigators, and researchers, eventually bringing some of them in as collaborators. InSight Crime convenes workshops where journalists and policy professionals engage scholars whose work intersects with their concerns. Finally, InSight Crime reaches for government and private sector clients by providing special reports that help fund the overall project by bringing clients into contact with the network of people who are working on the subject of organized crime.
In September 2012, InSight Crime launched a Spanish language website. Today these two websites form the largest and most comprehensive database on organized crime in the Americas, with more articles being added every day.