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The aim of this research is to understand the role of transnational organized crime in human trafficking along Mexico’s eastern migration routes, from Central America to Mexico’s northeastern border.1 In this region, drug traffickers are smuggling and trafficking unauthorized migrants in order to diversify their revenue streams. This project analyzes the new role of Central American gangs and Mexican-origin drug trafficking organizations—now known as transnational criminal organizations (TCOs)2—in the trafficking of persons from Central America to Mexico’s northeastern border.


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Wilson Center Latin American Program



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