Trafficking and Terrorism: How Organized Crime Thrives on Passport Fraud

By Ana Baric

The March 7 disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane one hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was strange enough.

The plane made contact with ground control 35,000 feet above the Gulf of Thailand and then, due to pilot error, mechanical failure, terrorism, or otherwise —it disappeared, leading to a multinational air and sea search that is still ongoing.

The peculiarity of this missing flight was compounded by the identity of two of its passengers: Italian Luigi Maraldi and Austrian Christian Kozel— two men whose passports were on board even though they were not.

Colombia: A Country Torn Between Peace and Corruption

By: Maria Virginia Olano

In Colombia, it is no secret that laws and rules there can be bent and moved around, especially with a couple of bills in your hand. Drivers know that getting stopped by road police is not really a problem, and that in the vast majority of cases, getting out of a ticket for any infraction should cost no more than a smile and 20,000 pesos (US$10). 

Venezuela: The Battle Against a Corrupt, Authoritarian State

By Maria Virginia Olano

It was supposed to be the day Venezuela celebrates its young people. Instead, three students were killed, more than 70 injured and 146 arrested during protests Feb. 12 on National Youth Day. Activists said President Nicolas Maduro’s failure to control inflation, crime, shortage of basic goods and lack of opportunities for the country’s youth led thousands of people to the streets to protest.