Small Wars Journal

crime

Gangs, Criminal Empires and Military Intervention in Cape Town’s Crime Wars SWJED Tue, 02/11/2020 - 1:59am
The challenges to governance and states posed by gangs are increasingly recognized as a global concern. No longer just local, turf-oriented groups of local youths, seeking protection and forging a common identity, gangs are involved in the drug trade and other illicit economic interests. These ‘third generation gangs’ protect their markets and align with a range of transnational criminal organizations.
Some Questions to Help You Better Understand the U.S.-Colombia Security Dynamic and Opportunities to Enhance the Relationship SWJED Thu, 04/11/2019 - 11:25am
The dramatic increase of Venezuelan refugees entering the country, record-level coca cultivation and cocaine production levels, and the power vacuum created by the disarmament, and demobilization of the country’s oldest insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in key cultivation and smuggling areas are just a few things for U.S. policy makers, defense officials, and legislators to take into consideration as they evaluate bilateral security assistance to Colombia.
Criminal Insurgency in Brazil SWJED Mon, 01/22/2018 - 6:14am

The Case of Rio de Janeiro: Context, Confrontation Issues and Implications for Brazilian Public Security.

Las Pandillas en El Salvador: ¿Un Nuevo Tipo de Insurgencia? SWJED Mon, 09/04/2017 - 11:19am

La investigación sostiene que las principales pandillas en El Salvador (MS-13 y Barrio 18) han evolucionado hasta constituirse en un nuevo tipo de insurgencia.

Mexican Cartel Essays and Notes: Strategic, Operational, and Tactical

This second Small Wars Journal-El Centro anthology signifies the important debate that this new forum, focusing on the crime wars and criminal insurgencies taking place in Mexico and other regions of the Americas, is helping to generate in U.S. defense and homeland security circles. The debate comes at a time when neither of the two major U.S. presidential candidates were willingly to candidly discuss this issue and at the end of the recent Felipe Calderón administration which saw over 80,000 dead, 20,000 missing, and 200,000 internal refugees stemming from gang and cartel violence during its tenure in Mexico.

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Peter J. Munson Sat, 06/08/2013 - 3:49pm
Social Banditry and the Public Persona of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Peter J. Munson Mon, 04/29/2013 - 3:30am
This article reviews nine key insights into social banditry originally described by Eric Hobsbawm and examines their applicability regarding Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. Because some of Mexico’s organized crime leaders aim to be viewed as social bandits, and visit Guatemala and the Mexico-Guatemala border region to evade authorities, the article focuses on particularities of those culture zones in the potential application of three primary strategies of information operations to contest a social bandit’s prestige: emphasizing distance between the social bandit and the local poor, portraying collusion of the social bandit with local authorities and opposition to federal authorities, and emphasizing closeness between federal power and the local poor. A criminal organization leader who desires the prestige of social banditry would have cause to oppose each strategy. The analysis predicts that the first two strategies are more realistic, potentially more important strategically, and are more likely to become intensely contested through Information Operations, within culture areas of Guatemala and the Mexico-Guatemala border region.
Bridging the Gap

SWJ contributor John Bertetto provides tips for bringing down criminal organizations with organizational analysis at Law Officer.

An organizational analysis should provide for two things: a thorough and specific understanding of the targeted organization and the creation of strategies and operations that specifically target that organization. If these two purposes aren’t fulfilled, your analysis has limited utility.

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Peter J. Munson Sat, 04/27/2013 - 10:06am