The Logic of Violence in Criminal War

The Logic of Violence in Criminal War: Cartel-State Conflict in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil.

Political Science Dissertation, University of California Berkeley, by Benjamin Lessing.

Why do drug cartels fight states? Episodes of armed conflict between drug cartels and states in Colombia, Brazil and Mexico have demonstrated that ‘criminal wars’ can be just as destructive as civil wars. Yet insurgents in civil wars stand a reasonable chance of winning formal concessions of territory or outright victory. Why fight the state, if like drug cartels, you seek neither to topple nor secede from it?

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