El Centro

They hid in plain sight, the homebrew gun club for a powerful new gang, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

The US Army can expect a future of potential or protracted confrontation among state, nonstate, and individual actors who will use violence to achieve political, religious, and other ideological ends.

This paper sheds light on the relocation of power and control over security from state to non-state armed actors.

Drug Trafficking, Corruption and States: How Illicit Networks Shaped Institutions in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico A Small Wars Journal--El Centro and Vortex Foundation Book

Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #24: Gendarmerie Ambushed in Ocotlan, Jalisco State by Narco Commando—5 Killed, 8 Wounded

“Splinter Gulf Cartel drug groups fight for control of Matamoros/Reynosa.”Mexico DailyReview. 14 February 2015,

Journal Article | March 15, 2015 08:23 PM | Comments(5)

Many in the academic and policy communities share the notion that organized crime groups operate similarly to legitimate businesses.

Our fourth SWJ El Centro anthology in the series (covering most of 2014) is out.

Blog post | March 11, 2015 10:25 AM | Comments(1)

Small Wars Journal and El Centro is saddened to announce the death of George W. Grayson.

Last year was witness to three police operations against gangs in Catalonia, targeting the Latin Kings, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), and the Bloods.

Journal Article | February 17, 2015 04:44 PM | Comments(1)

Outlines the root causes of Colombia’s existing security and development challenges and highlights some of the shortcomings in Colombia’s “counterinsurgency” strategy.

Blog post | February 13, 2015 12:04 PM | Comments(1)

Derived from the location of where the armored vehicles were found, it is believed that they belong to a faction of the Cartel del Golfo. (In Spanish and English)

... relatively sophisticated nautical craft beneath the waves – we need to understand their capabilities and intent. This volume is a fine start. - Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret)

At this moment, the fiercest, most powerful criminal organizations in the world are located in Mexico.

Journal Article | December 5, 2014 12:04 AM | Comments(5)

Starting around 2008 Russia began providing military support to Nicaragua through the provision of funds, equipment and training.

Small Wars Journal El Centro Senior Fellow Dr. Robert Bunker Wins The Elihu Root Prize.

The crushing of protests by ordinary citizens follows a pattern of violence stretching back to 1968.

Journal Article | November 16, 2014 04:26 PM | Comments(5)

It is the author’s view that the country of Colombia has evolved into what can be coined as an intractable conflict with the FARC-EP.

Journal Article | October 7, 2014 06:36 PM | Comments(1)

The actions and consequences of the Venezuelan struggle extend to all of the countries of Central America, the Caribbean, and the northern Andes.  They will especially affect the chances for...

Blog post | September 24, 2014 01:37 PM | Comments(3)

The number of American cities that have the presence of at least one of the seven major Mexican Drug Cartels have more than tripled since 2010...

Sheriff and State Advisor Border Summits: Mexican Cartel, Gang, and Criminal Alien Security Issues

Journal Article | September 17, 2014 05:20 AM | Comments(5)

So-called “ungoverned spaces” present the United States with significant security challenges in an era characterized by “softened sovereignty."

Journal Article | September 15, 2014 11:34 PM | Comments(4)

The US must begin a serious dialogue with Mexico to propose long-term solutions to the grave situation in which the police and military forces as well as the people of Mexico find themselves.

Blog post | August 17, 2014 06:59 AM | Comments(1)

The "black market" accounts for a quarter of Mexico's GDP and employs more than half its workforce. The numbers illustrate a failure of public policy and raise a red flag for the future.

Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that sending National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border will defend not just his home state but the entire nation.