El Centro

“All Colombians want peace. Any future deal with FARC, however, must address citizens’ concerns.”

This work is our fifth Small Wars Journal--El Centro anthology, covering writings first published in 2015.

"Who is this alluring, conflicted and mysterious woman? If you have been paying attention to the news you might know her by her most common name – la Santa Muerte, Saint Death."

There are multiple reasons for the surprise outcome, but largely missing from the discussion is the fact that the FARC is perhaps the most reviled insurgency that ever arose in Latin America.

This paper discusses how Mexican cartel tunnels have evolved during the last five years while addressing specific uses.

Continue on for a Small Wars Journal-El Centro update and call for papers.

El Salvador’s Attorney General is concerned that the maras, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) in particular, are developing armed commando battalions that are designed to confront the state.

This study gives policy makers, scholars, law enforcement practioneers and planners a greater understanding on the degree and nature of Mexican drug trafficking organization’s rationality.

Blog post | August 24, 2016 07:25 PM | Comments(1)

"Colombia’s government and the largest rebel group in the country have reached a deal to end more than 50 years of conflict."

The chances the government’s ongoing peace negotiations with FARC will end with the guerrillas morphing into a political party willing and participating in the democratic process are iffy.

Dumping large sums of money into solutions that have provided no relief will only weaken the current state.

Journal Article | August 7, 2016 02:02 PM | Comments(1)

Only a few examples exist where drug crops, to one degree or another, have played role in a war and where the conflict was resolved or appeared to be heading towards resolution.

Dr. Paul Rexton Kan, a SWJ--El Centro fellow and professor of National Security Studies, US Army War College, has recently published the new book Drug Trafficking and International Security.

“Dramatic portrayals of Mexican crime kings, which began as zany B-grade movies, have evolved into wildly popular soap operas, best-selling novels and major Hollywood productions.”

“For many of the 6,800 FARC combatants scattered across Colombia’s hinterland, a new and, in some ways, more daunting phase lies just ahead - peace.”

An important bi-lateral U.S.-Mexico conference on “Promoting The Rule Of Law In Mexico” was held at the University of San Diego on Friday 10 June 2016.

Colombia appears poised to secure by the close of this year a historic peace deal with the country’s largest and most formidable illegal armed group.

SWJ El Centro Fellow Molly Molloy shares her thoughts on the possible imminent extradition of El Chapo Guzmán.

Colombia will likely remain on the negative side of the security spectrum unless a comprehensive series of preventative measures are put in place to restrict the proliferation of violence.

A Redeye Man Portable Air Defense System seized was in the possession of armed personnel belonging to La Linea.

Due in part to the rapid digital penetration of the Internet and social media over the past decade, there are novel ways of tracking cartel and gang activity.

While cartel drones are typically considered a tool for smuggling, they are increasingly seen as having application for other purposes including espionage, surveillance, and as weapons.