Small Wars Journal−El Centro researchers have published a working paper, “Mexico’s 2021 Dark Network Alliance Structure: An Exploratory Social Network Analysis of Lantia Consultores’ Illicit Network Alliance and Subgroup Data” at the Center for the United States and Mexico at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
The research team was led by SWJ−El Centro Senior Fellow Nathan P. Jones, with contributions from SWJ−El Centro Fellow Irina Chindea, SWJ−El Centro Associate Daniel Weisz Argomedo, and SWJ−El Centro Senior Fellow John P. Sullivan. "Mexico’s 2021 Dark Network Alliance Structure," maps out the network of alliances and subgroups within the two most powerful cartels in Mexico — the Sinaloa Cartel and the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación— and reveals key structural differences that could have important implications for policymakers.
Abstract: This paper assesses Mexico’s organized crime alliance and subgroup network structures. Through social network analysis (SNA) of data from Lantia Consultores, a consulting firm in Mexico that specializes in the analysis of public policies, it demonstrates differential alliance structures within Mexico’s bipolar illicit network system. The Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación’s (CJNG) alliance structure is top-down and hierarchical, while the Sinaloa Cartel is denser, particularly in the broader Tierra Caliente region. Additionally, our analysis found a sparse overall network with many isolates (organized criminal groups with no relations to other groups) and disconnected components. Further, we identified organized crime networks that might fill future power vacuums based on their network positions, following state or rival high-value targeting of major cartels. The implications of these findings are discussed, and policy recommendations are provided.
Source: Nathan P. Jones, Irina Chindea, Daniel Weisz-Argomedo, and John P. Sullivan, “Mexico’s 2021 Dark Network Alliance Structure: An Exploratory Social Network Analysis of Lantia Consultores’ Illicit Network Alliance and Subgroup Data.” Center for the United States and Mexico, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. April 2022. https://doi.org/10.25613/KMGB-NC8.