Small Wars Journal

Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 28: Alleged Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) Car Bombing (“Coche Bomba”) in Colombia

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 2:41am

Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 28: Alleged Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) Car Bombing (“Coche Bomba) in Colombia

Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan

A car bomb (coche bomba or carro bomba) was detonated in front of a police station in Santander de Quilichao, about 30 miles south of Cali, Colombia. The nighttime attack was attributed to the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG)—a Mexican cartel with personnel and mercenary affiliates operating in Colombia—killing three police officers and injuring at least 10 more. If CJNG proves to be involved with the attack even if indirectly (e.g. contracted out to BACRIM and/or ex-FARC guerrillas), represents a significant escalation of coercive force utilized by that cartel in Colombia and signifies possibility of future potential car bomb use by this and other cartels within Mexico.

1

Colombian Defense Minister Visits Scene of Car Bombing where three police officers were killed in a terrorist attack / Carlos Holmes Trujillo visitó la Estación de Policía de #SantanderDeQuilichao, al norte del #Cauca, en dónde expresó su solidaridad a la @PoliciaColombia por el asesinato de 3 de sus héroes en un atentado terrorista.

   Source: Colombian Defense Mimistry/Mindefensa; https://twitter.com/mindefensa/status/1198400770170925057?s=20.

Key Information: Colin Drury, “Colombia attack: Three police officers killed in bomb blast as anti-corruption protests erupt.” The Independent.  23 November 2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/colombia-attack-bogota-police-killed-explosion-bomb-corruption-a9214651.html:

Three police officers have been killed in a bomb blast in Colombia as thousands gathered for protests against government corruption and perceived abuses of human rights.

Ten officers were also injured in the explosion which rocked a police station in the southwestern town of Santander de Quilichao – a well-known spot for drug trafficking and violence.

Key Information: “Coche bomba es detonado frente a comisaría de Policía en el departamento de Cauca, Colombia.” SinEmbargo. 22 November 2019, https://www.sinembargo.mx/22-11-2019/3683684:

Colombia, 22 de noviembre (Efe).- Un coche-bomba fue detonado esta noche frente a la comisaría de Policía del municipio de Santander de Quilichao, en el convulso departamento colombiano del Cauca(suroeste), y se desconoce el número de víctimas, informaron fuentes oficiales.

El secretario de Gobierno del Cauca, Jaime Asprilla, dijo a periodistas que las autoridades están verificando la situación pero se abstuvo de dar cifras de muertos o heridos.

Key Information: “Vinculan al CJNG de ‘El Mencho’ con explosión de coche bomba en medio de paro nacional en Colombia.” El Diario. 23 November 2019, https://eldiariony.com/2019/11/23/explosion-de-coche-bomba-deja-tres-policias-muertos-en-medio-de-paro-nacional-en-colombia/:

Tres policías murieron el viernes como resultado del estallido de un coche bomba en el Departamento del Cauca, en Colombia, en medio del segundo día de paro nacional en el país sudamericano.

El incidente, reportado a eso de las 10:45 p.m., en Santander de Quilichao, dejó, además, siete heridos, tres de ellos civiles.

Las autoridades atribuyeron el ataque con cilindros de gas cargados de explosivos contra una estación policial a disidentes de las FARC.

La Policía indicó en un comunicado que serían combatientes que no se acogieron al acuerdo de paz de 2016.

“Condenamos el cobarde atentado terrorista en Santander de Quilichao que deja a tres de nuestros policías muertos”, dijo el presidente Iván Duque en Twitter al reaccionar al ataque.

Sin embargo, el funcionario sostiene que no está relacionado con las protestas en su contra que iniciaron el jueves.

Algunos reportes señalan que el ataque fue resultado de disputas entre grupos de narcotráfico.

Un informe de Tribuna, indica que se trató de discrepancias entre miembros de la guerrilla de las FARC, el Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) y el  cartel mexicano Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), cuyo líder es Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho”. Esto luego del “Operativo Galeón” llevado a cabo por la DEA en conjunto con las autoridades colombianas.

Key Information: Gia, “CJNG EMBOSCA y explotan COCHE-BOMBA contra policías en Colombia.” Notinfomex. 23 November 2019, https://www.notinfomex.mx/2019/11/cjng-embosca-y-explotan-coche-bomba.html:

Colombia.- Tres muertos y siete policías heridos dejó un atentado orquestado, aparentemente, por nacrotraficantes mexicanos en la comisaría del municipio de Santander de Quilichao, Cauca, Colombia.

“Aproximadamente a las 9:10 de la noche se presentó un impacto explosivo contra la estación de Policía del municipio de Santander.

El reporte es tres policías muertos y siete policías heridos”, afirmó a periodistas el secretario de Gobierno del Cauca, Jaime Asprilla.

A pesar de que el ataque ocurrió en un momento de fuertes movilizaciones contra la política económica-social del presidente Iván Duque, según los informes, este ataque se orquestó por cuestión de drogas.

Cabe señalar que el departamento de Cauca vive inmerso en un ciclo de violencia provocada por las disputas territoriales de distintos grupos al margen de la Ley como disidencias de la disuelta guerrilla de las FARC, la guerrilla del Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) y cárteles mexicanos.

“Fiestas” del CJNG en Bogotá

Cabe señalar que el pasado 14 de noviembre se reveló que una reunión clandestina entre miembros del Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) se realizó en tierras colombianas.

Esto aparentemente para definir nuevas rutas en el trasiego de cocaína de Latinoamerica a Estados Unidos.

Key Information: “Narco mexicano embosca y explotan coche bomba contra policías en Colombia: VIDEO.” El Heraldo de Mexico. 23 November 2019, https://heraldodemexico.com.mx/orbe/cjng-narco-mexicano-colombia-fiesta-en-bogota-asesinan-a-tres-policias-colombianos-coche-bomba-video/:

El pasado 14 de noviembre se reveló que una reunión clandestina entre miembros del Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación se realizó en tierras colombianas

Tres muertos y siete policías heridos dejó un atentado orquestado, aparentemente, por nacrotraficantes mexicanos en la comisaría del municipio de Santander de Quilichao, Cauca, Colombia.

“Aproximadamente a las 9:10 de la noche se presentó un impacto explosivo contra la estación de Policía del municipio de Santander.

El reporte es tres policías muertos y siete policías heridos”, afirmó a periodistas el secretario de Gobierno del Cauca, Jaime Asprilla.

A pesar de que el ataque ocurrió en un momento de fuertes movilizaciones contra la política económica-social del presidente Iván Duque, según los informes, este ataque se orquestó por cuestión de drogas.

Cabe señalar que el departamento de Cauca vive inmerso en un ciclo de violencia provocada por las disputas territoriales de distintos grupos al margen de la Ley como disidencias de la disuelta guerrilla de las FARC, la guerrilla del Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) y cárteles mexicanos.

Fiestas” del CJNG en Bogotá

Cabe señalar que el pasado 14 de noviembre se reveló que una reunión clandestina entre miembros del Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) se realizó en tierras colombianas.

Esto aparentemente para definir nuevas rutas en el trasiego de cocaína de Latinoamerica a Estados Unidos.

Key Information: Estela Juárez, “¿CJNG explotó el coche bomba en Bogotá? Hay 3 policías muertos.” GrupoFórmula. 23 November 2019, https://www.radioformula.com.mx/noticias/20191123/cjng-exploto-coche-bomba-en-bogota-colombia-3-policias-muertos/:

Se presume que hace unos días, se llevó a cabo una “cumbre de narcos” a la que habría asistido en CJNG.

Tres policías murieron y 7 resultaron heridos en un atentado con explosivos perpetrado este viernes por desconocidos contra una comisaría del municipio de Santander de Quilichao, en el departamento colombiano del Cauca (suroeste).

“Aproximadamente a las 9:10 de la noche se presentó un impacto explosivo contra la estación de Policía del municipio de Santander. El reporte es tres policías muertos y siete policías heridos”, afirmó a periodistas el secretario de Gobierno del Cauca, Jaime Asprilla.

Los fallecidos son los patrulleros Ever Danilo Canacuan Cuaical, Roy Gallyadi Fernández y Jesús Norbey Muelas Ipia, según las autoridades…

El departamento del Cauca está inmerso en una espiral de violencia generada por las disputas territoriales de distintos grupos al margen de la ley como disidencias de la disuelta guerriilla de las FARC, la guerrilla del Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) y cárteles mexicanos.

Cabe mencionar que se presume que hace unos días, se llevó a cabo una “cumbre de narcos” a la que habría asistido en Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG).

Analysis

Between 9:10 -10:45 pm (2110-2245 hours) on Friday 22 November 2019, a car bomb—aka VBIED (vehicle borne explosive device)—was detonated outside of the Santander de Quilichao police station in the Department of Cauca, Colombia.[1] The attack took place during the second day of national anti-governmental protests rocking the country related to inequality, corruption, lack of educational opportunities, slowness of the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) peace accord implementation, and related social grievances.[2] The Government of Colombia believes the incident is related to narcotrafficking and not the broader social concerns, although the two can potentially coalesce to fuel renewed social instability.

The device utilized in the attack involved ‘gas cylinders packed with explosives’ placed on the rear bed of a large commercial truck, resulting in the destruction of the police station.[3][4] (Refer to the Efe photo and RT video found in the original Spanish language postings, respectively, for blast forensics imagery related to the destroyed commercial truck and police station rubble). The blast, fragmentation, and collapse of the police station stemming from the car bomb detonation resulted in 3 police officer deaths and 10 injuries.[5] 

Colombian authorities attributed the attack to FARC dissidents who refused to demobilize per the 2016 accord.[6] These dissidents (aka Disidentes) are presumably linked to the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG)—a Mexican cartel operating in Mexico—as mercenary forces.[7][8] Hence, the timing of the attack to the ongoing national protests appears more coincidental than planned. Increasingly, the Mexican cartels are on the ground in Colombia and forging alliances with the FARC dissidents and various bandas criminals (BACRIM).[9]

Press reportage about the extent of cartel, guerilla, and gang (BACRIM) interaction is sporadic. This limited coverage is a component of the strategic competition between the Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG, not only in Mexico but also increasingly in regions of Latin America.  It is suspected that the Colombian press is being silenced about reporting on cartel penetration and operations in that country in a manner similar to press suppression in Mexico.[10]

The CJNG is now recognized as the strongest cartel in Mexico—eclipsing the power of the Sinaloa Cartel—and known for innovations related to small arms manufacturing and drone weaponization.[11] The cartel does not have a history of car bomb use in Mexico or other international settings in which it operates.[12] It has, however, utilized improvised explosive devices (IEDs) known as papas bombas (improvised ‘potato bombs’).[13] It is believed that that this TTP was shared with FARC rebels with CJNG. The potential now exists for ex-FARC rebels hired as mercenary forces teaching CJNG operatives in Colombia how to construct car bombs based on the model utilized in Santander de Quilichao (with such new skills brought back to Mexico) or even potentially being deployed to CJNG territories in Mexico to carry out such bombings in response to pressure by the Mexican state. While this may at first sound implausible, the use of such car bombs by other cartels in Mexico has taken place in the past[14] and has the potential to be utilized as a form of strategic deterrent response against the Mexican state.[15]  

This potential is highlighted by current cartel challenges to the Mexican state, especially since the Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) administration is perceived to be impotent in the face of direct cartel confrontation as seen in the rescue of Ovidio Guzman (son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman) from Federal security forces in Culiacan in October 2019 by the Los Chapitos paramilitary wing of the Sinaloa cartel.[16]       

The strategic potentials of CJNG penetration into Colombia are enhanced when considering the criminal power vacuum left after FARC demobilization.  One consequence of that void has been the rise of BARCRIM in Colombia and the recruitment of former FARC guerillas by other criminal enterprises, “including the PCC (Primer Commando de la Capital) among others in Brazil and the Urabeños (Clan del Golfo or Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC)) in Colombia.”[17]

It behooves security analysts to monitor the migration of the CJNG into new territories, the establishment of new cartel-gang alliances and, as demonstrated in this assessment, the spread of cartel TTPs such as car bombings, and attacks on police and security forces.

Sources

“Coche bomba es detonado frente a comisaría de Policía en el departamento de Cauca, Colombia.” SinEmbargo. 22 November 2019, https://www.sinembargo.mx/22-11-2019/3683684.

Colin Drury, “Colombia attack: Three police officers killed in bomb blast as anti-corruption protests erupt.” The Independent.  23 November 2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/colombia-attack-bogota-police-killed-explosion-bomb-corruption-a9214651.html.

Gia, “CJNG EMBOSCA y explotan COCHE-BOMBA contra policías en Colombia.” Notinfomex. 23 November 2019, https://www.notinfomex.mx/2019/11/cjng-embosca-y-explotan-coche-bomba.html.

Estela Juárez, “¿CJNG explotó el coche bomba en Bogotá? Hay 3 policías muertos.” GrupoFórmula. 23 November 2019, https://www.radioformula.com.mx/noticias/20191123/cjng-exploto-coche-bomba-en-bogota-colombia-3-policias-muertos/.

“Narco mexicano embosca y explotan coche bomba contra policías en Colombia: VIDEO.” El Heraldo de Mexico. 23 November 2019, https://heraldodemexico.com.mx/orbe/cjng-narco-mexicano-colombia-fiesta-en-bogota-asesinan-a-tres-policias-colombianos-coche-bomba-video/.

Vinculan al CJNG de ‘El Mencho’ con explosión de coche bomba en medio de paro nacional en Colombia.” El Diario. 23 November 2019, https://eldiariony.com/2019/11/23/explosion-de-coche-bomba-deja-tres-policias-muertos-en-medio-de-paro-nacional-en-colombia/.

End Notes

[1] “Vinculan al CJNG de ‘El Mencho’ con explosión de coche bomba en medio de paro nacional en Colombia.” El Diario. 23 November 2019, https://eldiariony.com/2019/11/23/explosion-de-coche-bomba-deja-tres-policias-muertos-en-medio-de-paro-nacional-en-colombia/

[2] Steven Grattan, “Colombia protests: What prompted them and where are they headed?” Al Jazeera. 26 November 2019, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/colombia-protests-prompted-headed-191126163204600.html.

[3] “Vinculan al CJNG de ‘El Mencho’ con explosión de coche bomba en medio de paro nacional en Colombia.” El Diario.

[4] Gas cylinders are typically used to boost the explosive effects of a VBIED and also to provide secondary fragmentation. Actually removing the compressed gas and filling it with explosives does not make tactical sense unless scrutiny of the truck’s cargo was taking place. Likely the reporting is inaccurate in this instance as such cargo screening taking place would not make contextual sense concerning this bombing incident.  

[5] Colin Drury, “Colombia attack: Three police officers killed in bomb blast as anti-corruption protests erupt.” The Independent.  23 November 2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/colombia-attack-bogota-police-killed-explosion-bomb-corruption-a9214651.html.

[6] A certain percentage of demobilizing units will remilitarize while other FARC rebels have refused to demobilize in the first place and have now allied themselves with the Mexican cartels, bandas criminals, and Brazilian gangs. See Sarah Zukerman Daly, “7,000 FARC rebels are demobilizing in Colombia. But where do they go next?” Washington Post. 21 April 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/04/21/7000-farc-rebels-are-demobilizing-in-colombia-but-where-do-they-go-next/ and John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker, “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 3: Brazilian Gangs and Colombian BACRIM Recruit Demobilized FARC Commandos.” Small Wars Journal. 16 May 2017, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/third-generation-gangs-strategic-note-no-3-brazilian-gangs-and-colombian-bacrim-recruit-dem.

[7] Apparently a drugs summit was held on 14 November 2019 between CJNG, FARC dissidents (Disidentes), and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). This bombing was seen as being tied to that summit with the FARC dissidents carrying it out under the orders of the CJNG. See “Narco mexicano embosca y explotan coche bomba contra policías en Colombia: VIDEO.” El Heraldo de Mexico. 23 November 2019, https://heraldodemexico.com.mx/orbe/cjng-narco-mexicano-colombia-fiesta-en-bogota-asesinan-a-tres-policias-colombianos-coche-bomba-video/ and the other key information Spanish sources.

[8] For background on the Disidentes, see Jeremy Kryt, “A Marijuana Strain Nicknamed ‘Creepy’ Is Helping to Fuel Colombia’s Narco War.” The Daily Beast. 24 November 2019, https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-colombias-deadly-golden-triangle-where-guerrilla-dissidents-now-rule?ref=author. FARC and later ex-FARC militia links to the Mexican cartels have existed since at least 2015. See Sonia Corona, “FARC guerrillas working with Mexican cartels to ship cocaine into US.” El País. 6 November 2015, https://elpais.com/elpais/2015/11/06/inenglish/1446805362_627422.html.

[9] For information on the BACRIM, see “Bandas Criminales.” Stanford: Centre for International Security and Cooperation.” 30 November 2019 (Access), https://cisac.fsi.stanford.edu/mappingmilitants/profiles/bandas-criminales and John P. Sullivan, “Bacrim: Colombian Bandas Criminales Emergentes.” The Counter Terrorist. Vol. 7, No. 2, April/May 2014: pp. 45-54, https://www.academia.edu/6942753/Bacrim_Colombian_Bandas_Criminales_Emergentes.

[10]  “Mexican narcos silence the Colombian press, after reporting their penetration of Colombia.” Borderland Beat. 29 November 2019, http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2019/11/mexican-narcos-silence-colombian-press.html. Original Spanish source: “Colombia: narcos de México silencian prensa.” El Norteno. 21 November 2019, http://www.periodicoelnorteno.com/colombia-narcos-de-mexico-silencian-prensa.

[11] Nathan P. Jones, “The Strategic Implications of the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación.” Journal of Strategic Security. Vol. 11, No. 1, 2018: pp. 19-42, https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol11/iss1/3/. See also David Gagne, “Clandestine Arms Factories Discovered in Mexico.” Insight Crime. 8 October 2014, https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/first-arms-manufacturing-lab-discovered-in-mexico/, Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, “Weaponized Drone/UAV/UAS Seized in Valtierrilla, Guanajuato with Remote Detonation IED (‘Papa Bomba’) Payload.” Small Wars Journal. 20 October 2017, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/mexican-cartel-tactical-note-35 and John P. Sullivan, Robert J. Bunker and David A. Kuhn, “Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #38: Armed Drone Targets the Baja California Public Safety Secretary’s Residence in Tecate, Mexico.” Small Wars Journal.  6 August 2018, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/mexican-cartel-tactical-note-38-armed-drone-targets-baja-california-public-safety.

[12] A bomb placed in a car was recently deactivated by a military bomb squad in the town of Apaseo el Alto, Guanajuato, Mexico. It has been attributed to a cartel, possibly either CJNG or Cártel Santa Rosa de Lima (CSRL) who are in conflict over that region. Still, at best, it represents a papas bomba placed in the front seat of a car and not equivalent in destructive power to a true VBIED—with anti-infrastructure explosive capability—as was utilized in Santander de Quilichao, Colombia. See Jaeson Jones and Ildefonso Ortiz, “NARCO-TERROR: Mexican Cartel Uses Car Bomb to Target Rivals.” Brietbart (Cartel Chronicles). 11 November 2019, https://www.breitbart.com/border/2019/11/11/narco-terror-mexican-cartel-uses-car-bomb-to-target-rivals/ and “Encuentran explosivos dentro de vehículo, en Apaseo el Alto.” Milenio. 7 November 2019, https://www.milenio.com/policia/encuentran-explosivos-en-apaseo-el-alto-dentro-de-un-vehiculo.

[13] Andrés Becerril, “Narcos copian bombas de FARC; Cisen alerta de explosivos tipo ‘papa.’” Excelsior. 21 July 2017, http://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2017/07/21/1176937#imagen-1.

[14] Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, Cartel Car Bombings in Mexico. Carlisle Barracks: Letort Papers, U.S. Army War College. August 2013, https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/cartel-car-bombings-in-mexico/.

[15] For the strategic logic related to such use, see Adam L. Dulin and Jairo Patiño, “The logic of cartel car bombings in México.” Trends in Organized Crime. Vol. 17, Iss. 4, December 2014: pp. 271-289.

[16] Anthony Esposito and Ana Isabel Martinez, “El Chapo's son led dramatic rescue of his half brother in Mexico battle.” Reuters. 25 October 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-sinaloa/el-chapos-son-led-dramatic-rescue-of-his-half-brother-in-mexico-battle-idUSKBN1X42BV.

[17] John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker, “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 3: Brazilian Gangs and Colombian BACRIM Recruit Demobilized FARC Commandos.” Small Wars Journal.

Additional Reading

Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, “VBIEDs in the Mexican Criminal Insurgency.” The Counter Terrorist. Vol 6., No. 6. December 2013/January 2014: pp. 28-40.

Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, Cartel Car Bombings in Mexico Carlisle Barracks: Letort Papers, U.S. Army War College. August 2013. 

Nathan P. Jones, “The Strategic Implications of the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación.” Journal of Strategic Security. Vol. 11, No. 1, 2018: pp. 19-42.

John P. Sullivan, “Explosive Escalation? Reflections on the Car Bombing in Ciudad Juarez.” Small Wars Journal. 21 July 2010.

John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker, “Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 27: Confronting the State—Explosive Artifacts, Threats, Huachicoleros, and Cartel Competition in Guanajuato, MX.” Small Wars Journal. 14 March 2019.

About the Author(s)

Dr. Robert J. Bunker is an Adjunct Research Professor, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College and Adjunct Faculty, Division of Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate University. He holds university degrees in political science, government, social science, anthropology-geography, behavioral science, and history and has undertaken hundreds of hours of counterterrorism training. Past professional associations include Distinguished Visiting Professor and Minerva Chair at the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College; Futurist in Residence, Training and Development Division, Behavioral Science Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy, Quantico, VA; Staff Member (Consultant), Counter-OPFOR Program, National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center-West; and Adjunct Faculty, National Security Studies M.A. Program and Political Science Department, California State University, San Bernardino, CA. Dr. Bunker has hundreds of publications including Studies in Gangs and Cartels, with John Sullivan (Routledge, 2013),  Red Teams and Counterterrorism Training, with Stephen Sloan (University of Oklahoma, 2011), and edited works, including Global Criminal and Sovereign Free Economies and the Demise of the Western Democracies: Dark Renaissance (Routledge, 2014), co-edited with Pamela Ligouri Bunker; Criminal Insurgencies in Mexico and the Americas: The Gangs and Cartels Wage War (Routledge, 2012); Narcos Over the Border: Gangs, Cartels and Mercenaries (Routledge, 2011); Criminal-States and Criminal-Soldiers (Routledge, 2008); Networks, Terrorism and Global Insurgency (Routledge, 2005); and Non-State Threats and Future Wars (Routledge, 2002).

John P. Sullivan was a career police officer. He is an honorably retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, specializing in emergency operations, transit policing, counterterrorism, and intelligence. He is currently an Instructor in the Safe Communities Institute (SCI) at the Sol Price School of Public Policy - University of Southern California, Senior El Centro Fellow at Small Wars Journal, and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Global Observatory of Transnational Criminal Networks.  Sullivan received a lifetime achievement award from the National Fusion Center Association in November 2018 for his contributions to the national network of intelligence fusion centers. He is co-editor of Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities (Xlibris, 2019), Countering Terrorism and WMD: Creating a Global Counter-Terrorism Network (Routledge, 2006) and Global Biosecurity: Threats and Responses (Routledge, 2010), Studies in Gangs and Cartels (Routledge, 2013), and The Rise of The Narcostate (Mafia States) (Xlibris, 2018), and co-author of Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency: A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Anthology (iUniverse, 2011). He completed the CREATE Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism at the University of Southern California and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the College of William and Mary, a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis from the New School for Social Research, and a PhD from the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). His doctoral thesis was “Mexico’s Drug War: Cartels, Gangs, Sovereignty and the Network State.” His current research focus is the impact of transnational organized crime on sovereignty in Mexico and other countries.