Small Wars Journal

El Centro

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 38: Cape Town Extortion Gangs Target Paramedics    

Tue, 06/01/2021 - 4:19pm
Paramedics in Cape Town (Western Cape), South Africa are allegedly victims of extortion gangs that seek ‘protection’ money to allow them to provide emergency medical care.  This incidence of extortion is exacerbated by a recent upswing in violent attacks against Emergency Medical Service (EMS) staff and the influence of Covid-19 lockdowns on public [in]security.  

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Infographic: The Narco Hybrid-Threat – An Analysis of Case Studies

Sat, 05/29/2021 - 11:42pm

Infographic: The Narco Hybrid-Threat – An Analysis of Case Studies

This infographic expands upon the discussion of hybrid threats found in Paulina Rios Maya's paper "The Narco Hybrid-Threat" at Small Wars Journal. That paper posited that the rapid development of tactics used by Mexican narco-cartels has allowed these organisations to build a solid structure of influence. Those  entities have amplified their efforts to coerce the state while increasing their capacity to dislocate social life and erode state institutions. Her paper concluded that criminal cartel's posed hybrid threats. 

Narco Hybrid-Threat

The infographic can be viewed at Paulina Rios Maya and Laurence Raine. "Infographic: The Narco Hybrid-Threat – An Analysis of Case Studies" at Academia.edu.  The original source is Paulina Rios Maya, "The Narco Hybrid-Threat." Small Wars Journal. 18 March 2021.

 

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 37: Rio de Janeiro Gang and Militia Extortion and Control of Telecommunications Towers  

Fri, 05/28/2021 - 1:07pm
Criminal Factions (Facções criminosas) in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) are extorting telecommunications and utility operators and attacking telecommunications infrastructure to bolster criminal protection rackets. The rackets obstruct free access to telephone, internet, cable, television, natural gas, and electricity. The criminal exploitation extends beyond the favelas throughout the region. Theft, vandalism, and sabotage, as well as threats to infrastructure personnel, impede service provision.

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SWJ El Centro Ensayo-Reseña – La guerra improvisada: Los años de Calderón y sus consecuencias (The Improvised War: The Calderón Years and their Consequences)

Thu, 05/27/2021 - 10:02pm
El nuevo libro "La Guerra Improvisada: Los años de Calderón y sus consecuencias" de Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera y Tony Payan busca explicar el proceso de toma de decisiones de la “guerra contra las drogas” (de aquí en adelante se denominará solo como la guerra) iniciada e implementada por elpresidente Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) en colaboración con EE.UU. El libro explora preguntas claves como ¿por qué inició Calderón la guerra? ¿Quién la diseñó e implementó y cómo? ¿Quién determinó la estrategia? ¿Qué papel desempeñó EE.UU.?  Y ¿por qué se utilizó a las fuerzas armadas? 

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Field Report: The Netherlands as a narcostate and the emergence of a methamphetamine industry

Thu, 05/27/2021 - 7:00pm
This field report looks at the drugs trade in the Netherlands. It draws from SWJ-El Centro Fellow Teun Voeten’s journalistic experience and updates the discussion contained in “Chapter 6, The Netherlands as a narco-state, and Antwerp as its principle cocaine hub” in his SWJ-El Centro book "Mexican Drug Violence: Hybrid Warfare, Predatory Capitalism and the Logic of Cruelty" (2020).

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Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 36: High Casualty Civil Police Raid in Rio de Janeiro’s Jacarezinho Favela Raises Human Rights Concerns

Tue, 05/25/2021 - 8:59pm
On 6 May 2021, at approximately 0600 hours (6 AM), Rio de Janeiro’s civil police (Polícia Civil do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – PCERJ) entered the Jacarezinho favela (slum) to perform a raid—Operação Exceptis(Operation Exception)—against members of the Comando Vermelho (CV or Red Command).  As the PCERJ entered the favela, they encountered small arms fire.  A PCERJ officer was killed in the initial exchange and a sustained battle continued through the day.  At least 28 persons were killed, including the police officer and 27 residents. The incident was the deadliest in Rio de Janeiro’s history and provoked widespread globalcriticism.

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The Strategic Realities of Twenty-First Century “Small Wars”— An Opinion Essay

Sat, 05/22/2021 - 2:36pm
The traditional distinctions between crime, terrorism, subversion, and insurgency are blurred.  This new dynamic involves the migration of the monopoly of political power (i.e., the authoritative allocation of the values in a society) from the traditional nation-state to unconventional actors such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), transnational criminal organizations, Leninist-Maoist insurgents, tribal militias, mafia organizations, private armies, cartel enforcers, third generation gangs (3GEN Gangs), and other modern mercenaries and entrepreneurs. These actors conduct some form or level of war against various state and non-state adversaries and promulgate their own rule of law—within alternatively governed spaces—within the societies they control.  That activity creates an ambiguous bazaar of violence where criminal entrepreneurs fuel the convergence of crime and war.

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SWJ El Centro Review Essay – La guerra improvisada: Los años de Calderón y sus consecuencias (The Improvised War: The Calderón Years and their Consequences)

Thu, 05/20/2021 - 12:16am
Review essay on Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and Tony Payan,  "La guerra improvisada: Los años de Calderón y sus consecuencias." The book "La Guerra Improvisada" (in Spanish) sheds light on the decision-making process of the so-called “war on drugs” (from here on referred to as war) launched and implemented in Mexico by President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) in collaboration with the United States. It explores key questions like why launch the war? Who designed and implemented it and how? Who determined the strategy? What was the US role? And why use military forces? Undoubtedly, the role of the military has been one of the most persistent and controversial issues about the war. 

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Call for Book Chapters: Human Trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative and Historical Analysis

Thu, 05/20/2021 - 12:01am

Call for Book Chapters

Human Trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative and Historical Analysis

Editors: Michael R. Hall, José de Arimatéia da Cruz, and Sabella O. Abidde

The purpose of this project is to provide a comparative and historical assessment of Human Trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Although there is media coverage and academic literature on the subject, none provide a multiregional perspective or understanding of this global problem. Human trafficking is not a new phenomenon—a phenomenon that includes many types of forced movements and imprisonment across national and international borders for prostitution, perverse sexual activities, forced labor, domestic servitude, child soldiers, and the harvesting of body organs. Significantly, most victims of human trafficking have been women and children.

According to the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report (2019): “Each instance of human trafficking takes a common toll; each crime is an affront to the basic ideas of human dignity, inflicting grievous harm on individuals, as well as on their families and communities.” The global community, individually, and under the tutelage of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has for several years been combating Human Trafficking. According to its Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (2018): “There remain significant knowledge gaps related to the patterns and flows of trafficking in persons,” and that many countries of the world “still lack sufficient capacity to record and share data on trafficking in persons.” This is so because, for the most part, the activities of human traffickers are shrouded in secrecy and many victims are ashamed to speak up publicly for fear of retribution or retribution against their family and friends.

In addition, many people do not have a clear understanding of this dangerous and alarming atrocity—an atrocity the UN asserts is at a “record high.” No part of the world is exempt from these illicit and reprehensible activities being perpetrated by a diverse population that includes criminal organizations, labor agents, organ harvesters, family members, and a web of formal and informal groups and individuals often motivated by financial inducements. This comparative study examines Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean—a region with shared experiences and similar economic and political aspirations—to make a systematic comparison of human trafficking in terms of its perpetrators, targets, and impact.

We invite academic scholars, members of civil society; and activists to submit chapters that aid in our understanding of human trafficking within and across the three regions. We have listed a few potential chapters but interested contributors may suggest topics in their field of expertise that are not so listed but which fall within the scope of the book. We anticipate a vast array of case studies based on individual areas of research and scholarship examining individual countries or regions.

POTENTIAL CHAPTER TOPICS

I. Human Trafficking Theory

  • Theorizing human trafficking
  • The roots human trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean
  • Overview of contemporary human trafficking
  • The human cost of human trafficking     
  • The economic cost of human trafficking
  • Globalization and human trafficking

II. Case Studies of Human Trafficking

  • Sex trafficking in Mexican cantinas
  • Child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo/Africa
  • Sex tourism in the Dominican Republic or the Caribbean in general
  • Organ harvesting in Guatemala or Latin America in general
  • Debt bondage in Ghana or a region of Africa
  • Arranged child marriages in Niger or a region of Africa  
  • Ukuthwala in South Africa

III. Transnational Responses to Human Trafficking

  • The OAS and Human Trafficking
  • The African Union and Human Trafficking
  • Human trafficking and the United Nations
  • International law and human trafficking
  • Social media and human trafficking
  • Human rights groups and human trafficking

FORMATTING/CITATION/DUE DATES

  • Submit a 300 to 350 word abstract and a 150 to 200-word bio (about the author) by 1 August 2021. You will be notified of acceptance or rejection of your abstract on 15 August 2021.     
  • The completed chapter—9,000 to 9,500 words—is due 30 January 2022.
  • For formatting/citation, please adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style (no in text citations, use endnotes and provide bibliography).
  • Send the abstract, author biography, and general inquiries to jdacruz@georgiasouthern.edu and please cc the co-editors mrhall@georgiasouthern.edu and sabidde@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE EDITORS

Michael R. Hall is a professor of history in the department of history at Georgia Southern University. He holds an M.A. in International Studies and a PhD in History from Ohio University. He is the author of Sugar and Power in the Dominican Republic: Eisenhower, Kennedy and the Trujillos (2000); “Ethnic Conflict in Mexico: The Zapatista Army of National Liberation” in Santosh C. Saha, Ed., Perspectives on Contemporary Ethnic Conflict: Primal Violence or the Politics of Conviction (2006); Historical Dictionary of Haiti (2012); and “Castro and Cabral: Cuban Assistance in the Struggle for Independence in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde” in Sabella Abidde and Charity Manyeruke, Eds. Fidel Castro and Africa’s Liberation Struggle (2020). He is the Book Review Editor of the Journal of Global South Studies.

José de Arimatéia da Cruz is a professor of international relations and international studies in the department of political science & international studies at Georgia Southern University, Georgia. He holds a PhD in political science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Cruz is a former Research Professor at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute; and a Research Fellow at the Brazil Research Unit Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA). Visiting Professor at the Department of International and Diplomatic Studies Prague School of Economics and Business. He is the co-author of “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 10: Military Takes Control of Policing in Rio de Janeiro,” Small Wars Journal, 23 February 2018; and “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 9: Concerns About Potential Gang Influence on Upcoming Brazilian Elections,” Small Wars Journal, 25 January 2018. He is a Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellow.

Sabella O. Abidde is a professor of political science at Alabama State University. He holds an M.A. in political science from Minnesota State University Mankato, and a PhD in African Studies, World Affairs, Public Policy and Development Studies from Howard University. His edited volumes on Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean include The Challenges of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (2021); Fidel Castro and Africa’s Liberation Struggle (2020); and Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: The Case for Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation (2018). He is a member of the Association of Global South Studies (AGSS); the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA); the Latin American Studies Association (LASA); and the African Studies/Research Forum (ASRF).

Call for Book Chapters: Terrorism in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 10:52pm

Call for Book Chapters

Terrorism in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis

Editors: José de Arimatéia da Cruz, Michael Hall, and Sabella O. Abidde

In the 1970s and 1980s, while terrorism was common in Europe, the US was largely isolated from these attacks—except perhaps against its national interests, buildings, and citizens within the US. But within a decade, there was the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York; the extrajudicial act that maimed dozens of people during the 1996 Summer Olympics; and the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh. However, it was the September 11, 2001, heinous acts that focused the US on the insidiousness of terrorism. The African continent was like that in the sense that except for low-intensity conflicts, ethnic and religious conflicts, resource conflicts, and national wars, the continent was, for the most part, unmindful to classical terrorism.

But all that changed in the post-9/11 environment when terrorist groups based in the Middle East exported their ideologies, angst, and aspiration to the continent. These groups—Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Al-Shabaab—operates within the continent’s political, religious, cultural, and social space. Boko Haram, operating primarily within Nigerian, was a fringe anti-western and anti-globalization sect that morphed into a bloodletting and terror machine. We have in Latin America groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC); the National Liberation Army (ELN); and the Shining Path (SL). While some groups are moribund, others have disbanded. The Caribbean Island nations, on the other hand, is not known for big-name terrorist organizations even if it had suffered terrorism in the past. What is more common in the region, however, are political violence and cybersecurity incidences.

While all terrorist activities are criminal; not all criminal activities are terrorism. Relatedly, there is the belief that the actions of a state—in pursuit of its national security objectives—cannot be considered terrorism. This is a fallacy because, states, in the pursuit of certain objectives, do indeed cause death and destructions. A heinous as it may be terrorism serves several goals—including economic, religious, social, and political. At other times, it is a tool for the weak, the oppressed, and the exploited to maintain or retain their humanity. Increasingly, however—especially since the post-9/11 world—terrorism is seen as cruel criminal, and untenable. It is also one of those phenomena that, for the most part, has been challenging in terms of an exact definition. Nonetheless, since 2003, there have been no fewer than a dozen conventions and protocols related to states’ obligations in combating and curtailing terrorism.

The purpose of this book, therefore, is to offer a comparative assessment of terrorism in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We require that scholars engage in a cross-regional analysis of terrorism. The three regions have many proximities in terms of their history of slavery and colonialism, underdevelopment, and shared experiences in terms of their role and place within the Global South. A concerted and systemic effort at understanding terrorism in the three spheres will aid in our understanding of national security, national interest, foreign policy, governance and institutions, and the role and place of these emerging regions within the international system. And while we have listed some topics, scholars who are interested in the project may suggest topics so long as their area of interest falls within the overall theme of this project.

Suggested topics are: 

POTENTIAL CHAPTER TOPICS:

I. CONCEPTUALIZING TERRORISM

1. What is Terrorism?

2. An Overview of Terrorist Groups

3. The Modern Origins of Terrorism

4. Terrorism in a Post-9/11 Environment

5. The Human, Economic, and Environmental Cost of Terrorism

6. The Media and Terrorism

II. DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

7. Terrorists and their Global Networks

8. Criminal Syndicates and Terrorists

9. Domestics Laws and International Conventions

III. NON-TRADITIONAL SOURCES OF TERRORISM

10. Drugs, Weapons, and Terrorists

11. Terrorists and Telecommunications

12. Sympathizers and Sponsors of Terrorism

13. Women, Children, and Terrorism

FORMATTING/CITATION/DUE DATES:

  • Submit a 300 to 350 word abstract and a 150 to 200-word bio (about the author) by 1 August 2021. You will be notified of acceptance or rejection of your abstract on 15 August 2021.
  • The completed chapter9,000 to 9,500 wordsis due 30 January 2022.
  • For formatting/citation, please adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style (no in-text citations, use endnotes and provide bibliography).
  • Send the abstract, author biography, and general inquiries to jdacruz@georgiasouthern.edu and please cc the co-editors mrhall@georgiasouthern.edu and sabidde@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE EDITORS

José de Arimatéia da Cruz is a professor of international relations and international studies in the department of political science & international studies at Georgia Southern University, Georgia. He holds a PhD in political science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Cruz is a former Research Professor at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute; and a Research Fellow at the Brazil Research Unit Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA). Visiting Professor at the Department of International and Diplomatic Studies Prague School of Economics and Business. He is the co-author of “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 10: Military Takes Control of Policing in Rio de Janeiro,” Small Wars Journal, 23 February 2018; and “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 9: Concerns About Potential Gang Influence on Upcoming Brazilian Elections,” Small Wars Journal, 25 January 2018. He is a Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellow. 

Michael Hall is a professor of history in the department of history at Georgia Southern University, Savannah, GA. He holds a B.A. in History - Gettysburg College; M.A. in International Studies - Ohio University; and a PhD in History, Ohio University. He is the author of “Ethnic Conflict in Mexico: The Zapatista Army of National Liberation” in Santosh C. Saha, Ed. Perspectives on Contemporary Ethnic Conflict: Primal Violence or the Politics of Conviction (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); Historical Dictionary of Haiti (Scarecrow Press, 2012); and “Castro and Cabral: Cuban Assistance in the Struggle for Independence in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde” in Sabella Abidde and Charity Manyeruke, Eds. Fidel Castro and Africa’s Liberation Struggle (Lexington Books, 2020). Dr. Hall is the Book Review Editor, Journal of Global South Studies.

Sabella O. Abidde is a professor of political science at Alabama State University. He holds an MA in political science from Minnesota State University Mankato, and a PhD in African Studies, World Affairs, Public Policy and Development Studies from Howard University. His edited volumes on Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean include The Challenges of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Springer, 2021); Fidel Castro and Africa’s Liberation Struggle (Lexington, 2020); and Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: The Case for Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation (Lexington Books, 2018). He is a member of the Association of Global South Studies (AGSS); the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA); the Latin American Studies Association (LASA); and the African Studies/Research Forum (ASRF).