Small Wars Journal

El Centro

Illicit Tactical Progress: Mexican Cartel Tactical Notes 2013-2020

Illicit Tactical Progress: Mexican Cartel Tactical Notes 2013-2020

Robert J. Bunker and John P Sullivan, Editors

SWJ has released a new curated collection Illicit Tactical Progress: Mexican Cartel Tactical Notes 2013-2020 chronicling documenting the evolution of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by Mexican cartels and criminal armed groups (CAGs).

Illicit Tactical Progress

This Small Wars Journal-El Centro Anthology contains a prologue on Gang and Cartel ‘Lessons’ for the Streets by retired LASD Commander Sid Heal, and introduction and conclusion by SWJ-El Centro Senior Fellows Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, eight years of ‘tactical notes’ covering documented cartel and gang TTP evolution (2013-2020), an afterword by gang specialist Gabriel C. Morales, and a postscript by retired Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Field Division intelligence head Gary J. Hale. 

This book is an eye-opener that may be an appalling representation of current events in Mexico, but it is based on factual reports of the strength, manner, and frequency of the cartel violence that occurs every day in Mexico. ... As long as the cartels continue to keep their wars inside Mexico and as long as Mexico does not ask for US help, the status quo will continue, and we will see this level and scope of violence incrementally increase in that nation. – Gary J. Hale, DEA (Ret.)

Source: Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, Editors, Illicit Tactical Progress: Mexican Cartel Tactical Notes 2013-2020. Bloomington: Xlibris, 2021.

ZFTWARNING Tue, 07/27/2021 - 4:07pm
Parties of Crime? Brazil’s facções criminosas – good governance and bad government ZFTWARNING Mon, 07/19/2021 - 2:16pm
This essay examines the concept of governance-in-action from the perspective of Brazil. The country constitutes a ‘symbiosis’ of both legitimate and criminal governance, whose lines are often blurred. We examine how the government and militias operate as forms of criminal governance, and how facções criminosas (FCs or criminal factions) fill in voids left by governmental corruption. While we agree with other scholars that FCs represent ‘criminal’ insurgencies and should be approached as such, we argue they need to be understood also for some of the ‘good’ acts they engage, and why they do so, to better identify how to mitigate their violence. These lessons could also extend to identifying future explanations for how to manage government corruption from more nuanced lenses.

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 41: Criminal Insurgency and ‘Revolution’ in Haiti?

Fri, 07/02/2021 - 5:41pm
Gang violence in Haiti is spiraling out of control as rival gangs fill the void in governance fueled by chronic insecurity, corruption, and violence. The resulting instability places gangs in conflict with each other and the state as they compete for territorial control. The outbreak of gang violence is exacerbating the situation, leading to a crisis disaster. This humanitarian crisis includes extreme gang violence, attacks on police stations and health care providers, while internally displaced persons converge with the Covid-19 pandemic and hurricane season to elevate insecurity. One gang leader, an ex-police officer Jimmy Chérizier, known as “Barbecue” the head of G9 Fanmi ak Alye (G9 Family and Allies) has called for ‘revolution’ to solve the situation.

About the Author(s)

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 40: Força Nacional de Segurança Pública Deployed to Manaus in Aftermath of Comando Vermelho Violence on the Streets

Mon, 06/28/2021 - 3:25pm
An outbreak of criminal attacks on police stations, schools, public spaces, and banks erupted in the aftermath of the killing of a Comando Vermelho (CV or Red Command) leader in a confrontation with the Polícia Militar (PM) do Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil and surrounding cities on Saturday 5 June 2021. The violence started the following day on Sunday 6 June 2021 targeting police, buses, bus stations, schools, public spaces and banks in a series of shootings and arson attacks. Attacks continued through Tuesday 8 June 2021.

About the Author(s)

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 39: Five Killed in Prison Battle between Barrio 18 and MS-13 in La Tolva Prison, Honduras

Sun, 06/20/2021 - 8:07pm
At least five persons were killed and another 39 injured in a prison riot between Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). The riot—which involved deployment of grenades and AK-47s—began at approximately 0800 hours (8:00 AM) in the ‘La Tolva’ maximum security prison in Morecelí, El Paraiso near Tegucigalpa in eastern Honduras.

About the Author(s)

Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #51: Gunmen Attack Cancún Beach from Jet Skis, Killing Two People

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 7:42pm
On Friday 11 June 2021, two gunmen attacked beach vendors on a tourist beach in Cancún, killing two vendors and injuring an American tourist. The attackers accessed the beach from the sea via personal watercraft and then left the scene after the assault on the same craft. Similar incidents have taken at Mexican beaches over the past five years.

About the Author(s)

Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela / Súper red de corrupción en Venezuela

Tue, 06/15/2021 - 8:58pm

Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Nepotism and Human Rights Violation / Súper red de corrupción en Venezuela: Cleptocracia, nepotismo y violación de derechos humanos

Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellows Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca recently released a comprehensive Vortex Foundation (Fundación Vortex) study of corruption in Venezuela.  The study relies on social network analysis (SNA) derived from official and media open source materials. The study compares and contrasts Venezuela's corruption networks with the Brazilian Lava Jato (Car Wash) case.

SRC

The English version is: Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca, Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Nepotism and Human Rights Violation. Tampa: Scientific Vortex LLC and Fundación Vortex, 2021. [ISBN: 979-8739921147. Paper, 135 pages]

The Spanish version is: Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca,  Súper red de corrupción en Venezuela: Cleptocracia, nepotismo y violación de derechos humanosBogotá: Fundación Vortex, 2021.

SWJ-El Centro Associate Daniel Weisz looked at the English version, Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela in a long-form review and commentary: "SWJ El Centro Review Essay – Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Nepotism and Human Rights Violation."  SWJ

SWJ El Centro Review Essay – Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Nepotism and Human Rights Violation

Tue, 06/15/2021 - 1:53pm
This review essay is a long-form review and commentary on Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca, "Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Human Rights Violation." Tampa: Vortex, 2021. The text provides a detailed social network analysis of the complex corruption situation in Venezuela.

About the Author(s)

USE OF IEDs AND VBIEDs IN MEXICAN CRIME WARS

Wed, 06/02/2021 - 4:06pm

USE OF IEDs AND VBIEDs IN MEXICAN CRIME WARS

Small Wars Journal-El Centro Senior Fellows Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan along with analyst David A. Kuhn, and SWJ-El Centro Associate Alma Kehavarz look at the evolving use of explosives in Mexico's criminal insurgencies and crime wars in a new article at Counter-IED Report

MX IEDs

The article, "Use of IEDs and VBIEDs in Mexican Crime Wars," reviews the current situation involving the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs) in Mexico's crime wars. The evolution of the threat is illustrated through discussion of four recent cases in 2019-2020.

Source: Robert J. Bunker, John P. Sullivan, David A. Kuhn, and Alma Keshavarz, "Use of IEDs and VBIEDs in Mexican Crime Wars." Counter IED-Report. Spring-Summer 2021. pp. 63-73.