Small Wars Journal

El Centro

Rio’s bloody police campaign ZFTWARNING Fri, 05/07/2021 - 12:19am
Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellow Robert Muggah assesses the state of police practice in Rio de Janeiro in the aftermath of a civil police raid on a Comando Vermelho (Red Command) stronghold in the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Muggah concludes that "A commission of inquiry and disciplinary action are mandatory, and a radical change of police culture is essential."
Antimafia Impasse: State-Driven Organized Crime & Organized Crime States ZFTWARNING Tue, 05/04/2021 - 5:54pm
This article reviews the reasons why some countries experience chronic and growing deterioration in their institutional performance in fighting and preventing transnational organized crime, even when plentiful national human and material antimafia resources are readily available. This piece also focuses on country case studies where the State sponsors or fosters organized crime, such as in China and in Mexico.
Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #49: Alleged CJNG Drone Attack in Aguililla, Michoacán Injures Two Police Officers ZFTWARNING Wed, 04/28/2021 - 9:17pm
Two police officers in Aguililla, Michoacán were injured in a weaponized drone attack at approximately 0100 hours, (01:00 AM) Tuesday morning, 20 April 2021 on the highway between Aguililla and Apatzingán. The attack involving drones artillados (armed or ’gun’ drones) is the fifth documented incident involving aerial improvised explosive devices utilized by the cartels in Mexico and the first one in which injuries have resulted.
La Guerra de Propaganda del CJNG y AMLO ZFTWARNING Sat, 04/24/2021 - 5:01pm
Este ensayo del asociado de SWJ-El Centro, Daniel Weisz, examina la Guerra de Propaganda que se libra entre el Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) y el presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). Este "concurso de información" destaca la importancia de las "operaciones de información" para ambas partes en el contexto de las guerras del crimen en México.
The Propaganda War of the CJNG and AMLO ZFTWARNING Thu, 04/22/2021 - 11:34pm
This essay by SWJ-El Centro Associate Daniel Weisz examines the Propaganda War being waged among the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) and Mexico's President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). This "information contest" highlights the importance of "information operations" to both parties within the context of Mexico's crime wars.

FICINT – Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War

Mon, 04/12/2021 - 4:03pm

FICINT – Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War

Small Wars Journal is pleased to present an excerpt from Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War by Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellow Michael L. Burgoyne. This fictional account—or FICINT (Fictional Intelligence)—describes the security situation in Mexico in an accessible manner.  Here the situation in Mexico is described through the lens of fiction and intelligence to depict future conflict scenarios grounded in reality.[1]  Is it ‘criminal insurgency,’ ‘civil strife,’ ‘crime wars,’ ‘non-international armed conflict (NIAC),’ or something else. Burgoyne seeks to inform the policy and operational debate surrounding insecurity and criminal armed groups (CAGs) in Mexico in this text. SWJ

AscBlog

Comments from the author:

In 2020, Mexico suffered over 35,000 homicides, marking another year of exceptionally high rates of violence that are comparable to a war zone. Mexican transnational criminal organizations drive the violence in Mexico and play a key role in the over 70,000 annual drug overdose deaths in the United States. Yet, Americans lack an understanding of the complex security situation just south of the border.

I am thankful to Small Wars Journal-El Centro for the opportunity to present an excerpt from, Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War.  I wrote the story as modern day western designed to bring the reader into a violent and complicated world where there are no easy answers. While the story is fiction, the events depicted are drawn from reality, which is documented in the accompanying notes section. These notes also include references to outstanding scholars that provide excellent analysis of the ongoing conflict in Mexico.

Finally, this excerpt is augmented with a brief interview with Alexei Chevez, a Mexican scholar and security practitioner with a deep knowledge of the nature of the internal stability struggles in Mexico.

My hope is that this work of fiction provides an engaging way to understand the very real and daunting security challenges the Mexican people face.

– Michael L. Burgoyne

The excerpt of Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War is available here at SWJ-El Centro.

 

Endnotes

[1] For more on FICINT as an analytical tool, see August Cole and P.W. Singer, “Thinking The Unthinkable With Useful Fiction.” Journal of Future Conflict-Online Journal. Issue 2 (Fall 2020). Kingston, Ontario: Queens University, https://www.queensu.ca/psychology/sites/webpublish.queensu.ca.psycwww/files/files/Journal of Future Conflict/Issue 2 Fall 2020/Issue_2-Singer.pdf.

 

Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War

Mon, 04/12/2021 - 3:49pm
An excerpt from "Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War" by Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellow Michael L. Burgoyne. This fictional account—or FICINT (Fictional Intelligence)—describes the security situation in Mexico in an accessible manner. Here the situation in Mexico is described through the lens of fiction and intelligence to depict future conflict scenarios grounded in reality.

About the Author(s)

ELN’s Territorial Expansion: Is “Strategic Limbo” A Window of Opportunity?

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 2:05am
The formal demobilisation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) after the 2016 peace agreement with the Colombian government has resulted in a multiplicity of armed actors vying over former FARC territory and resources throughout the country. Conflicts over a monopoly of illicit economies (such as the production and trafficking of coca products including cocaine, the control of illegal mines, extortion rackets etc.) has continued to fuel violence, particularly worsening on the Colombian/Venezuelan border. In recent years, the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, the ELN) has continued to expand its presence throughout Colombia, particularly capitalising on territorial vacuums since 2017 where FARC is no longer present, and in some other regions where the organisation has reportedly built alliances with other armed groups. Furthermore, the ELN has seized the opportunity to continue to territorially expand into Venezuela.

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The Narco Hybrid-Threat

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 12:06am
Although a plethora of literature has already debated what should be categorised as a hybrid threat, most of the research is still based on contesting the definition rather than an analysis of specific case studies. With this in mind, this paper posits that the rapid development of tactics used by Mexican narco-cartels has allowed these organisations to build a solid structure of influence. A structure that has amplified their efforts to coerce the state while increasing their capacity to dislocate social life and erode state institutions. Thus, by evaluating the Sinaloa Cartel’s strategic and operational methods, it demonstrates how these organisations deserve a place in the hybrid threat category.

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