Covid-19, Gangs, and Conflict: A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Reader
John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker, Editors
SWJ has released a new curated collection COVID-19, Gangs, and Conflict examining the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in light of exploitation by gangs, cartels, and mafias. The reader contains previously published material as well as a prologue by Steven Dudley, a foreword by Nils Gilman, an introduction by John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker. These are followed by a series of previously published SWJ-El Centro research notes on the topic, a curated section of essays, a conclusion by Robert J. Bunker, an afterword by Colon P. Clarke, and a postscript by Tuesday Reitano.
The Coronavirus pandemic is fueling conflict and fostering extremism while concurrently empowering gangs, cartels, and mafias in their quest for power and profit. In COVID-19, Gangs, and Conflict, Editors John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker bring together a curated collection of both new and previously published material to explore the trends and potentials of the global pandemic emergency. Topics include an exploration of proto-statemaking by criminal groups, the interaction of pandemics and conflict, as well as a comparison of gangs, criminal cartels, and mafias exploiting the crisis and exerting criminal governance in Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, Colombia, and South Africa. Implications for national security, biosecurity, slums, transnational organized crime, and threats and opportunities in the contested pandemic space are assessed. SWJ
Source: John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker, Editors, Covid-19, Gangs, and Conflict: A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Reader. Bloomington: XLibris, 2020.
Negotiations with Criminal Groups in Latin America and the Caribbean
A new discussion paper from the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT) looks at negotiating with criminal groups in Latin America and the Caribbean. Small Wars Journal – El Centro Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown is principal author of the work. "Bargaining with the Devil to Avoid Hell?" details eight case studies: 1) Colombia – Pablo Escobar and the Extraditables; 2) Colombia – Gulf Clan Negotiations; 3) El Salvador – Gang Truce; 4) Honduras – Gang Truce; 5) Haiti – Bargaining with Gangs; 6) Mexico – Territorial Access ; 7) Brazil – Gang Violence in Prisons; 8) Mexico – Territorial Access. It is part of a broader effort to examine negotiations with unconventional armed actors including mafias, gangs networks, and drug cartels.
Source: Vanda Felbab-Brown, "Bargaining with the Devil to Avoid Hell: A Discussion paper on Negotiations with Criminal Groups in Latin America and the Caribbean." Barcelona: Institute for Integrated Negotiations (IFIT). July 2020, https://www.ifit-transitions.org/publications/major-publications-briefings/bargaining-with-the-devil-to-avoid-hell/bargaining-with-the-devil-to-avoid-hell-a-discussion-paper-on-negotiations-with-crminal-groups-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean.pdf.
"THE MADURO REGIME’S ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: A Threat to Democracy in Venezuela and Security in Latin America."
The Atlantic Council has released a report on Venezuela's joint criminal enterprise and its threat to regional security. The report written by Small Wars Journal – El Centro Fellow Douglas Farah is entitled "THE MADURO REGIME’S ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: A Threat to Democracy in Venezuela and Security in Latin America."
The report issued by the Atlantic Councl's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center examines the Joint Criminal Enterprise inherited by the Maduro regime, the links between the regime's illicit networks and Colombian guerrillas, and the regime's reach and money laundering activities in Europe.
Source: Douglas Farah, "THE MADURO REGIME’S ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: A Threat to Democracy in Venezuela and Security in Latin America." Washington, DC: Atlantic Council. August 2020, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/The-Maduro-Regime-Illicit-Activities-A-Threat-to-Democracy-in-Venezuela-and-Security-in-Latin-America-Final.pdf.
Justice in Mexico Releases Organized Crime and Violence in Mexico: 2020 Special Report
Justice in Mexico has released the second edition of Organized Crime and Violence in Mexico, coordinated by Laura Y. Calderón, Kimberly Heinle, Rita E. Kuckertz, Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira, and David A. Shirk. Initially titled Drug Violence in Mexico, the report was reissued under a new name beginning last year with the tenth edition. The switch reflects recent shifts in the nature of organized crime, including the diversification of criminal activities. In an ever-changing world, Organized Crime and Violence in Mexico works to compile important statistics regarding key trends while providing insight to help understand an uncertain future.
Source: Laura Y. Calderón, Kimberly Heinle, Rita E. Kuckertz, Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira, and David A. Shirk, et al, Organized Crime and Violence in Mexico: 2020 Special Report. San Diego: Justice in Mexico Project, University of San Diego, 2020.