Small Wars Journal

drug trafficking

Cutting Aid to the Northern Triangle Illustrates the Gap Between U.S. Strategy and Capacity in the Region

If Washington is serious about dismantling TCOs and disrupting cocaine trafficking into the United States it must prioritize more assets to support Admiral Faller’s efforts so that his command is better resourced to interdict and reduce the flow of dangerous, illicit drugs from entering the United States. If not, Washington should lower its expectations and rethink its regional objectives.

About the Author(s)

Are Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras Under Insurgent Attack?

Failure of national authorities in Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras pose risks to the well-being of the United States. First, state failure in El Salvador and Honduras creates migrant flows seeking refuge in the United States as a safe-haven for families. Second, state failure in each of these countries could grow into complete collapse of state authority and the rise to power of authoritarian regimes such as in Cuba and Venezuela which will collaborate with geo-political rivals of the United States in contravention of the Monroe Doctrine. Third, instability of social orders, economics, and politics in the countries immediately to our south will decrease regional progress towards higher living standards, undermining quality of life in our part of the world

About the Author(s)

Drug Cartels in Oregon: Violence in the Northwest

Drug Cartels in Oregon: Violence in the Northwest

By Les Zaitz, The Oregonian

 
June 21, 2013
 

...Perhaps most unnerving, cartel-connected traffickers lash out in violence to control territory, settle debts or warn rivals -- not just in Mexico, but here in the Northwest. Police suspect a cartel is behind the roadside execution early last year of a trafficker near Salem. They think cartel operatives shot two California drug dealers whose bodies were found buried in the sage northeast of Klamath Falls last fall. They also believe a cartel ordered a 2007 hit in which a trafficker and four friends were lined up on the floor of a Vancouver rental home and shot in the head...

 
 
SWJ El Centro Book Review: War in the Woods Peter J. Munson Fri, 05/03/2013 - 3:30am

Combating the marijuana cartels on America’s public lands.

Why Mexico's Zetas Expanded Faster than their Rivals

"Why Mexico's Zetas Expanded Faster than their Rivals" by Steven Dudley and Viridiana Rios 

Sunday 21 April 2013

The Zetas are not the only extremely violent, military-style criminal organization from Mexico. Yet, they are the only one that operates in 350 Mexican municipalities, as well as numerous others in Guatemala and Central America. Why have they been able to expand faster than their rivals?

Read it here.

Knowing Where and How Criminal Organizations Operate Using Web Content

Very significant work with SWJ El Centro counter non-state OPFOR (opposing force) implications.  Presented at the 21st ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2012) October 29 to November 2, 2012 in Maui, Hawaii. The MOGO (Making Order using Google as an Oracle) discussed in this paper is highly cost effective and provides very significant OSINT (open source intelligence) analytical capabilities via a web crawler approach. See the trafficker distribution figures, politician-municipality significant relations, and cartel migration patterns for applications. Also note the acknowledgement section re institutions supporting this project.  

Knowing Where and How Criminal Organizations Operate Using Web Content

Michele Coscia and Viridiana Rios

KddLab - ISTI CNR/ Department of Government - Harvard University

We develop a framework that uses Web content to obtain quantitative information about a phenomenon that would otherwise require the operation of large scale, expensive intelligence exercises. Exploiting indexed reliable sources such as online newspapers and blogs, we use unambiguous query terms to characterize a complex evolving phenomena and solve a security policy problem: identifying the areas of operation and modus operandi of criminal organizations, in particular, Mexican drug trafficking organizations over the last two decades. We validate our methodology by comparing information that is known with certainty with the one we extracted using our framework. We show that our framework is able to use information available on the web to efficiently extract implicit knowledge about criminal organizations. In the scenario of Mexican drug trafficking, our findings provide evidence that criminal organizations are more strategic and operate in more differentiated ways than current academic literature thought.

http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/ptr/files/cosciarios.pdf