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, OODA Network Experts 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.
Adaptation and innovation is a core component of successful organization competition among states and their militaries, businesses and corporations—and as argued here, organized crime groups—especially transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). In order to gain supremacy organizations often introduce new technologies to foster this innovation, yet not all innovation is technological. Indeed, non-state actors are often incubators of novel practices and non-technological innovation to further their goals and often to survive. This brief assessment looks at non-technological innovation potentials among Mexican TCOs (criminal cartels and gangs).
As tensions rise between the US and Mexico, 19 people were killed in a gunfight between alleged members of the Cartel and Mexican government employees on Saturday. The attack occurred in the small city of Villa Union, just an hour from the US border. Mexican authorities stated that they took