The Informer

The Informer blog provides a platform for academics, policymakers and practitioners to discuss their work and research and to share their opinions on organised crime.

We collaborate with the European Consortium for Political Research’s Standing Group on Organised Crime (ECPR-SGOC), one of the standing groups of the ECPR. The editorial board includes representatives from the University of Bath, Oxford University, the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Sao Paulo, Sofia University and Flinders University.

 

How the weak won the war on drugs: drug cartel fragmentation and the evolution of the new generation of Colombian drug traffickers.

2 Sep, 2022
Damian Gariglio

New factors and circumstances are reshaping and redefining modern drug dealing organisations in Colombia. A defensive response Consistent violence has occurred within and throughout Colombia in the last thirty years as a consequence of the so-called “war on drugs” between the state and criminal actors. This unrest has catalysed a…

Read more

US Foreign Policy in Latin America: Wolf, are you there?

1 Sep, 2022
Manuel Carranza

Image: Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, March 16, 2021. The United States (US) continues its efforts to tackle illicit trafficking and organized crime at home but has further restrained its engagement in Latin America. It…

Read more

What the Illicit Activities of Militias Can Tell Us About the True Nature of States

17 Aug, 2022
Nicholas Pope

Relationships between states and militias – also understood as paramilitaries, self-defence groups, vigilantes, and other, more localised terms – can be difficult for analysts to make sense of. This is partially because there is huge variation across space and time in the form of the relationships. But it is also…

Read more

My Enemy’s Enemy is my Friend: Polarisation, Stigmatisation, and Political Violence in Colombia

26 May, 2022
Genevieve Kotarska

As we approach Colombia’s election season, the prospect of an increase in political violence is at the front of many analysts’ minds. Colombia’s elections have often been bloody; five presidential candidates were assassinated in the 20th Century alone. Just a few years ago seven candidates were killed during the municipal…

Read more

To Militarise or not to Militarise: That is the Question

14 Apr, 2022
Damian Gariglio

Argentina, a country in which the armed forces are struggling to grasp their role amongst other government institutions, presents fertile ground for the re-emergence of a timeless debate. To what extent should governments support the adoption of repressive counter narcotics policies and signal a move towards militarisation. Democracy and internal…

Read more

Exploring the Nexus Between Crime and Politics: Why Latin American Criminal Groups Engage in Political Discourse

8 Apr, 2022
Reynell Badillo Sarmiento & Victor M. Mijares

In Latin America, several armed groups, after having created and functioned as criminal organisations, have publicly engaged in political discourse. For these organised crime groups (OCGs), participating in plausible political dialogue is not easy. It requires certain members of the organisation to be constantly assigned to this purpose (which reduces…

Read more

Our Friends, the Oligarchs: Financial Crime, Foreign Influence and Democracy

21 Mar, 2022
Ben Scott

Germany’s attempts to penetrate the United Kingdom with spy networks in World War Two were spectacularly unsuccessful. Hastily recruited assets rushed across the Channel were spotted because of their broken English, thick accents and ignorance of pub closing times. Of the 115 German agents deployed to the U.K. during the…

Read more

A New Era in the War on Drugs? Between the Lines of the US-Colombia Bicentennial Partnership

18 Mar, 2022
Genevieve Kotarska

Since establishing diplomatic relations in 1822, Colombia has become one of the United States’ (US’s) most important partners in Latin America. Collaboration notwithstanding, Colombia’s prominent role as a cultivator of coca, the base product for cocaine, has pushed counternarcotics policies centred on supply reduction to the forefront of this relationship.…

Read more

Mexico’s 15-Year ‘War on Drugs’: An Imperfect Narrative

3 Feb, 2022
Fausto Carbajal Glass

December 2021 marked the 15th anniversary of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ in Mexico. In that time – and as renowned sociologist Fernando Escalante has articulated – “too many certainties” have become commonplace in national discourse. In particular, a cacophony of expressions have repeatedly been used by government officials across…

Read more

Human Trafficking in a Post-Accord Colombia: A Persistent Trend of Targeted NNA Forced Recruitment

6 Oct, 2021
Carl Vosloh

On November 26, 2016, the signing of the Peace Accord (hereinafter referred to as the Accord) between the Government of Colombia (GoC) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was perceived by some citizens as the start of a new phase in the country’s violent history. Others felt it…

Read more