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.


Europe’s Guns: A Threat and Opportunity the UK Can’t Ignore

31 Jan, 2023
Sean Lundy

The senseless shooting of Elle Edwards on Christmas Eve shocked the UK. Similar tragedies in the UK often have their origins in the supply of illicit firearms from Europe. To stem and turn the tide against gun violence, we must look towards Europe. In 5 years as the National Crime…

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Replacing Armed Governance: the Challenge of ‘Total Peace’ in Colombia

18 Jan, 2023
Reynell Badillo Sarmiento, Juan Corredor-Garcia and Luis Fernando Trejos Rosero

Contrary to common thought, warzones are not always disorderly scenarios without rules. In most cases, the ways in which citizens must behave in a warzone to avoid being punished is very clear. However, in these afflicted territories it is often the armed groups, and not the states, who largely determine…

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Rescue or Risk: ‘Volunteerism’ and Human Trafficking Risks in Ukraine

3 Jan, 2023
Iisa Kosonen and Mark Williams

The Russia-Ukraine war has spurred, alongside a rise in escaping refugees to neighbouring countries, an increase in ad-hoc volunteerism through ‘at the border’ aid agencies. Often lacking formal identification or supervision, there is increased potential that the presence of these entities increases the risk of human trafficking as the war…

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Language of Violence: Evolution of Mexican Cartels

6 Dec, 2022
Elijah Glantz and Eduardo Giralt

As cartels in Mexico have evolved under pressure, so too have their presentation, methods and goals. Forcing Change Sharing an over 2,000-mile border with the largest cocaine consumption market in the world, early Mexican drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) leveraged nearly a century of smaller-scale smuggling experience to streamline trafficking into…

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The Kingpin Strategy: More Violence, No Peace

17 Nov, 2022
Eduardo Giralt and Genevieve Kotarska

The so-called kingpin strategy has long been at the heart of the War on Drugs. From Pablo Escobar to Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the strategy assumes that cutting off the head of the snake is the best way to incapacitate the body. Yet there has been increasing debate about the…

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Weapons Trafficking in Ukraine: Threat or Diversion Tactic?

7 Nov, 2022
Elijah Glantz

Fears of trafficking and black-market sale of weapons shipped to Ukraine continue to make headlines. With billions of pounds in weaponry arriving in Ukraine – ranging from small arms and light weapons (SALW) to complex rocket artillery systems – outsiders have aired concerns over the weapons’ final destinations. However, the…

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Protest Rights: Another Casualty of Climate Inaction?

31 Oct, 2022
Genevieve Kotarska and Keith Ditcham

The criminalisation of protest is of increasing concern as government priorities and the demands of eco-protest groups remain largely incompatible. The passage of The Public Order Bill raises important questions about the right to protest but also places a burden on the police to interpret and enforce vague, subjective and…

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Geopolitics of Impunity: Transnational Organised Crime in the Context of the Rise of Global Authoritarianism

20 Oct, 2022
Dr Chamila Liyanage

The rise of global authoritarianism whips up a perfect storm, aiding the evolution of transnational organised crime. Transnational organised crime is becoming more organised by the day. Why has the evolving ground reality already surpassed the existing definitional and semantic understandings of this phenomenon? Transnational organised crime is a term,…

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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…

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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…

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