From cuaz to cuate: Training camps for organized crime

For years now - more or less the entire duration of my doctoral studies - I have been intrigued by the fact that some organized crime groups in Mexico operate training camps. In one form or another, I worked this in to most of my course papers. Once I was done with coursework and working… Continue reading From cuaz to cuate: Training camps for organized crime

Faces and masks

A recurring concern in most of my research is the relationship between legitimacy and violence. How do armed groups justify their violence? If every armed group - including state agencies - depends upon a degree of local support, why do so many groups engage in risky, potentially costly behaviour, by targeting or preying on civilians?… Continue reading Faces and masks

Is Mexico facing a criminal insurgency?

The high levels of violence in Mexico defy the usual scholarly explanations. Organized crime is supposed to fly under the radar, and not let violence interfere with profit. Insurgents are more likely to go public with violence, but do so in pursuit of a clear political agenda. Neither of these paradigms reflect the realities of… Continue reading Is Mexico facing a criminal insurgency?