Studies in Gangs and Cartels


Studies in Gangs and Cartels


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Download Map 1: Surenos Gang Perspective on Its Territories in North and Central America (198 KB)

Download Map 2: Cities Reporting the Presence of Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (69 KB)

Download Map 3: Gang Involvement in Drug Distribution (23 KB)

Download Map 4: Areas of Cartel Influence with Smuggling Routes (231 KB)

Download Map 5: DTO Areas of Dominant Influence in Mexico by DEA (962 KB)

Download Map 6: Evolution of How Street Gangs Become Transnational Organizations (93 KB)


Concerns over the changing nature of gangs and cartels and their relationships to states in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has resulted in the emergence of a scholarly body of work focused on their national security threat potentials. This body of work, utilizing the third generation gangs and third phase cartel typologies, represents an alternative to traditional gang and organized crime research and one that is increasingly influencing the US defense community. Rather than being viewed only as misguided youth and opportunistic criminals or, in their mature forms, as criminal organizations with no broader social or political agendas, more evolved gangs and cartels, are instead seen as developing political, mercenary, and state-challenging capacities. This evolutionary process has emerged due to the growing illicit economy and other unintended consequences of globalization.



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Drug traffic, Organized crime


Criminology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


For Appendix 3, see Additional Files above. All files have been included with permission of copyright holders per Robert J. Bunker.