Organised Crime Governance in Times of Pandemic: The Impact of COVID-19 on Gangs and Drug Cartels in Colombia and Mexico

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Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis provides a window of opportunity for organised crime organisations in Colombia and Mexico to exert social control in local communities through actions of solidarity and care rather than traditional violent coercion. This new dynamic is increasing the legitimacy, power and social capital of gangs and drug cartels, helping them to co-opt civil society and the state to support their criminal operations. The pandemic also shows how poverty and inequality remain fundamental in shaping the building of the nation-state in both countries, where criminals act as a de facto state even without the virus and, in many areas, effectively replace the state. The coronavirus is making visible the ways in which organised crime groups cultivate civil society's support in delivering the provision of governance, order and public health in a time of lockdown and quarantine, making local ‘narco-gang’ governance profitable economically and politically
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-15
Number of pages4
JournalBulletin of Latin American Research
Volume39
Issue numberS1
Early online date27 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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