Narcocaudillos: A New Technique for Conducting Asymmetrical Warfare

  • 2017

Narcocaudillos: A New Technique for Conducting Asymmetrical Warfare

Author:
Patrick Simon
Abstract:

The narcocaudillos of Mexico converted from mere smugglers to arbiters of political power willing to initiate insurgencies when the federal government challenged their authority and threatened their economic standing. Many scholars disagree with this assessment and believe that an insurgency must have political-military goals; however, Mexican narcocaudillos are conducting an insurgency with a business-commercial motive based on the new urban insurgency model. They outsource functions outside of their scope of interest to the Mexican federal government, functions such as international political relations and military power, while maintaining tangible political authority throughout the country domestically. Thus, increasing their freedom of movement. Their strategy and methods are more reminiscent of traditional insurgents rather than smugglers or criminal syndicates.  This study forwards the claim that Mexican narcocaudillos conduct an insurgency in Mexico that adheres to the new urban insurgency model. This claim is convoluted at best given the preconceived notions on the concept of insurgency itself to include the belief that non-state actors must have a political-military motivation before being labeled an insurgency. The motives of non-state actors should not solely determine whether the group receives the designation of insurgent.