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December 22-28, 2022 | Issue 27 - SOUTHCOM

Aina Merino Bello, Elvire Vérant, Julia Pereira, Jan García, Pètra van de Gevel, Rhiannon Thomas, Daniel Ruiz

Claudia Santillan-Vazquez, Senior Editor


Date: December 22, 2022

Location: Haiti

Parties involved: Haitian government; Haitian law enforcement; Haiti gangs; Haitian population; NGOs; International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); United Nations Security Council (UNSC); UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

The event: Guterres has called on the international community to consider the Haitian government's request for an international armed force to counter gang violence and alleviate the humanitarian crisis, like rising death tolls and disease spread. The appeal comes as gang violence reaches “alarmingly high levels,” with 1,200 cases of kidnappings this year and 280 killings in November, and armed groups controlling roads around the capital.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The UNSC will likely refuse Guterres and Haiti's request, very likely investing in NGOs, like the ICRC, instead to supplement basic needs, like food and healthcare. The NGOs will likely succeed in assisting some local communities, but due to worsening conditions, NGOs will very likely have to request more volunteers and assistance from neighboring countries due to limited governmental funding and personnel. The NGOs will unlikely receive any assistance from other countries, very likely to avoid involvement in other countries' conflict and economic dependency, which will almost certainly leave the local communities without proper assistance.

  • Gangs will likely continue to exploit the inadequate military and Haitian police presence to expand into other cities and increase criminal activities. Gangs will likely increase their income through this expansion, very likely enabling them to acquire better weaponry and recruit more gang members. Increased gang activity and weaponry will likely cause increasing violence and clashes with police, which will very likely hinder law enforcement efforts to regain control over these communities.

Date: December 23, 2022

Location: Bolivia

Parties involved: Bolivia; Bolivian Minister Eduardo del Castillo; Bolivian police; Bolivian policemen; Brazil; Brazilian drug cartels; Brazilian anti-drug forces

The event: Del Castillo announced the preparation of a strategy to stop the entry and the settlement of Brazilian drug cartels into Bolivian territory.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Del Castillo’s strategy will likely involve strengthening collaboration with Brazilian anti-narcotics forces to surveil and deter Brazilian drug cartels. There is a roughly even chance that Brazilian drug cartels will establish cells in Bolivia in response, hiring locals to bypass security force surveillance. These drug cartels will likely hire underprivileged individuals with the promise of money, likely increasing cartels’ presence in rural and indigenous communities in Bolivia. This will likely increase violence and homicide rates in these communities, as competition and revenge crimes will likely take place to climb the cartel hierarchy.

  • As part of the new strategy, Bolivian law enforcement will likely station personnel along the Brazilian border to reduce the movement of Brazilian drug cartels. Increased law enforcement presence will likely reduce overt cartel activity, likely forcing gangs to restore covert activities, like clandestine drug trafficking routes. Brazilian cartels will likely use forest paths to continue trafficking illegal goods and avoid crossing controlled borders, likely maintaining the ownership of coca crops and drug factories in Bolivian territory.


[1] Haiti by Google Maps

[2] UN deputy urges countries to consider armed force for Haiti, AP, December 2022,

[3] Mafias de narcotraficantes invaden Bolivia desde Brasil, Infobae, December 2022, (Translated by Aina Merino Bello)


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