Episode 154: Mafia Organisations in Latin America with Damian Gariglio

When most people think about organised crime, their minds will instantly turn towards mafia style organisations; and nowhere do mafias hold more of a reputation than in Latin America. According to the UNCAC Coalition (a global network of over 350 civil society organizations (CSOs) in over 100 countries, committed to promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)) Latin America is considered the most violent region on the planet, and according to the latest UNODC report, organised crime is responsible for 30% of homicides. The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 indicates that the police and judiciary are considered amongst the most corrupt institutions in the region. In some Central American nations, the costs of crime are twice the regional average, while in others (such as the “Southern Cone” of Uruguay, Argentina and Chile) these costs are less than half the regional average. The total regional cost reaches US $236 billion per year. The risks associated with criminal groups of this status are vast for both Latin America, and the rest of the world, making discussions about this facet of organised crime that much more important. So, to discuss the international risks of Latin American organised crime with us today, it is a pleasure to welcome Damian Gariglio onto the podcast.  

Damián Gariglio is a political scientist and researcher from Buenos Aires. He majored in International Relations and holds a Master’s Degree in Internaitional Studies from Torcuato Di Tella University – during which he spent six months in Colombia on a student exchange program. He is a member of the netwrok of experts of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime. He has experience conducting reseach in Colombia and in Argentina working for different internaitonal NGOs and the public sector. 

He has worked in Bogota for the Colombian campaign to ban landmines as a humanitarian disarmament adviser. He was also the coordinator of the Observatory of Defence and Security for the Centre for International Political Studies (CEPI). 

In the research arena, Damián is currently working as an Assistant Researcher for the University of Buenos Aires focused on new criminal structures in Latin America. 

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