© 2018 by The Vortex Foundation

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    Since 2008 Vortex Foundation has deployed protocols and methodologies for understanding the structure of Transnational Criminal Networks (TCNs) that infiltrate and re-configure institutions, co-opt and are co-opted by public and private actors. This allowed to identify the institutional damage and the complexity of criminal structures in countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Peru, South Africa and Senegal.


    Then, in 2015 Vortex Foundation partnered with Fusion Television to develop the most ambitious comparative research project about global trafficking. As a result, The Traffickers film series and the Criminal Aura Graph today inform about criminal networks involved in trafficking of:


    • Rhino horn from South Africa to Vietnam.

    • Pangolin from South Africa to Vietnam.

    • Gold from Colombia to Dubai.

    • Fake pharmaceutical products from China to Beni.

    • Humans for sexual exploitation from Bulgaria to various European countries.

    • Children.

    • Organs from Bangladesh to Canada.

    • Firearms.


    Today prestigious think tanks, foundations and scholars keep working to model and analyze more criminal networks, therefore revealing patterns and characteristics of global crime.



    It is critical to understand, analyze and compare the structure, complexity and interconnected nature of several global crime, not only through traditional and isolated qualitative and quantitative methodologies but through innovative procedures that allow interpreting high volumes of data produced by media and judicial systems worldwide.


    Since 2008 Vortex Foundation has operated through sporadic projects with local researchers and institutes in various regions. Until now, the process for understanding TCNs has been fragmented.

    The Global Observatory of Transnational Criminal Networks is, therefore, a permanent initiative to fund research and informing public and private agencies about how to prevent and confront the most sophisticated types of crime.


    Since 2006, Vortex Foundation has operated through partnerships with local researchers and institutes in various regions. The next stage is about processing information in a permanent way.


    At this point, understanding about TCNs has been fragmented due to the lack of funding. Therefore, this initiative seeks to provide a sustained and permanent scheme for funding research activities on TCNs, while informing and supporting public and private agencies around the world.

    Understanding the structure of TCNs implies processing massive volumes of qualitative data, running calculations and visualizing graphs of lawful and unlawful interacting agents. This allows understanding and informing about the complexity and institutional effects caused by TCNs in laws and public policies.


    The "Criminal Aura" Graph will inform about the global structure of TCNs.