This Saturday, October 15th, Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán was one of the speakers at TEDxYale 2016: Mind the Gap, discussing ideas about the gap between the theoretical concepts of “criminal organizations” and the real complexity of “criminal networks”. He presented the reductionist way in which criminal networks are conceived in public policies, penal codes, enforcement agencies and media. According to national and international institutions, even the most sophisticated forms of crime are usually defined as “organized” when there are more than 2 individuals working together to accomplish a criminal objective, operating in a hierarchical way. The result of this limited idea of how crime works, lead to ineffective ways of confronting it. To change this reality, and create a real turn in the crime policies around the world, Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán proposes to acknowledge that criminal networks are complex, messy, resilient and usually decentralized structures rather than pyramidal, operating in substructures and ruled by various leaders.
Due to the lack of rigorousness understanding complex criminal networks, these structures infiltrate, manipulate and reconfigure formal institutions worldwide. To avoid this situation, Eduardo reinforces the need to pay attention, not only to the full time criminals, but also to bankers, politicians, brokers and corporations working with and for criminal structures. According to several criminal networks analyzed and modeled by Vortex Foundation across Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa, there are at various three sub-structures conforming criminal structures.
Regarding the need of understanding and confronting the real complexity of crime, by exploring and analyzing criminal networks, Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán announced the launch of the Global Observatory of Transnational Criminal Networks (www.criminalnetworks.org), a non-profit initiative in which scholars, research institutes, activists and think tanks across the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Africa, will map, illustrate and analyze criminal networks worldwide.