The Vertical Integration of Organized Crime Linked to Political Corruption

Money seized from la Familia Michoacana during 'Project Coronado' by the DEA

Public domain photo by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency


Edgardo Buscaglia
Senior Research Scholar in Law & Economics at Columbia University


Monday, October 30, 2017


Noon to 1:00 p.m. PDT


RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA


Edgardo Buscaglia recently published an article in Small Wars Journal. In it he shows that greater scopes of criminal organisations’ vertical integration within the legal economic domains always come hand in hand with political corruption. An example of vertical integration would include a transnational criminal network that acquires the “legal” economic capacity to generate its own raw materials, use these raw materials to produce the final goods or services to be later trafficked, transport the goods or services to be trafficked, distribute the good or service and also control the wholesale and retail legal businesses.

Buscaglia will discuss his findings that there is a chain reaction within which judicial system failures foster more frequent provisions of “alternative dispute resolution mechanisms” supplied by organised crime armed groups that are linked to a greater diversification of criminal markets and a greater vertical integration of legal markets supporting the criminal markets.


Edgardo Buscaglia is a Senior Research Scholar in Law & Economics at Columbia University. He studies the impact of legal and judicial frameworks on economic development. His current research focuses on factors affecting legal and economic integration in developing countries, the causes of public sector corruption, and intellectual property rights in developing countries. His research has been widely cited, and he has written or contributed to stories for various media outlets, including The New York Times and Time magazine. Buscaglia received his Ph.D. and his M.A. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Lic. degree at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1984.

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