El Chapo, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the most dangerous Mexican drug trafficker, has escaped from the maximum security prison where he had been held since his sensational second arrest, resorting to one of the most used methods of escape from the world's filmography: a tunnel dug in his cell.
Back in 2001 this man had managed to escape from a sensationally high security prison hidden in a laundry van. Fugues and their mode of execution as well as highlighting the corruption and incompetence of the authorities contribute to the myth of El Chapo and the relevance of the Federation of Sinaloa which is leading.
Mokhtar Bel Mokhtar, alias Mr. Marlboro, one of the most wanted jihadists in the area on the border between Chad, Niger and Tunisia, in spite of the findings of the Pentagon declared him dead for the fifth time, is supposed to be alive in the south east of Libya always intent, because of its main activities smuggler, to manage his criminal business alliances with anyone who is serving his trades: al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, tribal militias in Mali and perhaps soon even the followers of the local Islamic State.
What binds characters similar, so far away culturally, as security threat to the West? My answer is simple: be mobsters.
They are both simple mobster and mafia type criminals because, operate in the criminal business making use of local and international links to carry out their trade. But they are properly mafia type mobsters for another reason, because the intimidating power of which use is linked to corruption it generates, nourishes and sustains life in the criminal organizations that these characters represent the front man.
Without the covers of a certain politic powers deflected, and a certain economic and financial system, these criminal would be common criminals, maybe more dangerous than others, but criminals and no more than this. El Chapo and Bel Mokhtar reflect the Italian mafiosi mobsters such as Salvatore Riina yesterday, Matteo Messina Denaro today or tomorrow everyone will be called to assume the role of chief of chiefs. This truth has no boundaries because it is easily to found it at any latitude where occurs the welding of criminal, political and financial interests, as said, disconsolately, and aware that his time was coming to an end, a few hours before he was killed in his Palermo, the Italian Prosecutor Paolo Borsellino.
And it is rational to imagine that in the Maghreb Mokhtar Bel Moktar has been able to rage for decades changing criminal faction and alliances with various formations radical Islamic numerous times, surviving the competition with other criminal and attempts to arrest without appropriate covers; Salvatore Riina has been a fugitive in Italy for decades as Bernardo Provenzano did, and El Chapo is able to escape into and out of prison as if he went to the Opera. It is too trivial to draw the obvious considerations: the major organized crime is serving centers of occult power.
But today the situation has taken a further chrism of social menace in relation to the evolution of economic globalized phenomena, the widening gap between the north and south of the planet, exacerbated by demographic phenomena and social disparity reflected also in the phenomena of radical Islamic onset and, ultimately, in relation to the predominance of economics over politics that is in the decline of the Nation State its confirmation.
Today figures like El Chapo and mr. Marlboro, which already represented a threat to their local social systems from the criminological point of view, must be regarded as serious threats to the national security of the West.
This step is not trivial since it carries a new policy approach, starting from the change apparel mental approach to the issue. Just at this moment Italy is called upon to manage a blackmail by criminal organizations Libyan who kidnapped four Italian workers whose salvation depends, probably, to the release of some human traffickers. It is a novelty that brings a turning point: transnational organized crime is now able to treat, indeed blackmail a state.
In the past, in the worst cases, these events were confined within states that had to do with local criminal organizations; here it is a totally new episode.
First of all it should be clear that the most important subject is not the band of criminals Libyans who managed to kidnap the four Italians, but the transnational crime that benefits from the criminal activities in Libya and that work behind the Libyan criminals.
This incident clearly shows that now transnational crime has assumed a role in geopolitical scenario operating under the criminal profile, but also in cooperation with outside forces such as in a growing number of joint ventures and affiliations with Islamic radicalism.
In June this year, the United Nations Organization on Drugs and Crime UNODC published the report: The Afghan opium trade through the Route of the South, which detects the substantial deviation of the traffic of Afghan opiates through the Persian Gulf and the Middle East to East and West Africa. The South Route runs from Pakistan, through its ports on the Indian Ocean, serves as a bridge to Asia and to African countries; whereas, by land, through Iran and Iraq, the Persian Gulf countries to reach the Sinai Peninsula and then the Centre and North Africa.
This news should put in extra alarm policy and the forces of Western intelligence since this deviation -respect to the well known dynamics of the past- can only be connected to the increasingly close relationship between organized crime and terrorism and therefore phenomena of onset.
It is sufficient just to take a look at one of the many maps that highlight the areas of international crises, African and Middle Eastern countries, to see that the Route South tallies and invests the areas of crisis and instability in which predominant is the presence and activities of those radicalized Islamic forces which question the past geopolitical balance by resorting to acts of terrorism or, as in the case of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the real occurrence.
West Africa has taken on the role of world center of storage and transit of cocaine production Latin American and Afghan heroin whose management and exploitation generates enormous profits attractive not only by the simple crime, as always relegated to subsidiary tasks, but certainly to power groups connotations politically and economically with entrepreneurial skills transnational whose interests, choices and future policies, will challenge global stability.
This assumption has essentially two aspects: one of criminological relevant global dynamics of these trades, and the other political, in a local sense, geopolitical and internationally, relating the balance of the entire Black Ridge goes to the Far East to Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Criminal organizations in Mexico have now assumed the leadership of the management of disposal of cocaine worldwide. The Mexican cartels are stronger, locally due to the management of Andean cocaine trade, which feed the still ongoing narco-war, and project themselves abroad in order to form relationships to enter directly into new markets. In this the Italian ‘Ndrangheta from Calabria has carved out globally a different role, but integrated into the system, the maximum broker worldwide in large transactions.
The activities of El Chapo have repercussions in West Africa and in Nigeria, which is home to the most powerful international mafia and fierce, because the epigones local can, through corruption, fold the weak and corrupt states to their own interests in a spiral that has to successful development of local political realities prone to criminal business interests.
How is it possible that Mexico as well as Italy, two countries that developed, modern economic, two democracies, still are under the threat, in decades, Italy centuries, of mafias with a large part of its territories under the influence and more often under the control organized crime? Evidently because their major criminal organizations and have the backing of strong centers of interest that allow survival.
Now, if these trends have similar results in Mexico and in Italy it is logical to think that in reality far behind those, such as in Africa they will constitute the backbone of the social construction future. And it is in this process that are entering the dynamics of Islam and radicalized insurgents. That is the reason why today every pound of Andean cocaine or heroin in Afghanistan that passes along the Black Ridge is a threat to Western security.
This kind of criminals, and their criminal organizations, now represent the real threats to the security of Western countries because of the effects that their activities generate. It appears once more, and with greater clarity evident that the war to contain international terrorism that threatens the West will now be played more in the area of criminal affairs than on open fields of battle because terrorism is financed, in its research phase of gain power, through the relationship with the local and transnational organized crime from Afghanistan, China, Iraq, the Caucasus, from the Arabian Peninsula to Morocco and Mali to Nigeria.