The Impact: Coronavirus and Organized Crime is a special edition weekly podcast from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. We'll look at how the ongoing COVID-19 virus is impacting on organized crime around the world and how the illicit economy may affect our ability to respond to the virus.
We'll be covering cyber crime, wildlife crime, counterfeit medicines, drug trafficking and drug users, street mafia crime, human smuggling and money laundering.
COVID, Brazil & Organized Crime
Brazil is a vast country of some 211 million people. A nation full of energy but also plagued by crime; powerful criminal networks like the PCC and Red Commando battle over international and domestic drug trafficking routes. Then there is illegal logging, gold mining, land invasion, human trafficking, high levels of violence, highly militarised law enforcement and a huge corruption scandal that rocked the Brazilian political class.
And now COVID-19 has struck and Brazil has the second highest number of cases in the world.
Ana Paula Oliveira (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/ana-paula-oliveira/) / Jack Meegan-Vickers
GI Network of Experts (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/antonio-sampaio/)
GI Network of experts (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/christian-vianna-de-azevedo/)
Gabriel de Santis Feltran (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/gabriel-de-santis-feltran/), a Professor at the Federal University of Sao Carlos in Sao Paulo state and member of the GI Network of experts
a member of the GI Network of experts. (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/adriana-erthal-abdenur/)
‘Illicit order: The militarized logic of organized crime and urban security in Rio de Janeiro’ (https://globalinitiative.net/illicit-order-rio-brazil/)
Bonus Episode: Sarah Chayes on Corruption
In this bonus episode of The Impact: Coronavirus and Organized Crime, Jack sits down with author and former NPR foreign correspondent, Sarah Chayes (https://www.sarahchayes.org/).
In this extended version of the interview which was part of the COVID and Corruption episode, Sarah talks about her experience of studying corruption around the world and how kleptocratic networks capture state institutions, even in the United States.
Sarah Chayes (https://twitter.com/Sarah_Chayes?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor) is the author of Thieves of State and the upcoming book On Corruption in America.
The COVID Roundtable
A different sounding episode as Jack sits down with a collection of organized crime experts to discuss what we have seen over the past few months and what might happen next.
COVID and Corruption P2
This Pandemic is causing huge economic impacts. The World Bank has forecast a contraction of 5.3% in global GDP in 2020 – that is the deepest global recession in decades leaving lasting scars on the lives of people living all over the world.
And this could manifest itself in many ways - a rush to push government policy through to help combat the immediate effects of COVID means that the usual stringent checks may be ignored.
And organized criminal networks are positioning themselves to capture state institutions and contracts – enriching themselves at the expense of the public.
Andy Guth (https://knowledgehub.transparency.org/experts/andrew-guth) - adjunct professor and an expert on anti-corruption and how it works with transnational organized crime groups.
Professor Adriano Nuvunga (https://twitter.com/adriano_nuvunga?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor) - Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development in Mozambique and a leading civil society activist.
Brookings Institution (https://www.brookings.edu/) and also a member of the GI Network of experts.
Ambassador Ugi Zvekic (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/ugljesa-ugi-zvekic/) - Senior Adviser at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime.
Faces of Assassination (https://assassination.globalinitiative.net/)
COVID and Corruption P1
It’s clear that throughout the recorded history of humanity, corruption has been present – and in a modern context Transparency International define corruption as the “abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.
In this time of unprecedented economic recession due to the COVID health crisis, organized corruption networks, are in a perfect position to bleed the system and organized criminal groups will be in line to slice off their share.
When huge economic stimuli are injected into the system, it causes unintended consequences. As one of our guests today wrote (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/course-relief-money-will-be-ill-spent/610126/)that "an emergency offers unparalleled opportunities for the coordinated looting of public coffers that feeds such networks. Life is upended; emotions run high. In the scramble, tested procedures are ignored and structures are disorganized. Exhausted decision makers, pressured to “do something,” miss crucial details, even as quantities of cash are injected into the chaos.”
U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre (https://www.u4.no/)
Director, West Africa at the Ford Foundation (https://www.fordfoundation.org/about/people/innocent-chukwuma/)
On Corruption in America. (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/585789/on-corruption-in-america-by-sarah-chayes/)
Ana Castro - Coordinator for Central America at Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/ana-castro/)
Faces of Assassination (https://assassination.globalinitiative.net/)
Global Initiative Podcasts (https://globalinitiative.net/article_type/podcasts/)
Illegal Wildlife Trade: Responsible for COVID?
We explore the illegal wildlife trade and it's apparent role in the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. The huge socio-economic consequences on the communities where this trade takes place, not to mention the threat to biodiversity, environmental sustainability, the brutality suffered by the animals themselves.
The illegal wildlife trade is complex and far reaching – it’s estimated to be worth between seven and 23 billion US dollars, making it one of the most lucrative forms of transnational organised crimes.
It's also used as a way to launder illicit proceeds from other illegal markets such as narcotics, the arms trade and modern slavery.
Environmental Investigation Agency (https://eia-international.org/).
GI Network (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/nirmal-ghosh/)).
WWF, South Africa. (https://www.wwf.org.za/)
Alastair Nelson (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/alastair-nelson/) – Resilience Fund Coordinator for Mozambique for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.
GI Network (https://globalinitiative.net/experts/carl-miller/)).
Michigan State University. (https://www.canr.msu.edu/people/meredith_gore)
Global Initiative Digital Dangers (https://globalinitiative.net/?s=digital+dangers)
Customer ReviewsSee All
...for the next instalment but also the longer version of the interview with sarah chayes who was very convincing on kleptocratic tendencies and what state capture really means.
I wouldn’t have considered how coronavirus might have been so connect to organized crime. This was a real eye opener.
Insightful, entertaining and timely!
If you are looking for entertaining yet reliable insights into how criminal markets have changed since COVID-19, look no further! The experts are captivating and the podcasts are extremely well put together. I have learnt an enormous amount in only a few hours. Highly recommended!!