Net-warlords: an information analysis of the Caballeros Templarios in Mexico
Whorton, Cabel N.
Welsh, Daniel E.
Freeman, Michael E.
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From late 2010 until spring 2014, the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel was the de-facto ruler of the Mexican state of Michoacán. This thesis will show how, through the use of a powerful narrative, the Caballeros Templarios were able to supplant both rival cartels and legitimate government authorities. They successfully evolved from a small criminal group into Mexico’s first true net-warlords. Using netwar and organizational design theory, this thesis will describe the structure of the Templarios, their doctrinal and ideological characteristics, and the implications these have for Mexico and the drug war writ large. The primary conclusion of this thesis is that the Caballeros Templarios applied principles characteristic of netwar to create a criminal parallel state, directly threatening the sovereignty of the Mexican state of Michoacán. Ultimately, recognizing the causes and nature of this kind of threat will guide development of effective security strategies for both the United States and Mexico.
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