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Transnational Organized Crime in the Americas: Foundations, Trends and Challenges

Organized crime (OC) constitutes one of the greatest threats to public and citizen security in Latin America and Colombia. To address the challenges that this phenomenon generates in the current context of peace building in Colombia, the School of Political Science, Government and International Relations (FCPGRI) of the Universidad del Rosario and InSight Crime have joined efforts to found the Colombian Organized Crime Observatory. 

The research and journalistic work of InSight Crime and the Observatory in monitoring the changing OC dynamics in Colombia; the analysis of the main OC patterns and trends in Colombia and their articulation with other criminal organizations in the region; and the development of public debate events during 2018 with national and international experts, have allowed us to consolidate the proposal for 2019 of the summer course "Transnational organized crime in the Americas: foundations, trends and challenges".
During an intensive three-week course, participants will have the unique opportunity to enrich knowledge, discuss and critically reflect on the trends of organized crime in the Americas. Through a conceptual approach and an interdisciplinary analysis, the course will delve into a set of interrelated themes that allow understanding how transnational organized crime (TOC) constitutes one of the greatest threats to public and citizen security in Latin America and Colombia, the existing national and international containment policies and the challenges it poses in the search for effective solutions to regional threats derived from the TOC.

Addressed to

Academic community of the Universidad del Rosario, public officials of the Colombian Government at national and local level, members of the Security Sector, schools of thought, research centers, observatories and civil society organizations, general public interested in the TOC.


General objectives

  • Understand the dynamics of the TOC in the Americas, from a perspective that articulates the theoretical understanding, the national and international institutional frameworks for action, and the analysis of case studies.

Specific objectives
  • Understand the conceptual and theoretical framework of the TOC, deepening on its classification and manifestations.
  • Identify the dynamics and networks of organized crime in the Americas, based on the actors, flows and networks.
  • Distinguish the various ways in which the activities and structures of organized crime transcend borders.
  • Determine the main elements of the institutional framework and international cooperation in the fight against the TOC, and of particular attention in the case of Colombia.


Keynote lectures in charge of the invited international professors and discussion seminar based on case studies. The students have to write a final document with no more than 3000 words.


  • Interaction in learning spaces from the interdisciplinary analysis.
  • Capacities' development for the analysis from comparative case studies, going into detail in the Americas region.
  • Expand the collaborative work and research network on TOC with the Colombian Observatory of Organized Crime and other stakeholders.


Jeremy McDermott

InSight Crime


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Angélica Durán Martínez

University of Massachusetts - Lowell


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Dates: June 10th to 28th, 2019.
Schedule: Monday to Friday, 4:00 p.m. a 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Sede Claustro, Universidad del Rosario, Cl 12C # 6-25, Bogotá.
Intensity: 45 hours.

Type of Offer: Course.
Credits: 3 UR credits (5.1 ECTS).
Language: Spanish.
School: School of Political Science, Government and International Relations.
Fees: $ 1,800,000 COP - USD $572 (approx.)

  • Early bird discount: 10% (until May 26th, 2019)
  • UR Community: 10%
  • International Community: 10%

Organizing committee

  • Arlene B. Tickner – School of Political Science, Government and International Relations, Universidad del Rosario.

*Universidad del Rosario holds the right to change or modify the timeline and/or the speakers of the course.