A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

Tracking Cartels: Exploiting Open Sources to Identify Trends


Tracking Cartels: Exploiting Open Sources to Identify Trends

Other START Researchers: 
Adam Martin

Project Details


The project team, which comprises the joint efforts of researchers from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), the Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis Center (CINA), and the Center for Acceleration Operational Efficiency (CAOE) – all DHS Centers of Excellence – are working together to develop a multi-pronged approach to triangulate open source information about transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), including major Cartels and gangs (e.g. MS-13), operating in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (the Northern Triangle). The purpose is to build a holistic and accurate understanding of TCOs activities, in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries using open-source information that can be analyzed.


The teams are working to build multifaceted tools to aid in detecting trends and spatial relationships. To achieve this, START will exploit open-source research to identify data sources, including foreign government documents and gazetteers, CINA will develop a linked gazetteer to show trends across locations, and CAOE will create a suite of effective and efficient AI tools for analysis and forecasting.


Project Period: 
July 2019 to July 2020

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