The relationship between organized crime and politics around the world has become akin to symbiotic.

The self-interested complicity between political actors and organized criminal networks is undermining the most basic compact between citizens and the state, and in the worst of cases has caused massive human insecurity. Public goods comprise a core element of this social contract. In turn, service delivery is an integral part of the citizen–state relationship.

This report explores how and why organized crime becomes involved in service delivery, and how this affects the relationships between organized crime, the state and citizens. It draws on a wide range of examples to illustrate some of the ways in which organized crime has captured service delivery in different parts of the world. Case studies from Afghanistan, Colombia and Somalia illustrate organized crime’s engagement in service delivery.


Publication date
08 September 2016
Catalina Uribe Burcher (editor), Tuesday Reitano, Marcena Hunter, Catalina Perdomo, Adam Rodriques
Number of pages
Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime
978-91-7671-067-8 (Print)




1. Introduction

2. Service delivery

3. Service provision

4. Case study: Afghanistan

5. Case study: Colombia

6. Case study: Somalia

7. Conclusions and recommendations


About the authors

About the organizations 

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Protecting Politics: Deterring the Influence of Organized Crime on Public Service Delivery

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