Shanghai 1927 and La Paz 1980: Organized Crime and Ideology

Alfredo Schulte-Bockholt, St. Mary's University

This presentation focuses on two events that represent archtypes of organized crime -- elite collaboration and aims to demonstrate that the relationship between organized crime and elites can be ideological. The 1927 Shanghai coup resulted from the alliance beteen the Kuomintang under Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek and the country's most powerful organized crime group, the Green Gang, and took place as the country's elites were under pressure from the organized and revolutionary left during the early days of the Chinese revolution. In Bolivia, left-wing insurgencies had not been a threat to the elites since the late 1960s. however, the 1980 Cocaine coup was generated by corrupt military officer sand the country's leading drug traffickers. It was the goal to prevent the return to democratic rule which would have resulted in greater influence for Bolivia's powerful left-wing parties and unions, as well as inquiries into the rimes committed under military rule.

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Updated 05/20/2006