Jun 30, 2010

The War on Drugs

Killing of Mexcian Governor Front-runner Stirs Concern for Democratic Process Rodolfo Torre, the front-runner in this weekend's gubernatorial election in the violence-plagued northern state of Tamaulipas, was ambushed and killed Monday. The slayings of Torre and four other people in his party underscored what analysts and officials on both sides of the border said was the pervasive influence of criminal organizations and their determination to decide who governs Mexico. ... A U.S. law enforcement intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Torre killing represented the arrival of a darker and more imminent threat to Mexico in which politicians will increasingly be targeted. June 29, 2010, Dallas Morning News

Mexico´s Meth Warriors Mexico's newest drug cartel, and certainly the most bizarre, is La Familia Michoacana, a violent but Christian fundamentalist narco-gang based in the torrid Tierra Caliente region of western Michoacan state. The group is infamous for methamphetamine smuggling, lopping off enemies' heads and limbs, and massacring police and soldiers. ... La Familia is establishing a troubling new narco-business model: It doesn't merely buy off officials, it puts its own candidates in power. "Other cartels just pay off the political structure in order to be able to do their business," says a Michoacan investigator, who estimates the group controls 83 of the state's 113 municipal governments. "La Familia is making itself the political structure." June 28, 2010, Time

The New Cocaine Cowboys NY Times OpEd by Robert  C. Bonner, senior principal of the Sentinel Group and former administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under President George H.W. Bush from 1990 to 1993 and commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. 
In the last two decades, Mexican drug cartels have acquired unprecedented power to corrupt and intimidate. Three factors account for their rise: pre-existing corruption, the inability of weak law enforcement institutions to counter them, and the demand for illegal drugs in the United States. ... The situation in Mexico today, including the violence, is similar to the one that Colombia faced 20 years ago. ... There are several lessons to be drawn from Colombia’s successful campaign.

New Focus

The U.S. and Mexico are increasingly interdependent. Three critical issues are coming to dominate this interdependence:

  • The War over Drugs
  • Migration and the Border
  • Globalization and Politics. 
The dynamics of these issues are changing almost daily. The Americas Program believes it is crucial to stay abreast of these developments.
Therefore, The Americas  MexicoBlog will now be providing current updates of news about each of them.