Mexico's Drug Trafficking Organizations: Source and Scope of the Rising Violence [January 7, 2011] [open pdf - 575KB]
"In Mexico, the violence generated by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in recent years has been, according to some, unprecedented. In 2006, Mexico's newly elected President Felipe Calderón launched an aggressive campaign--an initiative that has defined his administration-- against the DTOs that has been met with a violent response from the DTOs. Government enforcement efforts have had successes in removing some of the key leaders in all of the seven major DTOs. However, these efforts have led to violent succession struggles within the DTOs themselves. In July 2010, the Mexican government announced that more than 28,000 people had been killed in drug trafficking-related violence since December 2006, when President Calderón came to office. […] The growing security crisis in Mexico, including the March 13, 2010, killing of three individuals connected to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico (two of the victims were U.S. citizens), has drawn the attention of the U.S. Congress and has raised concerns about the stability of a strategic partner and neighbor. Congress is also concerned about the possibility of 'spillover' violence along the U.S. border and further inland. The 111th Congress held more than 20 hearings dealing with the violence in Mexico, U.S. foreign assistance, and border security issues. The 112th Congress is likely to be interested in progress made by the Calderón government in quelling the violence and asserting its authority in DTO strongholds, and in the implications for the United States. Members are also likely to continue to conduct close oversight of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation and other related bilateral issues."
CRS Report for Congress, R41576