Mexico's Drug Trafficking Organizations: Source and Scope of the Rising Violence [September 7, 2011] [open pdf - 711KB]
"The violence generated by Mexico's drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in recent years has been unprecedented. In 2006, Mexico's newly elected President Felipe CalderÃ³n launched an aggressive campaign against the DTOsâ€"an initiative that has defined his administrationâ€"that has been met with a violent response from the DTOs. Government enforcement efforts have successfully removed some of the key leaders in all of the seven major DTOs, either through arrests or deaths in operations to detain them. However, these efforts have led to succession struggles within the DTOs themselves that generated more violence. According to the Mexican government's estimate, organized crime-related violence claimed more than 34,500 lives between January 2007 and December 2010. By conservative estimates, there have been an additional 8,000 homicides in 2011, increasing the number of deaths related to organized crime to over 40,000 since President CalderÃ³n came to office in late 2006. [...] This report provides background on drug trafficking in Mexico; identifies the major drug trafficking organizations; and analyzes the context, scope, and scale of the violence. It examines current trends of the violence, analyzes prospects for curbing violence in the future, and compares it with violence in Colombia."
CRS Report for Congress, R41576