From the thesis abstract: "The escalation of violence between rival drug cartels, street gangs, and the government within Mexico has created concern in both Mexico and the United States. The fluid situation surrounding the Mexican drug war has led to much speculation about how to classify the powerful drug cartels conducting it. There is literature debating whether the cartels are merely a criminal enterprise or whether the cartels represent a new terrorist insurgency in Mexico. Utilizing multiple definitions of terrorism and insurgency, this study developed a conceptual model to compare and contrast with the activities of the drug cartels. The primary conclusion drawn is that the drug cartels do not represent an insurgency, rather they continue to operate as criminal organizations that occasionally use terrorist tactics."
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