From the Abstract: "Cartels in Mexico produce significant levels of violence and criminality in Mexico through their illicit narcotics trade. The effects of cartel activity spill over into the United States through immigration issues and narcotics deaths. In 2006, the Mexican government applied a counternetwork decapitation strategy to eliminate cartel leadership and thereby reduce criminality in an attempt to ease pressure from both sides of the border. The US supported the Mexican strategy through the Mérida Initiative to build security capacity. However, from 2006 to 2018 homicide rates per 100,000 residents increased in Mexico by 248 percent, while illicit narcotics trafficking and indicators of corruption, extortion, kidnapping, and human trafficking rose. I have shown, using secondary source material and analytical and qualitative methods, the nature of the illicit-narcotics problem and explain why past strategies failed. The problem facing the US and Mexico consists of deficient human security fueled by an illicit narcotics supply-demand dynamic rooted in societal issues and economic underdevelopment. Cartels take advantage of this shortfall. Because the Mexican government misdiagnosed the threat, it applied incoherent and unproductive measures more suited for a Clausewitzian war paradigm strategy. Finally, I identify a paradox in the narcotics legalization argument that harbors significant challenges to successful implementation and holds the potential for transforming a human security problem into an insurgency."
Wright Flyer Paper No. 78
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