Jackson School Journal
of International Studies

A New Approach to Old Problems

by admin, December 20, 2013

Volume 4 Number 2 – Autumn 2013

Carl Hvenmark-Nilsson

A New Approach to Old Problems

Rethinking U.S. Policy Options for Addressing Drug Cartels and Destabilizing Violence in Mexico


“During recent years, Mexico has seen a dramatic rise in homicides, forced disappearances and destabilizing violence against civil institutions. Mexico and the United States have responded with a combination of military force and institutional policy solutions to tackle the spread of violence, but have so far been incapable of dealing with either local or national challenges. The number of killings is estimated to have surpassed 70,000 since December 2006, when then-president Felipe Calderón implemented his heavily militarized approach. This “war on drugs” continues to be one of the most stagnant areas of conflict management, wherein debate over effective response measures is sometimes driven more by politics or media sensationalism than empirical evidence. I suggest a demilitarized and more comprehensive approach to address the complex pattern of “narco-economics” and cartel violence. A holistic set of solutions would not only improve U.S. policy toward Mexico but perhaps also make a valid model for future efforts by the international community to effectively tackle transnational forms of organized crime and rebuilt crucial civic-state trust post-conflict areas.”
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