Mexico Is Not Colombia: Alternative Historical Analogies for Responding to the Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations - Vol. 1

Mexico Is Not Colombia: Alternative Historical Analogies for Responding to the Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations - Vol. 1

Mexico Is Not Colombia: Alternative Historical Analogies for Responding to the Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations - Vol. 1

Mexico Is Not Colombia: Alternative Historical Analogies for Responding to the Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Despite the scope of the threat they pose to Mexico's security, violent drug-trafficking organizations are not well understood, and optimal strategies to combat them have not been identified. While there is no perfectly analogous case from history, Mexico stands to benefit from historical lessons and efforts that were correlated with improvement in countries facing similar challenges related to violence and corruption.

Excerpt

The full scope and details of the challenges posed by Mexico’s violent drug-trafficking organizations are not well understood, and optimal strategies to combat these organizations have not been identified. The associated security challenges are not confined to Mexico; indeed, many are rooted in (or have spilled over into) neighboring countries, including the United States. Scholars often compare these security challenges with those faced by Colombia, but there are vocal critics of this approach. If Mexico is not like Colombia, what is it like? Clearly, there are historical security challenges (and corresponding resolutions) that are germane to contemporary Mexico. To answer the question posed above, it is important to evaluate the historical record, identify the correct comparisons, and make the correct inferences based on those comparisons. This study sought to make better historical comparisons with Mexico by identifying cases of “resource” insurgency (those in which insurgents do not seek to control the government but simply to eliminate state interference with their exploitation of resources), cases of warlordism or ungoverned territories, and cases of efforts to combat organized crime.

This report offers an overview of the study’s methodology, including case selection and the analytic framework that guided the research. It also summarizes the primary findings from the comparison of the cases and puts forward several recommendations that Mexico’s government could pursue in an effort to address and resolve its current security challenges. The full case studies are available in a companion report, Mexico Is Not Colombia: Alternative Historical Analogies for . . .

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