Text Browser Navigation Bar: Main Site Navigation and Search | Current Page Navigation | Current Page Content

U.S. Army War College >> Strategic Studies Institute >> Publications >> Threat Posed by Mounting Vigilantism in Mexico

Login to "My SSI" Contact About SSI Cart: 0 items

U.S. Army War College >> Strategic Studies Institute >> Publications >> Details

Threat Posed by Mounting Vigilantism in Mexico

Authored by Dr. George W. Grayson.

Threat Posed by Mounting Vigil... Cover Image

Brief Synopsis

Until the 1980s, Mexico enjoyed relative freedom from violence. Ruthless drug cartels existed, but they usually abided by informal rules of conduct hammered out between several capos and representatives of the dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled the country until the 1990s. Relying on bribes, the desperados pursued their illicit activities with the connivance of authorities. In return for the legal authorities turning a blind eye, drug dealers behaved discretely, shunned high-tech weapons, deferred to public figures, spurned kidnapping, and even appeared with governors at their children’s weddings. Unlike their Colombian counterparts, Mexico’s barons did not seek elective office. In addition, they did not sell drugs within the country, corrupt children, target innocent people, engage in kidnapping, or invade the turf or product-line (marijuana, heroin, cocaine, etc.) of competitors. The situation was sufficiently fluid so that should a local police or military unit refuse to cooperate with a cartel, the latter would simply transfer its operations to a nearby municipality where they could clinch the desired arrangement. Three key events in the 1980s and 1990s changed the “live and let live” ethos that enveloped illegal activities. Mexico became the new avenue for Andean cocaine shipped to the United States after the U.S. military and law-enforcement authorities sharply reduced its flow into Florida and other South Atlantic states. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on January 1, 1994, greatly increased economic activities throughout the continent. Dealers often hid cocaine and other drugs among the merchandise that moved northward through Nuevo Laredo, El Paso, Tijuana, and other portals. The change in routes gave rise to Croesus-like profits for cocaine traffickers--a phenomenon that coincided with an upsurge of electoral victories. Largely unexamined amid this narco-mayhem are vigilante activities. With federal resources aimed at drug traffickers and local police more often a part of the problem than a part of the solution, vigilantes are stepping into the void. Suspected criminals who run afoul of these vigilantes endure the brunt of a skewed version of justice that enjoys a groundswell of support.

You may also be interested in the following titles:

Survey: Threat Posed by Mounting Vigilantism in Mexico

1. How would you rate the writing and overall quality? (5 best - 1 Worst)

2. Is the content relevant for influencing present and future debates?

Also by the Author/Editor:

The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America: Sadism as an Instrument of Cartel Warfare
The Impact of President Felipe Calderón’s War on Drugs on the Armed Forces: The Prospects for Mexico’s “Militarization” and Bilateral Relations
La Familia Drug Cartel: Implications for U.S.-Mexican Security

View other pubs in the following categories:

Western Hemisphere
Mexico

  • Download it Now!

  • Hardcopies

    • Study is: Available
    • Add to Cart
    • View Cart
    • All hardcopies are free of charge, shipping inclusive.
    • For out of stock or digital only publications, refer to the new GPO on-demand site. For a small fee, recieve many prior publications. Click here to visit.
    • All materials on our website are available as a free download.

Subscribe using RSS Website Subscriptions