Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, December 16, 2016

Violence and governance in Mexico

Is the Mexican government capable of governing? The wars among drug gangs suggest not. Can the government and/or the regime survive?

Mexico Grapples With a Surge in Violence
By the end of October, at least 96 people had been killed in the border city of Ciudad Juárez. It was the highest monthly tally since 2012…

In the last year, the number of homicides around Mexico has soared to levels not seen in several years…

The relapse in security has unnerved Mexico and led many to wonder whether the country is on the brink of a bloody, all-out war between criminal groups…

The surge in violence around Mexico reflects an increasingly volatile criminal landscape and the limitations of North America’s counternarcotics strategy, and it has contributed to the plummeting approval ratings of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

A longstanding cornerstone of the Mexican government’s fight against organized crime — backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in American aid — has been to aim at the kingpins, on the theory that cutting off the head will wither the body. But the tactic has helped to fragment monolithic, hierarchical criminal enterprises into an array of groups that are more violent and uncontrollable, analysts said.

Though the clashes between remnant drug groups are widely thought to be a significant cause in the rising violence, analysts and government officials also point to other factors, including changes in political control of state and municipal governments after recent elections.

As old political power structures make way for new ones, cooperation between the corrupt authorities and criminal groups fall apart, analysts said…

Even while acknowledging the increase in homicides, officials have apparently sought to play it down…

Officials have also denied that the problem is widespread…

The responses have left many analysts to conclude that the administration lacks a coherent strategy to address the problem…

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