Want To Reduce Illegal Immigration? End The Drug War.

8/29/15 Huffington Post

DEA badgeSeveral GOP presidential hopefuls have over the last few weeks offered wildly extreme and generally unrealistic proposals for deterring illegal immigration — largely spurred by Donald Trump’s grandiose plan to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, then let a few of the “good ones” back in, all while building a giant, possibly self-branded border wall. Other ideas Republican primary candidates have pondered lately include eliminating birthright citizenship, which is guaranteed by the 14th amendment to the Constitution, because some argue that it acts as a magnet for undocumented immigrants.

While these ideas might energize the GOP’s conservative base, they wouldn’t do much to deter illegal immigration, for one simple reason: All of these propositions rest on the false assumption that most undocumented immigrants are crossing into the U.S. primarily to look for a better life and a higher-paying job.

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How the Drug War Redefines U.S.-Mexico Relations

7/23/15 Stratfor Global Intelligence

DEA badgeThe escape of notorious Sinaloa drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera has cast a shadow on Mexico’s attempts to appear capable of combating organized crime. Nearly a week after Guzman’s July 11 escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison, Mexico City’s top officials are working in earnest to organize Guzman’s recapture. Officials including Secretary of the Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong are also busy trying to ease the political fallout and temper international embarrassment from the prison break. Some 10,000 federal police officers reportedly have been assigned to the hunt, and Mexican federal officials are personally overseeing investigations of the case.

Though Guzman’s escape will not directly alter the established trajectory of Mexican organized crime or the resulting levels of insecurity, the fact that one of Mexico’s most famous crime bosses was able to elude authorities for a second time touches a nerve in Mexico City. Mexico has been trying to shake the image that it is corrupt and insecure, but to the dismay of many U.S. officials, the country is refusing to allow the United States to more actively intervene in the search for Guzman, a clear sign of the changing dynamic between Mexico City and Washington.

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El Chapo Escapes: Major Setback for Mexico’s War on Organized Crime

Duncan,-for-wwics-site-2Duncan Wood, Director of the Mexico Institute, discusses El Chapo’s escape and what it means for Mexico’s War on Crime.

Watch the interview here

Mapping Mexico’s deadly drug war

07/01/15 Science

mexican drugsOn 11 December 2006, former Mexican President Felipe Calderón deployed troops to fight the country’s increasingly powerful drug cartels, plunging Mexico into a war in which more than 100,000 people have been killed or disappeared. Now, a new study uses statistics and complex networks analysis to reveal the patterns by which violence spread across the country between 2007 and 2011—the last year for which records are available. The results may contribute to the debate about how effective the government’s policy of attacking cartel leaders has been in reducing violence, experts say.

This approach “represents an attempt to reveal the actual dynamics of drug violence [and demonstrates] how the conflict actually unfolds and evolves,” says Michael Lawrence, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Waterloo in Canada, whose work has focused on the application of complexity science to issues of conflict and security and who was not involved in the research.

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‘The Cartel’ Is Your Annual Reminder that the War on Drugs Isn’t Over

6/26/15 Newsweek

Mexican_drug_cartels_2008Sitting across from crime novelist Don Winslow, I’m finding it hard to reconcile this soft-spoken, bespectacled man of 61 with the scene I keep replaying in my head: a drug kingpin throwing two children off a bridge to send a message to a rival. I’ve had nightmares about this scene.

The kingpin is Adán Barrera, heir to a Mexico-based international drug syndicate and a main character in Winslow’s 2005 novel, The Power of the Dog, which documented the birth of the Drug Enforcement Administration and its much-maligned War on Drugs. In The Cartel, the hefty sequel that came out in June, Winslow revisits that war and America’s role in it, while Barrera revives his longtime enmity with DEA maverick Art Keller—the so-called “Border Lord”—and everyone from local dope boys to corrupt police officers to prostitutes-turned-traffickers gets caught up in their blood feud, or killed. Often both.

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Top Mexican Drug Cartel Leaders Captured or Killed in Recent Years

The Associated Press, U.S. News and World Report, 2/27/2015

hands in handcuffsMEXICO CITY (AP) — Recent captures or killings of top Mexican drug cartel leaders:

— Feb. 27, 2015: Authorities say federal police capture Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, one of the world’s most-wanted drug lords who once terrorized Michoacan state as leader of the Knights Templar cartel.

— Oct. 9, 2014: Mexican officials announce the arrest of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, purported leader of the Juarez cartel.

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Servando ‘La Tuta’ Gomez, Mexico’s Most Wanted Drug Lord, Captured: Officials

Raul Torres and Erin McClam, NBC News, 2/27/2015

Getty Images
Getty Images

One of the most wanted drug lords in Mexico has been captured, authorities said Friday.

Servando Gomez, known as La Tuta, the leader of the Knights Templar cartel, was arrested overnight, Mexican authorities told Telemundo.

Gomez was the target of a push by President Enrique Peña Nieto to regain control of the state of Michoacán, which has been wracked by clashes between the cartel and heavily armed vigilantes trying to oust them.

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