As Mexico continues to struggle with the effects of illegal activity within and along its border region, evidenced by dramatic growth in drug-related violence, join U.S. Representative Kay Granger for a congressional perspective on the status of U.S. security assistance to Mexico and policy options moving forward.
In this Markets and Democracy Brief, Shannon O'Neil charts the progress of Mexico's economic and democratic reforms. She sees grounds for optimism on both fronts but concludes that Mexico risks falling behind unless it redoubles efforts to overcome its authoritarian past.
Brazen assassinations, kidnappings, and political intimidation by drug lords conjure up images of Colombia in the early 1990s. Yet today it is Mexico that is being engulfed by escalating violence, and U.S. gun laws, immigration rules, drug control and border policies all have exacerbated the problems.
A new shift in U.S.-Mexico security cooperation that focuses on border surveillance and the underpinnings of drug violence is a good long-term approach, but will require patience on both sides, says CFR Latin America expert Shannon O'Neil.
In Ciudad Juarez, where three people with connections to the U.S. consulate were killed over the weekend, it's local gangs rather than drug cartels that are spreading violence, says CFR's Shannon O'Neil. To fight them, part of what's needed is better law and police enforcement and better education.
Mexico's economy and tourism industry are growing despite an escalation in drug violence in recent years, says CFR's Shannon O'Neil as she discusses its implications for U.S.-Mexico relations, immigration, and U.S. economic growth.
Despite the unknowns about the swine flu outbreak, policymakers need to keep a steady flow of information and prevent a panicked global response, says Michael Osterholm, a leading public health expert.
Shannon O’Neil, CFR’s Mexico expert, says Washington’s $1.4 billion multiyear plan to bolster Mexico’s crackdown on drug and criminal rings, while drawing criticism, is likely to win congressional approval.
Congressman Thomas Tancredo, a four-term Colorado Republican who chairs the 104-member House Immigration Reform Caucus, believes that tough immigration reform is essential to preserve the country's identity.
"[Joaquin] Guzman has been characterized by the U.S. Treasury Department as "the world's most powerful drug trafficker," and after the killing of Osama bin Laden, three years ago, he became perhaps the most wanted fugitive on the planet. Mexican politicians promised to bring him to justice, and the U.S. offered a five-million-dollar reward for information leading to his capture. But part of Guzmán's fame stemmed from the perception that he was uncatchable, and he continued to thrive, consolidating control of key smuggling routes and extending his operation into new markets in Europe, Asia, and Australia. According to one study, the Sinaloa cartel is now active in more than fifty countries."
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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