Mexico

Must Read

New Yorker: The Hunt For El Chapo

Author: Patrick Radden Keefe

"[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."

See more in Mexico; Politics and Strategy

Op-Ed

Arms, the United States, and the Americas

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

The issue of gun control is far from limited to the domestic politics of the United States: transnational gun trafficking makes armed violence a continental problem. The United States and Brazil, home to the largest arms industries in the Hemisphere, should partner to safeguard weapons stocks and staunch the flow of illegal weapons to illicit groups writes Julia Sweig.

See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; Mexico; United States; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation

Foreign Affairs Article

The Rise of Mexico’s Self-Defense Forces

Authors: Patricio Afura-Heim and Ralph Espach

Across Mexico, the lawlessness and carnage of the drug wars have given rise to scores of local self-defense forces aiming to defend their communities. The federal government may be tempted to disband and disarm these armed vigilantes, but until it can shape up its security sector, the local groups offer an imperfect but acceptable alternative.

See more in Mexico; Homeland Security; Drug Trafficking and Control

Testimony

Refocusing U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation

Author: Shannon K. O'Neil

In her testimony before the Senate Subcommmittee on Western Hemisphere and Global Narcotics Affairs, Shannon K. O'Neil discusses the United States' bilateral security relationship with Mexico and argues that a strong and safe Mexico will have positive benefits for the United States, while a dangerous Mexico will have repercussions far beyond the southern U.S. border.

See more in Mexico; United States; Regional Security

Ask CFR Experts

Is it part of the U.S. anti-drug policy to sell weapons to Mexico to combat drug cartels?

Asked by Zub Merch

Under the security cooperation agreement called the Merida Initiative, the United States provides military and law enforcement assistance to the Mexican government in support of efforts to combat drug cartels and organized crime. The United States and Mexico jointly developed this agreement in response to a substantial increase in drug-related criminal activity and violence on both sides of the border.

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See more in Mexico; United States; Drug Trafficking and Control