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.
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.
Isobel Coleman hosts Shannon O'Neil for a discussion about the political and economic transition of Mexico and Brazil as part of a Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative series on Realizing Democracy: Lessons from Transitioning Countries.
President Barack Obama and Mexican President Pena Nieto held this press conference in Mexico City after their meeting on May 2, 2013. They discussed immigration, security, and economic initiatives, and established the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue.
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.
Over seventy thousand people have been killed in narco-related crimes in Mexico in the past six years. Tales of grisly murders conveyed by American media shape the widespread perception of Mexico as a dangerous place, overrun by brutal drug lords. But there is far more to Mexico's story than this narrative would suggest, writes CFR Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies Shannon K. O'Neil, in Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead.
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