war on drugs

Cocaine Legalization and Mexico’s War on Drugs

September 5, 2019

Over the past decade, Mexico has become infamous for its violent war on drugs. Since 2006 when President Felipe Calderon deployed over 6,500 Mexican soldiers to shut down drug traffickers throughout the country, the ensuing bloodshed has been devastating. Mexico has lost soldiers, civilians, and so many other precious lives in the process. In 2018, Mexico’s homicide rate reached a record high with over 33,000 homicides committed in one year.

The 'Security Trap' in Latin America: Using the State to Fight Violence with Violence

February 21, 2019

Latin America and the Caribbean is considered to be the most violent region in the world. Despite widespread gains in education, poverty reduction, and living standards, Latin American countries continue to have disproportionately high rates of violent crime. Some may find this puzzling, since many of these countries have particularly powerful military and police forces. This then raises the question: Why haven't new policing strategies in the region had any impact? Is Latin America in a 'Security Trap'?

Family of 4 killed in crossfire of military shootout: The reality of Mexico's security problem

April 2, 2018

Just past 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 25, a family was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between gang members and Mexican marines in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. In what has been described by the marines as a series of ambushes by the criminal group, a total of nine people were brutally killed, and 13 injured. Included in these numbers were a mother, father, and their two young daughters, aged 4 and 6 (Univision).

Part II of III - Series on Marijuana in Latin America and the Caribbean

October 20, 2016

Part One of this series examines how marijuana arrived in the Western Hemisphere, who cultivated it locally, and why. Part Two looks at prohibitionist 20th century marijuana policies in Latin America and the Caribbean and their devastating social effects. Part Three looks at recent pro-marijuana activist efforts around the continent, as well as examples of progressive legislation that have begun to decriminalize the plant.

Security Landscape in Michoacán Continues to Shift

October 19, 2016

Over the last few years, inhabitants of the western Mexican state of Michoacán have been forced to evacuate, a difficult task considering the high proportion of livelihoods tied to agriculture, or adapt to an increasingly insecure environment. This insecurity is of course tied to the infiltration of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) which have permeated private and public spheres of everyday life in Michoacán by causing violence and instability, disrupting trade and commerce, and corrupting public officials if not holding office outright.

US Foreign Policy on Cannabis in Latin America Needs Reform

October 12, 2016

As a result of the elections this November the legalization of marijuana has increased to four states in the U.S. as well as the nation’s capital. More than 17 million people can now use the drug recreationally, not factoring the 19 other states that have passed medicinal cannabis legislation. Reform advocates saw the election as a win and momentum for the legalization in more states to come. 

Former Mexican Mayor Murdered

November 11, 2012

On November 12, 2012, former Mexican mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta was abducted as she was driving her daughter to school. Her body was found a few days later and it is believed that she was tortured before she was killed. There is speculation that Gorrostieta was targeted for her frequent denunciations of drug cartels in the area where she served as governor, a small town in the western state of Michoacán.

How Can the US Improve its Foreign Policy Toward Latin America?

October 10, 2016

American foreign policy toward Latin America has had an overwhelmingly development based focus; building democratic institutions, promoting economic opportunity and encouraging social equity. With this strategy, American policymakers have hoped that both political and economic liberalization will lead to the submission of Latin American governments to the American interest. This has been proven false in an increasing number of occurrences, such as Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil.

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