A War that Can’t Be Won
Binational Perspectives on the War on Drugs
Publication Year: 2013
A War that Can’t Be Won is the first book to include contributions from scholars on both sides of the US–Mexico border. It provides a unique breadth of perspective on the many dimensions of the societal crisis that affects residents of both nations—particularly those who live and work in the borderlands. It also proposes practical steps toward solving a crisis that shows no signs of abating under current policies. Each chapter is based on well-documented data, including previously unavailable evidence that was obtained through freedom-of-information inquiries in Mexico. By bringing together views from both sides of the border, as well as from various academic disciplines, this volume offers a much wider view of a complex problem—and possible solutions.
Published by: University of Arizona Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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We three coeditors come from different parts of the world: Tony Payan from Mexico, Kathleen (Kathy) Staudt from the United States (specifi cally Wisconsin, which seems like a different world), and Tony Kruszewski from Poland. We have crossed many borders in our pathway to this book. In In crossing borders, we converged here, in the Paso del Norte Metropolitan ...
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Introduction: The Many Labyrinths of Illegal Drug Policy: Framing the Issues - Tony Payan
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From the United States– Mexican border, the war on drugs looks increas-ingly futile. Illegal drugs continue to fl ow through what is nearly a sealed border at rates unpre ce dented by all estimates in the history of drug traf-fi cking, engulfi ng in their path more young people and creating one of the most violent strips of land in the history of the border since the 1910 Mexi-...
Part I. Framing the Issues
1. Cartels, Corruption, Carnage, and Cooperation - William C. Martin
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Few problems regarding the U.S.– Mexican border offer more challenge than those pertaining to illicit drugs. Traffi cking in marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and other psychoactive substances involves tens of billions of dollars, intricate networks of criminals in both countries, and cooperative arrangements with government agents, from local law en-...
2. President Felipe Calderón’s Strategy to Combat Organized Crime - Marcos Pablo Moloeznik
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To understand criminal patterns in Mexico, it is crucial to acknowledge the importance of its geographic position as a neighbor of the United States. Mexico shares a land border of two thousand miles with the United States, an ideal geo graph i cal position for criminal groups to op-erate powerful transnational networks. At the same time, Mexico is a ...
Part II. Current Strategies and Casualties
3. Drug Wars, Social Networks, and the Right to Information: Informal Media as Freedom of the Press in Northern Mexico - Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and José Nava
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In the last few years, and in the context of the United States’ and Mexico’s wars on drugs, violence in the southern country has reached unpre ce-dented levels, particularly since the launch of military operations against drug traffi cking organizations— today known as transnational criminal organizations (TCOs)1— in December 2006 by the administration of Pres-...
4. Political Protection and the Origins of the Gulf Cartel - Carlos Antonio Flores Pérez
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The offi cial narrative of or ga nized crime in Mexico attempts to con-vince the public that (1) the environment is generally hostile to criminal organizations; (2) government offi cials as a whole have no knowledge, except in unusual cases, of the illicit activities of the criminal groups they are in charge of prosecuting; (3) the documented cases of corrupt linkages ...
5. Organized Crime as the Highest Threat to Mexican National Security and Democracy - Raúl Benítez Manaut
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During the authoritarian governments of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), from the 1930s to the 1990s, the security agenda and the secu-rity decision- making pro cess in Mexico hardly changed. The effects of ille-gal activities, particularly those of drug traffi cking, went largely unnoticed by Mexican society. By the end of the twentieth century, however, or ga-...
6. A Federalist George W. Bush and an Anti-Federalist Barack Obama?: The Irony and Paradoxes behind Republican and Democratic Administration Drug Policies - José D. Villalobos
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Policy debates concerning the war on drugs often revolve around topics such as combating or ga nized crime, militarizing the U.S.– Mexican bor-der, and employing punitive approaches to substance abuse. Alternatively, scholars, pundits, and the public have also debated the pros and cons of drug legalization— primarily as it pertains to the decriminalization of me-...
7. Caught in the Middle: Undocumented Migrants’ Experiences with Drug Violence - Jeremy Slack and Scott Whiteford
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The Arizona– Sonora section of the U.S.– Mexican border continues to be the most active sector for unauthorized border crossings and marijuana seizures.1 These two activities have historically coexisted peacefully with-out much overlap. The economic interests involved in human smuggling and drug traffi cking were quite distinct for a long time, both maintaining ...
Part III. Ending the War: Alternative Strategies
8. Challenging Foreign Policy from the Border: The Forty-Year War on Drugs - Kathleen Staudt and Beto O ’Rourke
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With Operation Intercept, President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in 1969 (Grayson 2010, 28), and forty years after adopting this drug policy, U.S consumption remains as high as ever and violence in Mexico is worse than ever. Ironically, the primary successes in the war involve the growth of multibillion- dollar bureaucracies, a prison- industrial complex, ...
9. The Role of Citizens and Civil Society in Mexico’s Security Crisis - Daniel M. Sabet
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As has been noted throughout this volume, since at least 2005, Mexico has confronted an acute security crisis that has resulted in tens of thousands of or ga nized crime- related killings. A central theme has been the inability of the Mexican state to stop the violence affecting the country in general and the border cities in par tic u lar. Massive military deployments, the dramatic ...
10. Regulating Drugs as a Crime: A Challenge for the Social Sciences - Israel Alvarado Martínez and Germán Guillén López
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In this chapter we examine the problem of drug traffi cking and drug use with an eye to decriminalization and legalization. We analyze the current legal and regulatory framework built around psychotropic substances and present some key challenges to the prohibitionist framework that has pre-vailed for the last forty years. We further explore what these challenges ...
11. The U.S. Causes but Cannot (or Will Not) Solve Mexico’s Drug Problems - Jonathan P. Caulkins and Eric L. Sevigny
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Most of the world’s illegal drugs are exported across international bound-aries. It is common to ask how interventions in source and/or transit coun-tries affect drug use and drug- related problems downstream, but one can also ask how drug policies in fi nal market countries affect problems up-stream in source and transit countries. Here we investigate whether changes ...
Conclusion: A War That Can’t Be Won? - Tony Payan and Kathleen Staudt
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In this volume a group of both Mexican and U.S. scholars analyzed the war on drugs and presented nuanced evidence from both sides of the bor-der about the complexity of “fi ghting” clean wars on drugs. The chapters written by these scholars bring a special vantage point to the study of drug wars that heretofore has not existed, that is, a binational U.S.– Mexican ...
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Page Count: 357
Illustrations: 5 illust, 3 maps, 21 tables
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth