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Organized Crime

A Review of "My Country: Insights to Understand and Change Mexico"

Eric L. Olson, Senior Associate at the Mexico institute, has reviewed Denise Dresser's book titled "My Country: Insights to Understand and Change Mexico". The review appears on page 10 of the recent issue of Americas Quarterly for the winter of 2012.

Two Decades after El Salvador’s Peace Accords: Current Challenges


On January 16th 2012, El Salvador observed the 20th anniversary of the signing of the peace accords. 

On the positive side:

Mexico Institute in the News: Is Mexico City Safe from Drug Cartel War -- Or the Next Target?

CNN, January 17, 2012


…In this sprawling metropolis, the brutal conflicts between drug cartels and government troops are both strangely absent and omnipresent. They are nowhere to be found and everywhere you look…

...Murder rates in Mexico's capital are half the national rate of 18 per 100,000 residents, and are lower than homicide rates in U.S. cities like New Orleans and Washington. But that hasn't stifled fears that something bigger could be brewing.

Mexico Institute in the News: Drug-Related Violence Soars in Mexico


The Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2012

…During the first nine months of 2011, some 12,903 people were killed in drug-related violence—11% more than the killings during the same period in 2010, according to a database released by the Attorney General's Office….

…Mr. Calderón, upon taking office in December 2006, sent in tens of thousands of troops across several states where traffickers were battling it out in broad daylight, hoping to at least push the traffickers back into the shadows where they had operated for decades with relative impunity.

Mexico Institute in the News: Mexico Updates Death Toll in Drug War to 47,515, but Critics Dispute the Data

The New York Times, January 11, 2012; ABC News Radio, January 11, 2012; Dalje, January 12, 2012


The Mexican government updated its drug war death toll on Wednesday, reporting that 47,515 people had been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderón began a military assault on criminal cartels in late 2006.

Mexico Institute in the News: 2011 Drug Violence Kills Nearly 13,000 in Mexico, New Figures Show

CNN, January 11, 2012; Local 10, January 11, 2012

"Almost 13,000 people were killed in Mexico by suspected drug violence in the first three quarters of 2011, the country's federal attorney general's office said Wednesday…

…The growth rate of killings between September 2010 to September 2011 was 11%, compared with 70% between 2009 and 2010, the agency said…

Mexico Institute in the News: Mexico’s Election Draws Eyes From Across Border

The Texas Tribune, January 7, 2012; reprinted via The New York Times; The Monitor, January 8, 2012

Mexico Institute in the News: Have the Zetas Replaced the Sinaloa as Mexico's Most Powerful Cartel?

Insight Crime, January 3, 2012

"…Analysts have long considered the Sinaloa Cartel, headed by drug baron Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias “El Chapo,” to be the foremost drug trafficking organization in the country. Their apparent loss of ground to the Zetas calls this into question.