Organized Crime Publications
On July 21st, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), released a report assessing the Merida Initiative—a security cooperation program that guides U.S.-Mexico collaboration to confront organized crime and drug trafficking organizations.
While the majority of U.S. funding in the first phase of the Merida Initiative went to expensive equipment, particularly aircraft, the new approach shifts the focus toward institution building. It will attempt to create successful pilot projects, most likely in Tijuana and/or Ciudad Juarez, using a comprehensive approach to public security that could presumably be replicated in other parts of Mexico.
Our group of seven is part of a joint research and writing project to examine the effectiveness of US and Mexican efforts to confront transnational organized crime that is tearing apart communities in both countries. Our project starts with the assumption that both countries have a shared responsibility to address the violence and underlying causes giving rise to the current crises in places like Ciudad Juarez.
Calderón took an important step forward for Mexico’s national security interest by collaborating with the United States and sharing the responsibility of tackling organized crime. Will Calderón’s successor continue down this road? Can we foresee an equivalent to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the security front?
Strengthening U.S.-Mexico Cooperation against Drug Trafficking: What Can State Attorney Generals Do?Jun 16, 2009
I would like to offer a bit of context on the current situation related to drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico; the efforts that are going on between our two countries to address this; and specifically how the attorneys general might be able to play a leading role in these efforts, which have profound implications for our home communities as well as for the country next door.
The following report seeks to highlight where common themes emerged in the discussion about organized crime and U.S.-Mexico security cooperation.
The Merida Initiative, which has been proposed by the U.S. and Mexican governments, would provide $1.4 billion over three years in equipment and training from the U.S. to the Mexican government to support both law enforcement efforts directed against organized crime and long-term institution building for federal police and the judicial system.
While there have been instances of cooperation between the United States and Mexico in the past, the Mérida Initiative marks the first time Mexico has asked for U.S. assistance to strengthen its institutional capacity to respond to organized crime.
Toward a Society under Law covers issues of crime and police in Latin America, with chapters on the impact of community policing, the role of advocacy networks, urban social policies and crime, and the cost of crime. It also includes case studies of police reform, community policing, Argentina’s national plan for crime prevention, and crime in Mexico City.
Some countries develop illegal drug industries, and others do not. Discerning the distinguishing characteristics—social, economic, and political—of countries with these industries forms the subject of Francisco Thoumi’s sophisticated and humane study.