A collection of articles about security, politics, crime and how organized crime has become a national security threat in Mexico. The Merida Plan has now become a central policy consideration, but what long-term policy regime might such a plan set for the next decade?


Prison Gangs and Organized Crime

(International Relations and Security Network, 12/05/2009)

A recent US trial against members of the Barrio Azteca prison gang reveals deep connections to Mexican organized crime.


Mexico's Dirty Cash

(International Relations and Security Network, 20/04/2009)

As much as US$25 billion in drug money is laundered in Mexico annually, and some experts say the Mexican financial system is set up to facilitate money laundering rather than impede it.


Napolitano Targets Dirty Money

(International Relations and Security Network, 31/3/2009)

While the head of US homeland security is in Mexico, she will use the media attention to promote anti-money laundering efforts to fight organized crime.


Mexico as a Hollow State

(National Journal: Expert Blogs, 23/3/2009)

How dire is the situation south of the border, really? And what should the U.S. do about it, especially given Mexico's historic sensitivity about its often overbearing northern neighbor? What lessons have we learned from the fight against the cartels in Colombia that are applicable to Mexico?


Los Zetas: Evolution of a Criminal Organization

(International Relations and Security Network, 11/3/09)

From the original 31 members, the Mexican organized criminal faction Los Zetas has grown into an organization in its own right, operating separate from the Gulf Cartel and just as violent.


Mexican Aid Package Passed

(International Relations and Security Network 02/7/2008)
A new US$400 million aid package for Mexico signals new US-Mexican relations but falls short of necessary reform.

Mexico Infiltrated

(International Relations and Security Network 17/7/2008)
As organized crime gains increasing control over the country, the possible formation of a megacartel could precipitate the slow, steady failure of the government.

Texans Fence with Federal Authorities
(International Relations and Security Network 03/4/2008)
Texans are at loggerheads with the US government as the latter bulldozes through the state with bold border fence plans.


US, Mexico: Election Fencing
(International Relations and Security Network 26/2/2008)
The US-Mexico border fence takes pole position ahead of Texas Democratic primaries.


Violence on the US-Mexico Border
(International Relations and Security Network 29/1/2008)
Due to increased pressure from the Calderon administration, some members of Mexican organized crime may begin crossing the border in significant numbers to set up US-based operations.

US: Gangsters without borders

(ISA Intelligence and Consulting, 28/11/2007)

The US deportation of illegal immigrants involved in criminal gangs is not working.


Ameripol comes to life

(International Relations and Security Network, 26/11/2007)

In a region where the military is often asked to perform police duties, a regional police force has formed to combat that tendency, but a number of challenges remain.


Guns: The Bloody US-Mexico Market

(International Relations and Security Network, 31/10/2007)

With over 2,100 deaths between January and October 2007 related to drug trafficking and the use of weapons purchased in the US, Mexico pins its hopes on the future success of the Merida Initiative to combat drug and gun trafficking.


Mexican Bombings Highlight Poor Intel

(International Relations and Security Network, 13/09/2007)

Another successful bombing solidifies the EPR as a sophisticated organization and places doubt on the Mexican intelligence community.


Securing Mexico with US Aid

(International Relations and Security Network, 15/08/2007)

Mexico clearly needs international assistance to improve its security, but it remains unclear whether the US can offer what is needed.


Mexican Insurgents Try Out New Tactics

(International Relations and Security Network, 27/07/2007)

A successful bomb attack by a resurgent revolutionary army has forced the Calderon administration into a dual-front battle to maintain security and, maybe, economic well being.


Silence and Propaganda in the Americas

(International Relations and Security Network, 31/05/2007)

Freedom of speech is, according to some, under attack, but it's clear journalism in Latin America has suffered a threatening string of set backs in 2007.


Calderon Gives Life to Plan Puebla-Panama

(International Relations and Security Network, 20/04/2007)

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has re-initialized a plan for regional integration in an attempt to make the dreams of his predecessor a reality.


Tri-State Trouble with Mara Salvatrucha

(International Relations and Security Network, 01/03/2007)

As its ranks swell in the tri-state area around Washington, DC, due to a constant flow of human smuggling, law enforcement has begun to treat the Mara Salvatrucha more like organized crime than a street gang.


Trying Times for the DEA

(International Relations and Security Network, 26/01/2007)

Inter-agency friction, a lack of funding and little attention on the war on drugs has the DEA struggling to keep up with the task of battling Mexican organized crime.


Mexican President Revamps Security

(International Relations and Security Network, 16/01/2007)

Mexican President Felipe Calderon sends thousands of troops to secure the country's crime-controlled corners, but his hard and fast approach has netted few significant results.


The Scourge of Ice in Michoacan

(International Relations and Security Network, 07/12/2006)

Meth, or ice, is the latest drug to flow from Mexico to the US, but one criminal faction has drawn a line in the sand, vowing to rid its turf of anyone involved in the production and sale of this destructive drug.


Remittances and Money Laundering in Mexico

(International Relations and Security Network, 20/11/2006)

The need for financial literacy and bringing remittance users into the formal financial sector outweighs worries over money laundering or terrorism financing.


Illegal Migration and Mexico's Maras

(International Relations and Security Network, 07/11/2006)

The Mexican city of Tapachula is a center for the country’s human smuggling enterprise, enjoying little attention from authorities, who are focused on the northern border with the US.


Toppling the Tijuana Cartel 'Dynasty'

(International Relations and Security Network, 04/09/2006)

While the arrest of Javier Arellano-Felix may signal the demise of the Tijuana Cartel, it could also indicate the creation of a mega-organization that has consolidated control over all smuggling routes into the US.


Mexico's Parallel Power

(International Relations and Security Network, 04/07/2006)

As Mexican organized crime increases its strength and regional influence, analysts wonder if security is a priority for the country's politicians.


Organized Crime, Mexico's Top Threat

(International Relations and Security Network, 26/04/2006)

Nuevo Laredo has become a stage where Mexican organized crime demonstrates its immense power to corrupt, kill, and make money. Despite every attempt by both Mexican and US authorities to control smuggling and violent death, Mexican organized crime continues to take advantage of the largest inland trade zone to smuggle hundreds of tonnes of cocaine north into the US and thousands of automatic rifles south into Mexico.



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