“Drug Violence in Mexico” documents and analyzes the recent resurgence of violence

The Justice in Mexico project at the University of San Diego just published “Drug Violence in Mexico,” which is the most comprehensive analysis of homicide statistics and drug-related violence I’ve seen.  Excellent work by Kimberly Heinle, Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira, and David A. Shirk.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 2.50.35 PMSome of their principal conclusions:

  • After a decline in 2012-2014, homicides began to rise again in 2015 and jumped 20% in 2016.  The largest increases were registered in states which have an important role in drug production or trafficking and are contested by rival organized crime groups.
  • Local officials and journalists remained prime targets of violence in 2016.
  • Mexico’s recent violence is largely attributable to drug trafficking and organized crime, based on characteristics such as use of high-caliber automatic weapons, torture, dismemberment, and explicit messages involving organized-crime groups. Organized crime related homicdes probably account for  25% – 40% of total homicides.
  • El Chapo Guzmán’s arrest and extradition appear to be partly fueling violence.  A significant portion of  increases in violence in 2015 and 2016 were related to inter- and intra-organizational conflicts among rival drug traffickers in the wake of Guzmán’s re-arrest in 2016.

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