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Articles of Interest Tagged Western Hemisphere

Op-Ed: The Criminals South of the Border: Lessons from Mexico

August 2011 | Dr. Max G. Manwaring

Authorities have no consistent or reliable data on the Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO)-gang phenomenon in Mexico. Nevertheless, the TCO-gang phenomenon in that country is acknowledged to be large, complex, and increasingly violent. In addition, the gang situation is known to be different in the north (along the U.S. border) than it is in the south (along the Guatemala-Belize borders). Second, the phenomenon is also different in the areas between the northern and southern borders of Mexico. Third, there is a formidable gang presence known to exist throughout the entire country (regardless of the questionable accuracy of the data estimating the size and extent of the gang presence), and—given the weakness of the national political and police institutions—criminality has considerable opportunity to prosper.1 As a result, the rate of homicides along the northern and southern borders is considered epidemic (e.g., “worse than Iraq”),2 and Mexico has the highest incidence of kidnapping in the world.3 Finally, violent TCO-gang activity in Mexico clearly threatens the national stability and sovereignty of the state, and the personal security of the citizenry.4 (Continue reading...)