- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime
- List of Contributors
- Organized Crime: A Contested Concept
- Theoretical Perspectives on Organized Crime
- Searching for Organized Crime in History
- How to Research Organized Crime
- The Italian Mafia
- The Italian-American Mafia
- the Russian Mafia: Rise and Extinction
- Organized Crime in Colombia: The Actors Running the Illegal Drug Industry
- Mexican Drug “Cartels”
- Chinese Organized Crime
- The Japanese Yakuza
- Nigerian Criminal Organizations
- Gangs Another Form of Organized Crime?
- Opportunistic Structures of Organized Crime
- Organizing Crime: The State as Agent
- The Social Embeddedness of Organized Crime
- Protection and Extortion
- Drug Markets and Organized Crime
- Human Smuggling, Human Trafficking, and Exploitation in the Sex Industry
- Illegal Gambling
- Money Laundering
- Arms Trafficking
- Organized Fraud
- The Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources
- Organized Crime Control in the United States of America
- U.S. Organized Crime Control Policies Exported Abroad
- European Union Organized Crime Control Policies
- The Fight Against the Italian Mafia
- Organized Crime Control in Australia and New Zealand
- Organized Crime “Control” in Asia: Experiences from India, China, and the Golden Triangle
- Finance-Oriented Strategies of Organized Crime Control
Abstract and Keywords
The story of Mexico’s drug trafficking and today’s unprecedented violence cannot be told without mentioning the United States. This essay offers a historical analysis of the emergence, evolution, and growing power and influence of Mexican drug organizations exploiting the shadows and gaps of the relationship between the two countries. The groups are dubbed “cartels” though they no longer operate like cartels in the traditional sense. They have benefited from political and economic decisions as well as narcotics policy set by both countries in the last century. Even though simple geography accounts a great deal in the development of drug production and smuggling in Mexico, the Mexican political system, its type of governance, and US drug policies have also greatly contributed to the transformation of mom-and-pop gangs into the complex and brutal smuggling syndicates infamous around the globe today.
Mónica Medel, MPaff and M.A. in Latin American Studies with a focus on organized crime and drug smuggling patterns at the University of Texas, was a journalist for 17 years. Born in Chile, she was later stationed in Mexico City, first as a correspondent for the Spanish news agency EFE and later working for the British news service Reuters, where she covered drug trafficking. She now lives in Austin, Texas.
Francisco Thoumi received a PhD in economics from the University of Minnesota and an BA from the Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia. After working for several decades on international trade, Latin American integration, and economic development and industrialization, he began focusing his research on drugs to better understand what was taking place in the Andean countries. He uses a multidisciplinary approach as a basis for policy analysis. Dr. Thoumi’s main research has been on the competitive advantage of coca- and poppy-growing countries. He has worked on the issue of drugs in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
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