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The Terrorism Debate Over Mexican Drug Trafficking Violence

The Terrorism Debate Over Mexican Drug Trafficking Violence Violence in Mexico related to drug trafficking has expanded enormously, and observers have begun using terms like terrorism, nacro-terrorism, and criminal insurgency to label the violence. However, arguments that Mexico is the victim of growing terrorism are both exaggerated and unconvincing. While there have been many murders of innocent civilians, these killings do not seem to have been motivated by a political, ideological, or religious cause. This analysis seeks to understand the nature of the expanding violence in Mexico. It starts from the premise that the violence is a complex and multi-layered phenomenon with a variety of different rationales and motivations. From this perspective, a pyramidal approach to the violence can be identified. At the base of the pyramid is the notion of drug-related violence as the medium of rational strategic competition in a highly lucrative illicit market. A second layer in the pyramid emphasizes factionalism within the organizations as well as a process of contracting out for much of the violence to youth gangs and specialists. And a third perspective on the violence puts less emphasis on organizations and more on the degeneration of norms and inhibitions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Terrorism and Political Violence Taylor & Francis

The Terrorism Debate Over Mexican Drug Trafficking Violence

Terrorism and Political Violence , Volume 24 (2): 20 – Apr 1, 2012
20 pages

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References (40)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1556-1836
eISSN
0954-6553
DOI
10.1080/09546553.2011.653019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Violence in Mexico related to drug trafficking has expanded enormously, and observers have begun using terms like terrorism, nacro-terrorism, and criminal insurgency to label the violence. However, arguments that Mexico is the victim of growing terrorism are both exaggerated and unconvincing. While there have been many murders of innocent civilians, these killings do not seem to have been motivated by a political, ideological, or religious cause. This analysis seeks to understand the nature of the expanding violence in Mexico. It starts from the premise that the violence is a complex and multi-layered phenomenon with a variety of different rationales and motivations. From this perspective, a pyramidal approach to the violence can be identified. At the base of the pyramid is the notion of drug-related violence as the medium of rational strategic competition in a highly lucrative illicit market. A second layer in the pyramid emphasizes factionalism within the organizations as well as a process of contracting out for much of the violence to youth gangs and specialists. And a third perspective on the violence puts less emphasis on organizations and more on the degeneration of norms and inhibitions.

Journal

Terrorism and Political ViolenceTaylor & Francis

Published: Apr 1, 2012

Keywords: crime; criminal networks; drug cartels; drug violence; Mexico

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