12/18/15 (written by msmith) – As the year comes to an end, Justice in Mexico is pleased to announce the publications of three new working papers. From examining Mexico’s War on Drugs and militarization of public security, to understanding why U.S. consumption of heroin has increased so dramatically in recent years, to providing the historical context underpinning the most recent transformations in Mexico’s criminal justice system, each author informs the reader of some of the most pressing issues and challenges facing Mexico today.
Dominic Pera’s paper, “Drug Violence and Public Insecurity,” analyzes Mexico’s use of its Federal Police force in combatting organized crime and the former’s role in increased human rights violations across the state. Pera examines Mexico’s PRI history and the subsequent War on Drugs, Mexico’s current police model and structure, as well as trends in corruption and public distrust to explain why public security in Mexico has failed. Using data on human rights violations and drug-related homicides, Pera demonstrates a relationship between police abuse and drug violence, showing a cyclical phenomenon that allows organized crime groups to thrive on public insecurity. The publication is available in English here.
The consumption of heroin in the United States has risen considerably in recent years. Nancy Cortés’ paper, “The Drug War and the Resurgence of Mexico’s Heroin Trade,” examines how foreign drug supply networks contributed to this rise, challenging the notion that opioid prescription drugs are to blame. Several indicators are used to show a surge in heroin consumption and availability following a decline in cocaine availability and the implementation of counterdrug measures that led to the fragmentation, decentralization, and diversification of Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). Through a careful analysis of available data on heroin and cocaine traffic and the effects of counterdrug strategies in Mexico, Cortés argues that the breakdown of Mexican DTOs led to the weakening of cocaine supply networks and the proliferation of smaller criminal organizations more adept to participate in the traffic of heroin. The publication is available in English here.
Finally, Pablo Hector Gonzalez Villalobos’ paper illustrates the historical evolution, principles and characteristics of the three criminal justice systems that have defined the West. By understanding the conditions of each, Villalobos explains how the law currently structures the criminal justice system of Mexico following the 2008 constitutional reform. The publication is available in Spanish here.