Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University

A Mexican soldier carries a bushel of marijuana toward a bonfire for incineration during the destruction of a plantation.
Photo credit: Reuters

January 17, 2013 - CISAC In the News

New Mexican President may be able to break cycle of drug violence

Appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2012

CISAC Postdoctoral Fellow Ben Lessing explains how Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, may differ significantly from his predecessor in fighting his country's drug war. Felipe Calderon's policy was intended to crush the cartels with a "no quarter" approach, but this  led to smaller, splintered groups of drug runners who are battling for power. Lessing demonstrates through his research that crackdowns create more incentives for bribery, which ultimately leads to more violence and intimidation. Peña Nieto's middle path may lay the foundation to break Mexico's cycle of violence.

Topics: Governance | Institutions and Organizations | Violence | Mexico