Fortnightly logo

Drugs, Guns and Violence, Mexico’s Path to National Security

The presentation will provide background on how drugs evolved into Mexico’s number one national security issue, how the Mexican armed forces became involved in this mission, and how the United States itself was the crucial actor in creating drug trafficking as the central public security issue and in encouraging Mexico to replicate its own national anti-drug strategy. It will also identify a number of recent trends including the deepening presence of drug cartels in Mexican life, the consequences of domestic civil violence on American border states and U.S. national security, the globalization of drug cartels across our southern border, and the impact of a militarized anti-drug strategy on Mexican domestic politics as drug related murders and kidnappings continue to increase.

Roderic Ai Camp is presently the Philip McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim at Claremont Mckenna College. He has received a Fulbright Fellowship on three occasions for research on Mexico, and was awarded two major grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to explore attitudes toward democracy in Mexico and Latin America. He serves as a member of the Advisory Board, Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Smithsonian Institution. He is a frequent consultant to national and international media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and BBC. He is the author twenty books on Mexico, six of which have been designated by Choice as outstanding academic books. His most recent publications include: Politics in Mexico, the Democratic Consolidation (2007)(Oxford University Press) and Mexico’s Military on the Democratic Stage (2005)(Center for Strategic and International Studies).