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Mexico Studies

Added April 25, 2014
Type: Monograph
The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America: Sadism as an Instrument of Cartel Warfare. Authored by Dr. George W. Grayson.
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Few cartel leaders acquire fame for culinary skills. However, Miguel Ángel “El 40” Treviño Morales, the sadistic erstwhile chief of Los Zetas, became skilled in preparing "el guiso" (the stew). His recipe is simple. After torturing a victim, even an infant, he plunged him into a 55-gallon pig cooker, doused him with gasoline, and set him on fire.
Added August 16, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
Cartel Car Bombings in Mexico. Authored by Dr. Robert J. Bunker, Mr. John P. Sullivan.
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The authors provide an analysis of cartel car bombing incidents in Mexico, with about 20 incidents identified over the last 2 1/2 years. Use patterns are discussed, along with future car bombing potentials in Mexico and the United States.
Added October 03, 2011
Type: Monograph
Mexico's "Narco-Refugees": The Looming Challenge for U.S. National Security. Authored by Dr. Paul Rexton Kan.
Due to the ongoing and brutal drug cartel violence that has gripped portions of Mexico, there has been a rise in the number of Mexican nationals seeking political asylum in the United States to escape the ongoing drug cartel violence in their home country. This monograph focuses on the asylum claims of these "narco-refugees" who are unwillingly leaving Mexico, and it reviews the special challenges that these asylum seekers pose to U.S. national security interests and public safety.
Added September 15, 2011
Type: Monograph
Threat Posed by Mounting Vigilantism in Mexico. Authored by Dr. George W. Grayson.
In recent years, the Mexican media has highlighted brutal acts of vigilantism, known as linchamientos or citizen violence, against suspected wrongdoers in their communities. Mobs have torched presumed pedophiles; average citizens have beaten suspected home invaders; and passengers on buses have hit, kicked, and tortured men who have tried to rob them. Is this behavior related to the nation’s bloody drug war? Does it spring from the indifference of police to poor areas? Or is a means for members of an anonymous crowd to release frustrations over persistent unemployment, acute poverty, and ubiquitous corruption?
Added September 09, 2011
Type: Monograph
Adapting, Transforming, and Modernizing Under Fire: The Mexican Military 2006-11. Authored by Inigo Guevara Moyano.
Over the past 5 years, the Mexican armed forces have been used as the main tools of the government’s national security policy. They have endured attacks from organized crime and criticism from the media and civil society, forcing them to transform, modernize, and adapt to better fulfil their responsibility of protecting the Mexican state and its people.
Added December 13, 2010
Type: Monograph
La Familia Drug Cartel: Implications for U.S.-Mexican Security. Authored by Dr. George W. Grayson.
While claiming to do the “Lord’s work,” the ruthless leaders of La Familia Michoacana have emerged as the dominant exporter of methamphetamines to the United States, even as they control scores of municipalities in Michoacán and neighboring states.
Added May 11, 2010
Type: Monograph
Crime, Violence, and the Crisis in Guatemala: A Case Study in the Erosion of the State. Authored by Dr. Hal Brands.
In this monograph, the author argues that rampant crime and violence have led to a full-blown crisis of the democratic state in Guatemala. He discusses the various criminal groups active in that country, and outlines a strategy for improving public order, strengthening government institutions, and combating the root causes that inform criminal activity.
Added February 12, 2010
Type: Colloquium Brief
Drug Trafficking, Violence, and Instability in Mexico, Colombia, and the Caribbean: Implications for U.S. National Security. Authored by Mr. Evan Brown, Dr. Dallas D. Owens.
The growing violence and instability in Mexico and the Caribbean will clearly demand greater attention from the United States in the future. As the trafficking organizations continue to defy authorities, undermine governance, and escalate violence, Mexico has become much more of a national security challenge rather than simply a border problem. This conference offered an important opportunity to assess these threats, and to consider what can be done to counter them.
Added September 25, 2009
Type: Monograph
A "New" Dynamic in the Western Hemisphere Security Environment: The Mexican Zetas and Other Private Armies. Authored by Dr. Max G. Manwaring.
A new and dangerous dynamic has been introduced into the Mexican internal security environment. That new dynamic is represented by a private military organization called the Zetas, and involves the migration of power from traditional state and nonstate adversaries to nontraditional nonstate private military organizations. Moreover, the actions of this irregular nonstate actor tend to be more political-psychological than military, and further move the threat from hard power to soft power solutions.
Added May 07, 2009
Type: Monograph
Mexico's Narco-Insurgency and U.S. Counterdrug Policy. Authored by Dr. Hal Brands.
The alarming rise in drug-related violence in Mexico is discussed and the prospects of U.S. counterdrug policies in that country is assessed. The author argues that current U.S. policies are ill-suited for confronting the Mexican drug trade, and advocates a more holistic, better integrated approach to counternarcotics.
Added January 01, 2006
Type: Monograph
The Mexican Armed Forces in Transition. Authored by Colonel Ian Nicholls, Dr. Jordi Diez.
After the 9/11 attacks on the United States, homeland defense became the primary issue in U.S. defense policy. It was clear that homeland defense would have to become a trilateral continental issue and include Canada and Mexico.
Added August 01, 2002
Type: Monograph
A 21st Century Security Architecture for the Americas: Multilateral Cooperation, Liberal Peace, and Soft Power. Authored by Colonel Joseph R. Nunez.
This monograph is a constructive response to the question of "How can the United States best develop security cooperation within the Americas?" The author develops the necessary background to make the persuasive argument that it is time for the United States to employ strategic restraint and reassurance of allies to develop a new security architecture that is effective and efficient, not to mention reflective of our values and interests.
Added June 01, 1997
Type: Book
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The United States, Mexico, and the Agony of National Security. Authored by Dr. Donald E. Schulz.
Because of NAFTA and increasing interdependence, this paper redefines U.S.-Mexican security relations in non-traditional terms. Offers practical suggestions so that U.S leaders to respond effectively to the emerging relationship.
Added September 01, 1995
Type: Monograph
Mexico and the Future. Authored by Dr. Donald E. Schulz.
Until the Zapatista National Liberation Army burst upon the scene in 1994, Mexico's future seemed assured. This paper reassesses prevailing assumptions about Mexico's security and looks at the prospects for democratization, socio-economic development, and U.S.-Mexican relations.
Added May 01, 1995
Type: Monograph
Mexico in Crisis. Authored by Dr. Donald E. Schulz.
Author argues that the United States has few foreign policy concerns more profoundly consequential for its national interests and security than Mexico. Therefore, it is important to understand the nature of the Mexican crisis that has been emerging since late 1970s.
Added December 01, 1994
Type: Book
The Awakening: The Zapatista Revolt and Its Implications for Civil-Military Relations and the Future of Mexico. Authored by LTC Stephen J. Wager, Dr. Donald E. Schulz.
Drs. Stephen Wager and Donald Schulz examine the causes, nature and implications of the Zapatista uprising, emphasizing in particular its impact on Mexican civil-military relations. They argue that, together with the onset of democratization, the Chiapas rebellion has strained these relations and led to a certain mutual distancing between the Mexican army and government.
Added February 01, 1994
Type: Book
The Mexican Military Approaches the 21st Century: Coping with a New World Order. Authored by LTC Stephen J. Wager.
Of the papers presented at the meeting, the one that struck closest to the concerns of the U.S. Army was "The Mexican Military Approaches the 21st Century: Coping with a New World Order" by Lieutenant Colonel Stephen J. Wager of the U.S. Military Academy. His discussion of the roles and missions of the Mexican armed forces has special salience in this era of "alternative missions." Here is a classic case of a military institution whose principal missions of civic action and counternarcotics are those with which our own Army has had to deal in recent years.