Prospect of a ‘pax narco’ could swing Mexican election

Thursday, July 6, 2017

After more than a decade of militarised policing and heavy security spending, Mexico is no more secure


  • With most of Mexico’s drug exports US-bound, any perceived softening of Mexican security policy would likely provoke anger in Washington.
  • Pervasive institutional corruption will hinder efforts to tackle crime, whether through policing or investment drives.
  • The perceived injustice of increasing prices of goods such as fuel will further alienate the government from the public.
  • A major violent incident or human rights scandal could trigger a decisive spike in Lopez Obrador’s support prior to the election.


With military offensives causing collateral damage and often leaving weakened cartels prone to violent rupture, Mexico’s war on drugs has blurred the lines between the causes of and solutions to violence.

Meanwhile the weakness of the state in many areas has often allowed organised crime to take on the role of community provider, raising questions over legitimacy of governance. In the eyes of many, organised crime is less of a problem than violence, which the government has comprehensively failed to reduce.

While leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s condemnation of the ‘war on drugs’ could prove naive therefore, the prospect of a more peaceful security policy may well be a vote-winner at next year’s election.


See MEXICO: Security may deteriorate further in 2017 - February 20, 2017

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