You are on page 1of 5

Home | Columns | Media Watch | Reports | Links | About Us | Contact

Column 101314 Brewer

Monday, October 13, 2014
Mexico's Long Term Crime
Suppression and Methodology
By Jerry Brewer
Within a matrix of beliefs and
perceptions exhibited between former
Mexican President Felipe Calderon
and current President Enrique Peña
Nieto, each of their specific
approaches and processes have failed
to reach a sustainable achievement in
violent crime reduction.
Within their combined tenure of
nearly eight years of service as
Mexico’s president, their interaction
of police and military forces ranging
in nomenclature from drug wars,
transnational organized crime, to
criminal insurgencies has apparently
failed a dominant discourse towards
coherent alternatives for success.
Calderon aggressively fought what
was described as a drug war, with a
primary focus on drug cartel hierarchy
and drug seizures. President Peña
Nieto started his term in contrast to
Calderon by stating he wanted to fight
crime rather than track down drug
lords. He also stated that he wanted to
focus “public attention away from the
violence and on to the economy.”
Yet now, it appears clear that the toll

of death and violence is not being
conducted solely by the so-called
“drug lords.”
Many people are being killed simply
as victims of violent street crime, or
migrants robbed and killed and
dumped in landfills, as well as drug
related causes and transnational rival
competition for basic criminal turf.
Recent headlines have demonstrated
the criminal carnage against student
There is obviously a culture of
corruption, including violent crime
and death with impunity, which
continues well beyond both
Calderon’s and Peña Nieto’s combined
eight years of governance.
It may be that the true focus of
Mexico’s long tenured and perplexing
dilemma has been its failure to define
the problem as a criminal insurgency
rather than a drug war. After all,
drugs have been an issue for decades
through Mexico as a pipeline from
South America to a voracious multi-
billion dollars U.S. illicit drug
Mexicans have seen their military and
police battling the heavily armed
opposition, often times being
deliberately ambushed and attacked
head on. Many of these attacks and
related violence were done to
intimidate security forces, limiting
their ability to respond to attacks. The
lack of government presence created a
leadership vacuum which the
organized criminals quickly filled in
many regions. Suffice it to say that
they emerged as third generation
transnational gangsters possessing
extensive asymmetrical warfare
There were claims that Mexico was
nearing failed state status, as terror
was instilled with traditional terrorist
modus operandi of beheadings,
bombings (IEDs), war-like weapons,
and the propaganda by the
transnational organized criminals
who have routinely murdered scores
of journalists, local and state
government officials, police chiefs,
military and others.
Too, they had left messages of terror
by displaying their bloody human
carnage from viaducts and in other
public locations as graphic reminders
that they were in control and feared
no one. Evidence of a failed state
could also be asserted in many efforts
of Mexican citizens and others to
immigrate to the U.S. as they flee their
An inability to enforce the rule of law,
as well as opposing power, can than
meet or supersede military and police
as the legitimate use of physical force
within a state’s territory; this
obviously being manipulative illicit
power that can leave a state unable to
provide security for its population and
increasingly influence government
policy through intimidation, killing, or
buying off officials.
President Peña Nieto knows that his
previous pledge of focusing public
attention on the economy will not
make the violence go away.
He too has now shown the strategy of
going after the criminal cartel
hierarchy. This may be, in part, due to
an article in November of 2013 in
Mexico City’s Reforma newspaper
reporting that as many as 250 mayors
have been “threatened and pressured”
by organized crime groups.
In addition, in 2013 a study claimed
that “up to 200,000 people in
Mexico” could be involved in death
squads. This concern would certainly
require a highly proactive, aggressive
and strategic focus, as well as a
significant policing infrastructure.
This reality could have given
President Peña Nieto some clarity of
President Calderon’s early
assessments and engaging of crime
kingpins that demand a modern day
enforcement model of intelligence,
tactical strategies, laws, containment,
and coordinated fluid state
There are those who believe a
“kingpin strategy,” that has weakened
a government, sown disorder and
intimidated a nation, won’t make a
difference, this as an increasing
number of small fragmented criminal
groups rely on crimes such as
kidnapping, extortion and contract
killings, among others, for revenue.
In an effective criminal insurgency
there are movement leaders, as
leadership is critical for guidance,
coordination, and power with
corrupting influences to manage their
strategic objectives. These tall
mandates require a structure that is
well beyond fragmented cellular-like
groups that essentially act
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal
Justice International Associates, a
global threat mitigation firm
headquartered in northern Virginia.
His website is located at
Jerry Brewer Published Archives: