HomeNewsBriefUS-Mexico 'Action Plan' Thinks Big, but Impact May Be Small
BRIEF

US-Mexico 'Action Plan' Thinks Big, but Impact May Be Small

MEXICO / 16 AUG 2018 BY MIKE LASUSA EN

The United States and Mexico have announced plans for renewed cooperation on combating Mexico-based drug trafficking groups. But although the proposed strategy sounds promising on paper, it may be difficult to implement.

US and Mexican officials unveiled the "action plan" on August 15 in Chicago, one of the most important US markets for drug distribution.

The promised measures are somewhat vague, including typical refrains like boosting "international investigations of high value Mexican Cartel targets" and increasing "judicialized operations relative to law enforcement investigations."

But the plan does include some fresh proposals, like creating "a new enforcement group focusing strictly on significant Mexican-based targets."

The announcement also highlighted the importance of disrupting crime groups' financial operations.

A DEA report last year said Mexican drug trafficking groups supply "the vast majority of illegal drugs" in Chicago, and blamed the drug trade for escalated levels of violence in both the United States and Mexico.

InSight Crime Analysis

Experts told InSight Crime that the new proposals are a positive sign of continued willingness to confront a serious problem. However, the plan's lack of detail raised doubts about the feasibility of the approach.

Eric Olson, a senior advisor to the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center think thank, cited the example of the promise to go after cartels' money.

"It’s good they are discussing ways to attack illicit financing, but it is not clear what these specific new measures would be," Olson said. "A lot has already been tried in this area with limited effect."

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the US-Mexico Border

Security analyst Jaime López said the announcement appeared to represent a change in rhetoric rather than an actual policy shift.

"More than a change in strategy, it's a change in emphasis at the level of discourse -- a way of responding to criticism that the strategy is centered on the use of force," López said.

Olson added that the enforcement-centric nature of the new plan doesn't address some key drivers of violence and crime.

"Law enforcement has a role to play in counternarcotics efforts but it is not the only weapon," he said. "That has been the strategy in the past and to continue along this path is not likely to result in new success."

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CACHIROS / 27 JAN 2021

Authorities in Honduras have revealed in recent months million-dollar money laundering operations connected to the Cachiros, indicating that vestiges of…

BOLIVIA / 1 APR 2022

Millions of young people around the world document their experiences at work, at school or with their friends on TikTok.

COVID AND CRIME / 4 MAR 2021

Illegally buying endangered species via social media has grown increasingly convenient in Mexico, especially given its feeble environmental controls and…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…