After the tragic massacre of 72 migrants from Central and South America in Mexico, drug violence was a key topic in Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s September 2 annual address. More than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence since Calderon took office in 2006, causing experts to question his strategy of hunting down drug bosses and leaders of organized crime.
Brookings expert Vanda Felbab-Brown argues that over the past year, the overall strategy against the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico has significantly improved, thanks in part to Beyond Merida, the Obama administraton’s expansion of the Merida Initiative, which provides funding for anti-drug operations in Mexico and other Latin American countries. However, major structural and implementation challenges remain and the patience of Mexico’s citizens is running out as the violence continues to escalate.
On September 8, Vanda Felbab-Brown answered questions about Mexican drug violence and its implications for the United States in a live web chat moderated by Seung Min Kim, assistant editor at POLITICO.