Mexico's Future

October 26, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 38
Can the country's new president stop the drug cartels?
By Peter Katel


Journalists and students protest (AFP/Getty Images/Sergio Hernandez)
Journalists and students protest on April 29, 2012, after the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martínez Pérez in Xalapa, Veracruz state. The veteran crime reporter covered Mexico's violent drug cartels for the newsmagazine Proceso. At least 59 journalists and media workers have been killed in Mexico since 2006. (AFP/Getty Images/Sergio Hernandez)

Following years of grisly drug-related violence, Mexico's next president, Enrique Peña Nieto, is hinting that he will adopt a new anti-crime strategy when he takes office Dec. 1. Instead of using a military-style offensive to kill or capture the leaders of Mexico's drug cartels — the approach of outgoing president Felipe Calderón — Peña Nieto has suggested that he will focus on protecting civilians from crimes committed by cartel underlings and their allies in Mexico's security forces. The cartels pose strategic and political risks for both Mexico and the United States. Drug violence has raised tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border and complicated Mexico's trade relationships with the United States. At the same time, Mexico complains that the cartels are using guns smuggled from the United States and are supported by American appetites for illegal narcotics.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
May 27, 2022  Crime in America
Feb. 10, 2017  Forensic Science Controversies
Feb. 05, 2016  Restorative Justice
Jan. 30, 2015  Central American Gangs
Aug. 29, 2014  Transnational Crime
Aug. 09, 2013  Sexual Assault in the Military
Oct. 26, 2012  Mexico's Future
Apr. 20, 2012  Criminal Records and Employment
Apr. 19, 2011  Honor Killings
Sep. 2010  Crime in Latin America
Jul. 16, 2010  Gangs in the U.S.
Jul. 17, 2009  Examining Forensics
Apr. 17, 2009  Wrongful Convictions Updated
Feb. 08, 2008  Fighting Crime
Oct. 11, 2002  Corporate Crime
Apr. 04, 1997  Declining Crime Rates
Dec. 10, 1982  Arson: America's Most Costly Crime
May 07, 1982  Helping Victims of Crime
Mar. 13, 1981  Violent Crime's Return to Prominence
Jul. 15, 1977  Crime Reduction: Reality or Illusion
Jan. 19, 1972  Crime of Rape
Jan. 22, 1969  Street Crime in America
Jan. 17, 1968  Burglary Prevention
Sep. 22, 1965  Compensation for Victims of Crime
Feb. 17, 1965  Criminal Justice and Crime Control
Oct. 18, 1961  Control of City Crime
Jun. 20, 1929  Crime and the Courts
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean