Exporting the Colombian "model": comparing law enforcement strategies towards security and stability operations in Colombia and México
Loconsolo, Michael E.
Gómez, Rodrigo Nieto
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The increase in violence involving transnational organized crime syndicates in various parts of México in the twenty-first century is widely viewed as a challenge to security and stability. Some observers have drawn comparisons with the well documented conflict in Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s between the Colombian government and the Medellín and Cali cartels. Various factors, including the professionalization of the Colombian National Police, are viewed as a model for improving the effectiveness of law enforcement elsewhere. This thesis asks whether a Colombian law enforcement model can be codified, in terms of key attributes, to improve security and stability in México. To this end, I explore Colombia’s law enforcement strategy in the 1980s and 1990s and identify shifts in strategy that might also apply to the current struggle in México. At the same time, I identify aspects of the Colombian model that have little or no relevance to contemporary México. I argue that the Colombian model can do little to reduce or eliminate the production and transportation of illegal narcotics by México-based organized crime syndicates; however, a hybrid version of the Colombian model could help reduce the overall power of the cartels and enhance security and stability throughout México.
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