Fighting narcotraffic in Latin America: Mexico and El Salvador—a comparative approach
Melara, Christian N.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
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Mexico and El Salvador have been fighting organized crime for decades. While Mexico has fought drug cartels with the support of the U.S. government, El Salvador has struggled to lower high crime rates mostly with its own resources. Mexico, which has a different government structure from El Salvador’s, has not been able to control drug trafficking despite the use of armed forces. Although Mexico’s approach to fighting drug cartels differs from El Salvador’s approach, neither country has been able to control organized crime in its own territory. While both countries have used armed forces, the outcomes vary. Mexico achieved partial success by incarcerating drug cartel leaders and seizing drugs; however, drug trafficking continued. El Salvador’s use of armed forces has been limited, and the strategy did not lower high crime rates. Human rights issues have aroused negative attention to both countries. The magnitude of the criminal activity in both countries requires a more comprehensive approach, rather than the use of armed forces to counter criminal organized crime.
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