The use of terrorism by drug trafficking organizations' paramilitary groups in Mexico
Barria Issa, Cesar A.
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In the early 1990s, Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) created their own military arms that later evolved into sophisticated paramilitary groups, now engaged in an all-out war against the state and/or anyone who represents an obstacle for their criminal activities. Furthermore, they are not hesitating to use tactics of extreme violence as terrorism to psychologically impact their enemies and those civilians not supporting them. Historically, terrorism related to drugs is new in Mexico but not in Latin America. The illegal drug trade has funded terrorist groups in Peru and Colombia, empowered criminal organizations and caused them to challenge the state's authority. An objective comparison of these cases can teach important lessons and show new paths to follow in the solution of Mexico's costly conflict. This thesis will define: How, where and why are DTO's paramilitary groups opting for terrorism in Mexico. It will outline the proper mechanisms to counter that terrorism. There is a long way to go to win the war on drugs in Mexico, but in order to apply new long term, less direct, and more social-based strategies, it is urgent for the state to set the proper security conditions in the short term.
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