Mexican Drug Violence: Why the Merida Initiative, Gun Bans and Border Controls Will Fail and Drug Reform is the Solution




Hoskin, Ryan

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Calderon’s military tactics, along with U.S. aid through the Merida initiative, may succeed at suppressing the current outbreak of violence. However, these policies do not address the root causes of drug cartel violence. As long as prohibitionist drug policies are in place, drug profits will remain high. To maintain these profits, cartels must acquire weapons, whether through legal channels or black markets. No gun legislation will prevent this: the financial incentive is too great. Violence will become cyclical as cartels compete for market share. Combative efforts to suppress violence only disperse and postpone the externalities associated with the drug war, never eliminating them. Meanwhile, strict border enforcement remains logistically impossible and fiscally unsustainable, especially given the integration of the U.S. and Mexican economies through NAFTA.



Mexico, Border control