This survey was written under the auspices of the North American Forum Co-Chair Pedro Aspe-Armella, former Mexican Minister of Finance, to serve as a reference document at the Sixth North American Forum (NAF). NAF is an annual meeting of American, Canadian and Mexican government and business representatives to discuss a broad regional policy agenda that includes security, energy, and economic issues. The Sixth NAF will be held at the city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (September 30 - October 2, 2010).
Pedro Aspe-Armella requested Eduardo Guerrero-Gutierrez the elaboration of the survey. The survey provides an overview of the security sector in Mexico, the logic of Mexican organized crime, the dynamics of organized crime violence, the government‟s strategy and actions against organized crime, the main features of the Mexican drug market, and the recent public opinion trends in Mexico regarding he “war on drugs”.
Survey’s Data Sources
The survey exhibits extensive public data from Mexican government agencies, and from American and international agencies such as the U.S. Department of Justice and United Nations. Some tables and figures derive from three databases constructed by the author, through the systematic recollection of information in newspapers, weekly magazines, and press releases from official agencies.
The first database shows the number of organized crime executions. For its construction more than 25,000 news articles related to organized crime homicides were collected. These articles were taken from the following 19 national and regional newspapers: Crónica, El Economista, El Financiero, El Gráfico, El Norte, El Sol de México, El Universal, Excélsior, Imagen, Impacto, La Jornada, La Prensa, La Razón, La Segunda de Ovaciones, Metro, Milenio, Ovaciones, Reforma, and UnoMásUno.
The second and third databases show the number of arrests, seizures, and dismantled laboratories. The second database was constructed by analyzing 1,500 PGR press bulletins, and the third one was constructed by collecting and analyzing around 20,000 press articles from the newspapers mentioned above.