IAGS Journal of Energy Security: The Perilous Intersection of Mexico’s Drug War & Pemex

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An article in the Journal of Energy Security by Jeremy Martin and Sivlia Longmire* focus on the effect of Mexico‘s drug war and the operation of drug trafficking organizations (DTO’s) on the development of the national oil industry. The journal is an initiative of the Washington-based non-profit Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS).

An excerpt from the article:

The drug war in Mexico is being fought on two fronts. First, roughly seven major drug trafficking organizations, or DTOs, are fighting against each other for control of lucrative drug smuggling corridors, or plazas, into the United States. Second, they are also fighting a massive military and law enforcement offensive under the direction of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who decided upon entering office in 2006 that existing levels of drug trafficking and associated violence would not be tolerated.

The DTO’s took exception to Calderon’s new mandate, and fought back with a vengeance. Their attacks against each other and against government forces have included beheadings and dismemberments, targeted assassinations, mass murders, grenade attacks, public daylight shootings with high-powered assault rifles, and even the occasional use of car bombs. The result has been the death of more than 34,000 people, including an increasing number of innocent bystanders who have nothing to do with the drug trade. Last year, with over 15,000 deaths associated with the battle, was the deadliest yet.

Despite the seemingly unending violence and impenetrability of DTO defenses, their drug trafficking activities—and subsequently their drug-related profits—have been taking a hit from the combination of Mexican and U.S. law enforcement actions. The escalating violence is partly a result of increased competition for more tightly guarded plazas and an increase in drug seizures on both sides of the border.

For these reasons, DTO’s have expanded their business to include kidnap-and-ransom operations, extortion, human smuggling, and oil theft. As will be discussed below, this has brought an increasing overlap between DTO activity and Mexico’s oil industry.

* Jeremy Martin is Director of the Energy Program at the Institute of the Americas and Sylvia Longmire is a Mexico Security Expert and President of Longmire Consulting.

To read the full article go here

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