Organized Crime and Democratic Governability: Mexico and the U. S.-Mexican Borderlands

Overview

The United States?Mexico border zone is one of the busiest and most dangerous in the world. NAFTA and rapid industrialization on the Mexican side have brought trade, travel, migration, and consequently, organized crime and corruption to the region on an unprecedented scale. Until recently, crime at the border was viewed as a local law enforcement problem with drug trafficking?a matter of  ?beefing? up police and ?hardening? the border. At ...

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Overview

The United States–Mexico border zone is one of the busiest and most dangerous in the world. NAFTA and rapid industrialization on the Mexican side have brought trade, travel, migration, and consequently, organized crime and corruption to the region on an unprecedented scale. Until recently, crime at the border was viewed as a local law enforcement problem with drug trafficking—a matter of  “beefing” up police and “hardening” the border. At the turn of the century, that limited perception has changed.
 
The range of criminal activity at the border now extends beyond drugs to include smuggling of arms, people, vehicles, financial instruments, environmentally dangerous substances, endangered species, and archeological objects. Such widespread trafficking involves complex, high-level criminal-political alliances that local lawenforcement alone can’t address. Researchers of the region, as well as officials from both capitals, now see the border as a set of systemic problems that threaten the economic, political, and social health of their countries as a whole.

Organized Crime and Democratic Governability brings together scholars and specialists, including current and former government officials, from both sides of the border to trace the history and define the reality of this situation. Their diverse perspectives place the issue of organized crime in historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts unattainable by single-author studies. Contributors examine broad issues related to the political systems of both countries, as well as the specific actors—crime gangs, government officials, prosecutors, police, and the military—involved in the ongoing drama of the border. Editors Bailey and Godson provide an interpretive frame, a “continuum of governability,” that will guide researchers and policymakers toward defining goals and solutions to the complex problem that, along with a border, the United States and Mexico now share.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“While the majority of the texts on this topic prescribe judicial and legal reform as well as improvements on police policies, this book forcefully argues in favor of preserving the political system and its governability in the face of the threat of organized crime. If such condition is not met, all efforts on other institutional areas (such as  judicial reform) will be useless.”
--Guillermo Zepeda, Center of Research for Development (CIDAC)
Booknews
Bailey and Godson (both: government, Georgetown University, among other affiliations) provide an introduction and conclusion to eight contributions from scholars and specialists, including current and former government officials, from both the US and Mexico. The contributions address a wide range of criminal activity, which extends beyond drugs to include smuggling of arms, people, vehicles, financial instruments, environmentally dangerous substances, endangered species, and archaeological objects. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822957584
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 1/18/2001
  • Series: Pitt Latin American Studies Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
Pt. I Crime and Governability in Mexico
2 The Nexus of Organized Crime and Politics in Mexico 33
3 Organized Crime and the Organization of Crime 58
4 Organized Crime and Political Campaign Finance in Mexico 83
5 Scope and Limits of an Act of Good Faith: The PAN's Experience at the Head of the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic 103
6 Containing Armed Groups, Drug Trafficking, and Organized Crime in Mexico: The Role of the Military 126
Pt. II Crime and Governability in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands
7 The Historical Dynamics of Smuggling in the U.S.-Mexican Border Region, 1550-1998: Reflections on Markets, Cultures, and Bureaucracies 161
8 Organized Crime and Democratic Governability at the U.S.-Mexico Border: Border Zone Dynamics 177
9 Mexican Drug Syndicates in California 199
10 Conclusion 217
Notes 225
About the Contributors 259
Index 263
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