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Corruption, Drug Trafficking, and Violence in Mexico

Political Corruption
Stephen Morris

Corruption plays a central role in the drug trafficking and related"war" that have violently scarred Mexico in recent years. Corruption facilitates the operation of Mexico's vast and powerful criminal-business enterprises, while simultaneously debilitating the state's efforts to confront them. In fact, corruption makes it difficult at times to differentiate violators from enforcers. As poet, social activist, and grieving father of one victim of the war on drugs Javier Sicilia laments,"I don't know where the state ends and organized crime begins." But corruption and the structural weaknesses characterizing Mexico's institutions of justice are hardly new. Corruption has long shaped Mexican politics and the drug trade, yet never have these factors conspired to generate the degree of violence, brutality, and instability seen in recent years. This historical paradox