For many Mexicans, insecurity is commonplace. They look at the news and see stories of new vigilante groups, or they learn about the piles of bodies that were the most recent victims of organized crime, or they hear anecdotes of how business was obstructed or suspended because of some unnamed security concern. Now, the media coverage they watch tends to overemphasize these kinds of acts of violence while de-emphasizing the fact that Mexico has a mostly functional government and thriving economy. Still, violent crime, especially associated with the country’s drug cartels, is a serious issue in Mexico. So serious, in fact, that President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s radical proposal to resolve it – which features amnesty and reconciliation rather than confrontation – helped win him the presidency. He will soon begin to execute the plan, but as he does, he needs to bear in mind that virtually every previous plan to eliminate the cartels in the past few decades has failed.
Understanding geopolitics starts here.