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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mexican Drug Cartel Influence in Government, Society, and Culture

  • Author(s): Kim, Jacob JiHyong
  • Advisor(s): Loza, Steven
  • et al.

Powerful drug cartels have left an indelible mark in Mexican history, and they continue to operate with relative impunity today. Efforts by authorities to curtail their influence have failed, largely because of their inability to learn from lessons of the past. This thesis examines the history of Mexican cartel influence- highlighting the problems in government, society and culture- to understand why and how cartel influence has spread. Authorities would benefit to use this knowledge to forge a more holistic approach in their war against Mexican cartels, as their current tactics lack much efficacy. Diminishing the formidable influence of Mexican drug cartels will likely reduce violence, corruption, sexism, drug use, crime, chauvinism, environmental damage, and human rights abuses. There is no singular method to make this happen. It would be beneficial for government and society to work together, using a variety of means and introducing new ideas as necessary, to combat drug cartels.

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