Tackling Violence in Mexico

A translation of an article by Eduardo Guerrero in Nexos
Eduardo Guerrero Gutiérrez
Nexos (México)
June, 2011

nexosThe Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) translated the article La raíz de la violencia by Eduardo Guerrero Gutiérrez that was originally published in Spanish in the June 2011 edition of the Mexican magazine Nexos. Guerrero’s article, "At the Root of the Violence," deserves as wide an audience as possible. The author makes a compelling case for shifting to a strategy of "deterrence" to reduce the horrific violence that has been spreading in Mexico.


Guerrero contends:

"The [Mexican government’s] punitive strategy shows clear signs of having run its course. The current saturation of the federal security forces, dispersed on several fronts, has ended up diminishing their effectiveness. This has driven the authorities to operate with greater brutality and less precision, increasing the deaths of innocent persons and eroding the reputation of the federal security forces in the eyes of public opinion.

"In response to this situation, there is a need to reformulate the strategy and gear it toward reducing the violence, which implies selectively dismantling the organizations based on the criteria of the harm they cause society. Such a strategy would be focused on pursuing the most violent organizations sequentially, with the idea of discouraging the others from engaging in this type of conduct."

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