I thought this was the most mistaken portion of an otherwise pretty sharp article (although I still think there are significant problems with using Colombia as a model for Mexico). In Mexico, at least, the death or arrest of kingpins has typically been accompanied by a quick surge of killings and the relatively quick resurrection of the party's normal operations. Such was the case with the death of Amado Carrillo, the arrest of Juan García, and many other examples. When organizations have faded (the Valencias in Michoacán, the Arellano Félix brothers in Tijuana), it's not been because of one single arrest, but sustained pressure (and not just from the government, but from competitors, too). Mexico most certainly needs to have a far greater capacity to track down the most notorious capos, but that also has to be coupled with a broader strategy to attack the organizations' lower levels of operation.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Apropos of Nacho Coronel's death, one of the suggestions of the recent Foreign Affairs article on Colombian lessons for Mexico was to adopt a so-called kingpin strategy. The complete article isn't online and I don't have it in front of me, but the gist was that Mexico needs to focus more on the kingpins and less on their networks, because running a multi-national smuggling organization isn't so easy, and once the boss goes down, he's not so easy to replace.