Monday, November 15, 2010

Hoping to Reel in More Big Fish

The Mexican marines say that are going to employ the tactics they used to track down Tony Tormenta and Arturo Beltrán Leyva to go after other big shots, including Chapo Guzmán. You'd think they'd be better served to do so without announcing it in the media, but whatever.

Anyway, this past year and the coming one, assuming the marines have some success in their plans, amount to something of a litmus test for the kingpin strategy, as Robert Bonner calls it, through which gangs are dismantled from the top down. So far, the sudden increase in capos' vulnerability (Nacho Coronel, La Barbie, Sergio Villarreal, and Teo García, in addition to Beltrán Leyva and Tony Tormenta) hasn't done a lot to make Mexico appear less vulnerable to drug violence. The success of such a strategy might not be evident until long after the fact, but personally I feel fairly confident in asserting that when Mexico's violence does go down, it won't be because of the demise of five or ten big shots alone, but rather that in combination with broader efforts to attack the guts of their networks.

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