‘Why Mexico is Losing its Drug War’

In Colombia, for much of the last decade, Alvaro Uribe had considerable success combating a narco-insurgency. U.S. officials were impressed enough to try to export the Uribe model to other Latin American countries, hoping to duplicate the success.

Did it work? Unfortunately, no. Elizabeth Dickinson tackles the issue in a new piece for the print edition of the Washington Monthly, and this editors’ summary set the stage for an interesting piece:

For the past several years, international drug warriors have taken their cues from one success story — Colombia. Under the presidency of Alvaro Uribe, between 2002 and 2009, the perennially troubled South American nation made heavy use of American aid to expand its military and overcome a fierce, decades-old narco-insurgency. Since then, the U.S. has helped export Uribe’s strategies to Mexico and to countries across Latin America, even to Afghanistan.

The problem is, they’re not working. And in Colombia itself, drug violence is on the rise again. As Elizabeth Dickinson reports from the ground in the latest issue of the Washington Monthly, Uribe’s ideas have been misapplied and his victory misunderstood — calling into question nearly every fight in the drug war.

To read “Fighting the Last War,” click here.

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