January 17, 2013 - Op-ed
New Mexican President may be able to break cycle of drug violence
Appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2012
CISAC Postdoctoral Fellow Ben Lessing explains how Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, may differ significantly from his predecessor in fighting his country's drug war. Felipe Calderon's policy was intended to crush the cartels with a "no quarter" approach, but this led to smaller, splintered groups of drug runners who are battling for power. Lessing demonstrates through his research that crackdowns create more incentives for bribery, which ultimately leads to more violence and intimidation. Peña Nieto's middle path may lay the foundation to break Mexico's cycle of violence.