On the campaign trail and in his first six months in office, Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto de-emphasized the military's role in the drug war by promoting a new strategy that focuses on prevention and the root causes of crime. However, in May, Peña Nieto had to send troops to the state of Michoacán to quell the violence between cartels and vigilantes taking up arms to defend their villages. Peña Nieto -- like his predecessor, Felipe Calderón -- now seems poised to again put Mexico's military front and center in the fight against organized crime.
In a five-part Baker Institute Viewpoints series, institute experts and guest authors evaluate a fundamental question for all democratic societies facing organized crime threats: Is the deployment of troops in a domestic conflict with organized crime an appropriate use of combat forces?
Read the series:
- Mexico's use of the military in the drug war: Why no alternative?
- Why Mexico's military is fighting the country's drug war
- A never-ending mission: Soldiers as police in Mexico
- Mexico's military plays a necessary role in internal security
- Can Mexico be in an "armed conflict" with criminal gangs?