Baker Institute Viewpoints: Kingpin Strategies

Baker Institute Viewpoints is a regular series on the Baker Institute Blog that presents an array of views on a single issue.

Earlier this month, the Mexican navy announced the death of Heriberto Lazcano, the leader of Mexico's violent Zetas drug cartel, during a firefight with the marines. The slaying was hailed as a significant victory for the government of President Felipe Calderón, which has made the elimination of top cartel leaders a priority in its fight against organized crime. But will a strategy to target drug kingpins pay off in the long-term? Baker Institute fellows weigh the pros and cons of the approach in a five-day installment of the Baker Institute Viewpoints series.

Read the posts in this series:

"Targeting criminals, not crimes: The kingpin strategy works" —
Gary Hale, nonresident fellow in drug policy.

"Strategy to target drug kingpins a tactic, not a solution" —
Chris Bronk, fellow in information technology policy.

"Eliminate root causes of violence to 'manage' drug cartels" —
Nathan Jones, Alfred C. Glassell III Postdoctoral Fellow in Drug Policy.

"The kingpin strategy: A piece of a much larger puzzle" —
Tony Payan, visiting Baker Institute Scholar for Immigration and Border Studies.