Fighting wars and enforcing laws: has the US-led ‘war on drugs’ transformed drug trafficking in Colombia and Mexico from a matter of public security to one of national security?

Cousins, Samuel (2019) Fighting wars and enforcing laws: has the US-led ‘war on drugs’ transformed drug trafficking in Colombia and Mexico from a matter of public security to one of national security? MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

The ‘war on drugs’ has been a staple issue of US-Latin American relations over the past five decades, as the US has sought to urge its Latin American neighbours to eradicate and interdict illicit drugs by all means possible. Meanwhile, drug traffickers and actors associated with the drug trade have contributed to an explosion of violence that has led Latin America to become the most violent region in the world. In response to this, Latin American governments have increasingly used their armed forces to combat the illegal drug trade, therefore taking counternarcotics out of the realm of public security and in to national security. This dissertation examines the logic and causes behind this process, and will focus on the cases of Colombia and Mexico in particular, which have been the two ‘frontlines’ in the war on drugs in Latin America. It will demonstrate that, while emphasis on militarisation of drug law enforcement has been an established goal of the US in Colombia and Mexico, in both cases this process was marked by domestic cooperation, particularly in the case of Mexico. The method, as well as being a binary comparative case study analysis, is primarily literature based, drawing upon politicians, academics, non-governmental organisations, and journalists. By doing so, this dissertation intends to account for the militarisation of drug law enforcement and its elevation to an issue of national security in these countries.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Pryce, Sue
Rees, G.Wyn
Keywords: illegal drug trade; drug law enforcement; Colombia; Mexico; militarisation; national security;
Subjects: H Social sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
Item ID: 56518
Depositing User: Cousins, Samuel
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2019 12:57
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 14:46
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/56518

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