In this paper my colleague Viridiana Rios and I outline the state of drug-related violence in Mexico and evaluate the reasons for this violence, current efforts by the US government, and suggestions for improving the situation. Through the use of government reports, state-by-state data on violence and drugs (assassination, seizures, etc.), the literature on policy effectiveness, and an understanding of the political and institutional structure in Mexico, we argue that the shortest route out of the current violence lies not only in more effective supply and demand reduction efforts in the US and along the border, but in an unprecedented US- Mexico partnership that focuses on state reform: a thorough overhaul of judicial, public safety, and social service systems in Mexico. We argue that continuing on our current path of a focus on only supply and demand reduction might actually escalate violence in the short term at least, while leading to an increasing lack of governability in Mexico that has the potential to affect immigration flows to the US.

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