This paper explores the convergence of Mexico-US anti-drug collaboration by examining the position of the Mexican economy within the capitalist worldeconomy, a position which much analysis has neglected within the current war on drugs in Mexico. Ciudad Juárez, the city most affected to date in terms of violence will be examined in relation to the efforts of the bilateral security agreement between Mexico and the US, the Mérida Initiative. The results show that a number of factors related to the structural change that occurred in the Mexican economy increased the power and violence of Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Also, the conception of the Mérida Initiative is in line with the interests of its creators to keep the existing structure of the economy and will therefore not properly address the violence and drug trafficking in which it is trying to combat causing further unnecessary violence. Relevance to Development Studies Understanding a problem is necessary in order to make some kind of useful change that can fix such a problem. Much analysis within International Relations has focused more on events and not on the underlying structure within which those events occur. Therefore many times the symptoms of a problem are treated and not the root, which is why the problem is never solved and arises again and again, time after time. A perfect example of this has been efforts to stop drug trafficking which are simply treating symptoms. The hope of this paper is that deeper analysis of the underlying structures takes place in relation to drug trafficking problems or other fields in order to stop the many injustices that are continued through a miss-understanding of such situations.

Merida Initiative, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, United States, Violence, Worldsystems analysis, Neo-Gramscian, Neo-liberalism, Drug trafficking, Security
Icaza Garza, Rosalba
International Political Economy and Development (IPED)
International Institute of Social Studies

Garcia, Dominic. (2011, December 18). The Mérida Initiative, a Flawed Conception? Implications for Ciudad Juárez. International Political Economy and Development (IPED). Retrieved from