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University Of San Diego: Mexico’s Violence Isn’t Just About Drugs

A Glock 23 handgun seized by Mexican authorities is pictured in this undated ...

Credit: Courtesy of the Tijuana municipal police

Above: A Glock 23 handgun seized by Mexican authorities is pictured in this undated photo.

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A new University of San Diego report shows that Mexico’s bloodshed is fed by many different criminal enterprises.

Aired: May 7, 2019 | Transcript

Mexico's violence is like the many-headed mythical beast known as the hydra, according to a new report from the University of San Diego's Justice in Mexico.

The hydra can’t be slain by chopping off one head — that just makes two grow in its place. The authors of the report explained that similarly, targeting drug kingpins has been "ineffective" to stop the violence in Mexico, instead causing a fracturing and multiplying of violent cartels.

They wrote that Mexico has to target all criminals, including corrupt politicians and elite CEO’s involved in money laundering, to "starve the beast."

The annual report used to be called “Drug Violence In Mexico.” This year, on its 10th anniversary, the report has a new title: “Organized Crime And Violence In Mexico.”

Co-author Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira said the change is meant to reflect the fact that oil theft and other criminal enterprises are fueling the violence now, too.

“We wanted to make clear that the reality that what used to be mainly drug trafficking phenomenon, now is becoming more broad," he said.

Last year, homicides hit an all-time high of more than 33,000 in Mexico. Men, mayors and journalists were the most common victims, although femicides remain a problem.

Laura Y. Calderon and Kimberly Heinle and David Shirk also co-authored the report.

A new University of San Diego report shows that Mexico’s bloodshed is fed by many different criminal enterprises.

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