David Barbier Jr. ’23 was looking to explore more of his professional interest in television, radio and film and stretch himself in a challenging role. He found what he was searching for after applying and being named a 2021 Jeff…
‘Improving the Security Situation Between US-Mexico’
Gladys McCormick, associate professor of history and the Jay and Debe Moskowitz Endowed Chair in Mexico-U.S. Relations in the Maxwell School, authored an op-ed for The Hill titled “Improving the security situation between US-Mexico.” McCormick is an expert on U.S.-Mexico relations and the modern political and economic histories of Latin America.
Since Mexico’s drug war was declared in 2006, thousands have died and cartels have created diversified business models that include extortion as a high-profit and low-risk activity. McCormick argues that extortion is just as deadly as it has corroded “already-weak criminal justice institutions,” adding that the U.S. is partially responsible for helping reimagine policies to enforce stronger laws in Mexico against extortion by shifting the focus away from the war on drugs.
McCormick believes that Mexican President López Obrador’s cabinet has failed to address the “growing epidemic of extortion,” and instead has focused on political shows against other leaders. To address this problem, McCormick says the U.S. needs to adopt a two-pronged policy against extortion in Mexico.
She writes that the first part of the policy must recognize the realities of what daily life is like with smaller cartels’ extortion, with the second part recognizing how extortion is facilitated by “impunity and corruption.” Further, McCormick argues that officials who are complicit in allowing extortion to continue as a business in Mexico must be held accountable.
Ultimately McCormick believes that targeting extortion as a discrete problem will create more obtainable outcomes. “Yes, the longer term and less evident incentives of institution building may not have the satisfying short-term results of military options, but they are more likely to improve the security situation in Mexico and, by extension, U.S.-Mexico relations,” she writes.
To read her essay in its entirety, visit The Hill.
Syracuse University media relations team members work regularly with the campus community to secure placements of op-eds. Anyone interested in writing an op-ed should first review the University’s op-ed guidelines and email firstname.lastname@example.org.