Mexico is a country in crisis. Capitalizing on weakened public institutions, widespread unemployment, a state of lawlessness and the strengthening of links between Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, narcotrafficking in the country has flourished during the post-1982 neoliberal era. In fact, it has become one of Mexico's biggest source of revenue, as well as its most violent, with over 12,000 drug-related executions in 2011 alone.
In response, Mexican president Felipe Calderón, armed with millions of dollars in US military aid, has launched a crackdown, ostensibly to combat organised crime. Despite this, human rights violations have increased, as has the murder rate, making Ciudad Juárez on the northern border the most dangerous city on the planet. Meanwhile, the supply of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine has continued to grow. In this insightful and controversial book, Watt and Zepeda throw new light on the situation, contending that the 'war on drugs' in Mexico is in fact the pretext for a US-backed strategy to bolster unpopular neoliberal policies, a weak yet authoritarian government and a radically unfair status quo.