Separating Fact From Fiction on Mexico’s Drug Cartels

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The recent capture of several high-profile drug cartel capos has yet again propelled Mexico’s security situation into the spotlight. With last week’s arrest of important Zeta leader Ivan Velazquez Caballero, known as “Z-50” or “El Taliban,” the administration of President Felipe Calderón can now claim to have put 24 of the 37 most wanted drug cartel capos behind bars. While the reality of Mexico’s cartel-related violence is often shocking, much of the press coverage is more fiction than fact. In particular, three recurrent misconceptions surrounding Mexico’s security situation and drug cartels plague press coverage outside of Mexico and skew policymaking […]

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