How Did Things Get So Bad So Quickly? An Assessment of the Initial Conditions of the War Against Organized Crime in Mexico

  • Carlos VilaltaEmail author


Objectives: This study explores the initial conditions of the current war against organized crime in Mexico. The theoretical framework is institutional anomie theory (IAT). Composite measures were used to summarize local initial conditions for the occurrence of organized crime deaths by gang execution, confrontation, and aggressions to authority. Spatial and temporal elements were included to assess the validity of the initial conditions approach. Evidence presented here suggests that Mexican states significantly differed in their initial conditions for organized crime deaths to have occurred. Also, although trends in gang executions and confrontations have been slowing down, aggressions to authority are speeding up considerably. The evidence presented corroborates IAT. However, the significance and direction of the relationships among institutional anomie correlates and initial conditions of the war against organized crime depended upon the type of death.


Crime policy Drugs Homicide Mexico Organized crime 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Economic Research and Education (CIDE)MéxicoMexico

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