Settings matter: Examining Protection’s influence on the illicit drug trade in convergence settings in the Paso del Norte metropolitan area

Abstract

Marcus Felson suggests that analysis of “organized crime” should be undertaken via the study settings, events, and their sequences. This study examines four intertwining settings in the Paso del Norte area: Ciudad Juárez as a plaza, El Paso as a plaza, Prisons, and the streets. It shows just how important settings are for understanding the events that lead to the establishment and maintenance of the protection that allows organized criminal events related to the drug trade to unfold in the region. By examining one region, bifurcated by an international border, this article shows that settings, even those that are in close proximity with one another, can significantly shift the way that protection arrangements are developed, which in turn affect how events unfold. However, criminal actors who move between these settings adapt their strategies to the available protection to maximize opportunity for the illicit enterprises they are involved in.

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Gundur, R.V. Settings matter: Examining Protection’s influence on the illicit drug trade in convergence settings in the Paso del Norte metropolitan area. Crime Law Soc Change 72, 339–360 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10611-019-09810-3

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