Rub Outs in the Territory: Killing Police Chiefs and Top-Level Commanders in Chihuahua

  • Sara Schatz
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


This chapter examines in detail the assassination of municipal police chiefs and top-level commanders in the state of Chihuahua (2006–2012). These murders are the result of the interaction between impunity in the political, legal and law enforcement systems and the goals and weapons of the criminal organizations. Such goals include: (1) retaliation for federal, state and local prosecution, (2) the attempt to neutralize police chiefs, (3) the effort to achieve intermittent local governance and/or to place corrupt police chiefs, and, (4) to reduce local governmental capacity in order to obtain greater freedom for movement of goods. A geographical mapping of the assassinations of local police chiefs and top-commanders in Chihuahua also reveals that they are not random but follow a northbound pattern along drug-smuggling routes. In some instances organized crime elements did take total temporary political control in some small towns near the U.S.-Mexican border and near the cross-roads of major drug-smuggling highways. These instances can be understood as limited “governance” through organized crime (Sheptycki, 2003; Sullivan and Elkus 2008).


Law-enforcement assassination Criminal goals Chihuahua municipal police Local rule of law 


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© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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