A Better Strategy to Combat Organized Crime in Mexico and Central America

Vanda Felbab-Brown and Eric Olson
The Brookings Institution
Friday, April 13, 2012

The Cartagena Summit of the Americas where heads of state will meet in middle April comes at a time of acute crime crisis in Latin America and growing opposition to U.S. counternarcotics policies. President Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala has called for legalizing the drug trade, following calls for drug policy reform of several former Latin American presidents. El Salvador has been reeling from allegations of a deal between criminal gangs and the government. Mexico has been overwhelmed by drug violence.