Organized Crime in Mexico


Organized Crime in Mexico

Assessing the Threat to North American Economies

Cameron H. Holmes
Foreword by Dennis Lormel

224 pages


June 2014


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

June 2014


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Organized Crime in Mexico takes a hard look at the dire implications of the pervasive and powerful criminal enterprises in northern Mexico, comparing and contrasting the present threat to past issues, including drug and human smuggling during the latter half of the twentieth century. Criminal organizations operating in Mexico and the United States threaten the economic well-being of North America as well as the democratic freedoms of our neighbor to the south. Cameron H. Holmes, an experienced organized-crime prosecutor and anti–money laundering expert, shows how this shift in criminal activity is extremely damaging to North American economies and explains that in order to halt this economic erosion, U.S. policy requires a new strategy, changes in thinking, and new and increased countermeasures.

Strategically, we have light-years to travel and little time to do it. Without intervention criminal activity will strangle legitimate business, degrade the Mexican economy, and, because the United States itself is so intimately affected, undermine the U.S. economy in turn. Continued prosperity in both countries depends on our joint success in controlling these criminal enterprises. Organized Crime in Mexico examines the new diversification and strategies of organized criminal groups, suggests a series of countermeasures, and places these issues in a global context. What is transpiring in Mexico is part of a larger international problem, and criminal enterprises currently pose new and consistent threats to economies around the world.


Author Bio

CAMERON H. HOLMES (1949–2013) was the director of the Southwest Border Anti–Money Laundering Alliance and served as chief of the Financial Remedies Section of the Arizona attorney general’s office for twenty-one years. DENNIS LORMEL is the managing director of the Anti–Money Laundering Practice at ISPA International. He served for twenty-eight years as a special agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation before retiring.


“From money laundering to drug running, Holmes does a wonderful job explaining the vast criminal enterprise of the Mexican cartels.”—Fred Burton, vice president of Stratfor Global Intelligence and coauthor of Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Introduction: A Looming Economic Crisis
1. Sources of Power for Criminal Enterprises

Vertical Integration of Distribution Networks in the United States
Diversification into Multi-Crime Enterprises
Militarization of Tactics and Operations
International Expansion
Symbiotic Effects—The Power Web
Persistent Popular Ignorance and Misinformation

2. How Diversification Endangers Commerce

Draining the Legitimate Government’s Economic Strength
Infiltration and Destruction of Legitimate Commerce
Impunity for Armed Threats Illustrates Unrepresentative Power

3. Are There Alternatives to Economic Crisis?

Internal Limiters within Criminal Enterprises
Government Retreat
Legalization of Drugs
Sealing the Border
Abandonment of Mexico
The Hard Reality

4. A Fundamental Change in the Goal Requires Fundamental Countermeasure Shifts

Containment Is No Longer the Central Goal
U.S. Success Is No Longer Possible without Mexican Success
Much Strategic Thinking Is No Longer Appropriate
Rethinking the “Threat” in Our Threat Assessments

5. Countermeasures

Strategic Considerations
Component Analysis
The Network Schematic View

6. Long-Term Goals

7. Immediate-Term Countermeasures

Focusing Investigations and Prosecutions on the CEs’ Commercial Activities
Cutting off CEs from Sources of Income, Services, and Matériel
Recasting Efforts to Reduce U.S. Use of Mexico-Sourced Drugs
Placing Mexican CEs and Mexican CE Finance in Their Global Context

Conclusion: A Time for Action

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