Democracy Paradox
Democracy Paradox
Sep 21, 2021
Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley on the Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico
Play • 53 min

Up to today, since the Mexican government deployed the military in 2006 up to the present, Mexico has experienced close to 200,000 battle deaths. That's roughly the number of battle deaths that took place in the civil war in Guatemala. So, the 36 year old civil war in Guatemala that produced approximately 200,000 battle deaths. That's where Mexico is right now.

Guillermo Trejo

A full transcript is available at or a brief primer on Mexican politics here.

Guillermo Trejo is an Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Sandra Ley is an Assistant Professor at CIDE’s Political Studies Division in Mexico City. They are the authors of Votes, Drugs, and Violence: The Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico. 

Key Highlights Include

  • A vivid description of the effects of the criminal wars in Mexico
  • How autocracy allows for the proliferation of organized crime
  • Why Mexico remains an 'illiberal democracy'
  • How polarization exacerbated criminal violence in Mexico
  • The importance of deeper degrees of democratization

Key Links

Votes, Drugs, and Violence: The Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico by Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley

Follow Guillermo Trejo on Twitter @Gtrejo29

Follow Sandra Ley on Twitter @sjleyg

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