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‘Santa Muerte’, are the Mexican cartels really coming?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

By: Dr John Coyne

Whether in Mexico, the US or Australia, the image of the transnational serious and organised crime (OC) threat from ‘Mexican cartels’ used to construct policy doesn’t appear to engage with the reality that there’s no homogeneous Mexican cartel, cartels or OC group.

This report argues that, for Australia and Asia, the menace of Mexican OC is no longer looming on the horizon; it has already arrived. However, the nature of the Mexican OC problem in Australia and Asia is not likely to be the same as that found in either the US or Mexico. To respond effectively to this rising threat, Australian policymakers need to approach the issue with a more informed perspective that engages with the complex nature of the various groups that collectively form what’s broadly considered to be Mexican OC. Furthermore, the policy response to Mexican OC will need to more agile than the measures contained in Australia’s current National Organised Crime Response Plan.

SR107_Mexican-cartels.pdf - PDF (4.2 MB)