Cartels: The New Face of Mexico's Democracy

Nye, Barret Jackson
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This thesis demonstrates why the Mexican drug cartels pose the single greatest threat to Mexico’s democratic institutions. A comprehensive analysis of the shift in Mexican politics from the authoritarian rule of the PRI to the current democracy it is today, coupled with the concurrent shift in the drug trade market, provided the perfect opportunity for the cartels to emerge as the most formidable threat to Mexico’s fledgling democracy. This thesis examines how this concurrent evolution occurred which allowed the cartels to infiltrate and corrupt the foundational institutions that are the backbone to a democracy. In addition, an analysis is provided detailing the insidious influence the cartels have on the political sector, the military, law enforcement agencies, and elections. This thesis concludes that had the concurrent shifts not occurred simultaneously then Mexico’s democracy would offer not only a better quality of democracy to its people, but also safety within its borders.