The Mexican Drug War: The Case for a Non-International Armed Conflict Classification

47 Pages Posted: 24 May 2011

See all articles by Carina Bergal

Carina Bergal

affiliation not provided to SSRN


Since Felipe Calderon’s ascension to the Mexican presidency in 2006, approximately 30,000 people have died as a result of the protracted and gruesome drug wars that have plagued the country for years. Both the Mexican military and police at all levels have been dispatched to quell the violence, and various institutional reforms have been put into place to facilitate an end to the drug war. This Note argues that the Mexican drug war should not be considered a mere domestic insurgency and should instead be classified as a non-international armed conflict (“NIAC”), subject to the properly affiliated laws of war that govern such classification. Through a comprehensive review of the various international legal standards, decisions and authoritative guidelines applicable to the current conflict in Mexico, the case for a NIAC classification is laid out.

Keywords: Mexican Drug War, Non-International Armed Conflict, NIAC

Suggested Citation

Bergal, Carina, The Mexican Drug War: The Case for a Non-International Armed Conflict Classification. Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 34, p. 1042, 2011, Available at SSRN:

Carina Bergal (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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