Drug Cartels, Oil Rents, and Homicide – The Case of Mexico’

47 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2019

See all articles by James Korman

James Korman

Coalition for Peace & Ethics

Date Written: May 14, 2019


This empirical study examines drug trafficking violence in Mexico and seeks to explain the exceedingly high homicide rates within the country. It utilizes a cross-sectional statistical model in order to accomplish this. It examines all 32 states within Mexico and is set out to undercover whether or not the presence of oil/gas fields & pipeline impacts the intensity of violence through cartel rent extraction as cartels might compete for oil rents therefore escalating the violence and homicide levels present throughout Mexican society. It provides a reconstruction of events that led up to the Mexican drug war and examines what the literature is saying on key determinants of violence and homicide in Mexico & Latin America at large. It provides a present context for the 2010 decade on the state of the cartels in Mexico and who the prime actors are. The empirical findings show that oil rents/pipeline due not contribute to a higher level of homicide nor does the interaction term between Los Zetas and oil pipeline/gas& oil fields experienced in the various 32 states within Mexico for which both variables are present. Finally, the study concludes with a discussion on the implications of the empirical findings and possible areas of research that remain unaccounted for that could help explain the exceedingly high homicide levels in Mexico in the presence of drug trafficking.

Keywords: cartel(s), DTOs (Drug Trafficking Organizations), drug trafficking, homicide, Los Zetas, NAFTA, narcotrafficking, natural resources, Neoliberalism, oil, rents, violence

Suggested Citation

Korman, James, Drug Cartels, Oil Rents, and Homicide – The Case of Mexico’ (May 14, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3490397

James Korman (Contact Author)

Coalition for Peace & Ethics ( email )

200 Holly Ridge Dr
State College, PA 16801
United States

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