skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 204632 Find in a Library
Title: Corruption and Organized Crime in Mexico in the Post-PRI Transition
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:August 2001  Pages:213-231
Author(s): Louise Shelley
Date Published: August 2001
Page Count: 19
Document: PDF
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article analyzes the obstacles President Fox faces in his efforts to reform Mexican Government and eradicate organized criminal groups.
Abstract: The election of President Fox to the Presidency ended 70 years of PRI (Institutionalized Revolutionary Party) rule over Mexico. President Fox promised in his presidential campaign to fight government corruption and organized crime. However, while his intentions may be just, President Fox faces major obstacles in his bid to clean up the Mexican Government and do away with organized crime. The author reviews the historical conditions that led Mexico to a state of pervasive corruption and virtually unchecked criminal activity. Mexico inherited the Spanish legal system and its traditional disdain for the rule of law, thus allowing corrupt practices to pervade the state. Seventy years under a “one party democracy” assured stability in Mexico and only fueled the pervasiveness of high-level corruption in Mexican Government. The unique role of the PRI in Mexican society and the legacy of state corruption under the Salinas administration are discussed as the author illustrates the painful transition process that faces Mexico as President Fox attempts to create a more democratic society and multiparty state. Mexico, along with many other Latin American countries, began a massive and faulty program of privatization of state resources in the 1980’s, which effectively reduced the state sector of the economy while allowing Mexico’s economic disparities to become even more striking. Additionally, major economic changes in the 1980’s and 1990’s, particularly increasing globalization and the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), had a profound impact on the ability of Mexican organized crime groups to work in North America and in the global economy. All of these factors have contributed to the widespread corruption and crime that currently grips Mexico. During the PRI rule, civil society was not strong enough to combat the pervasive state corruption; intimidation and execution of those who spoke out were commonplace in recent Mexican history. Mexico’s strengths, which include a significant educated middle class, and the political costs of corruption and organized crime are examined, as are bilateral strategies between Mexico and the United States designed to curb illicit border activity. In the end Mexico’s strong national identity will lend Mexican citizens the strength to prevail over corruption and organized crime. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Corruption of public officials; Mexico
Index Term(s): Organized crime; Reform; Transnational Organized Crime
Note: Downloaded March 16, 2004.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.