Here Are Five Articles About Mexico’s Drug War That Are Actually Worth Reading

ForbesSean Penn has admitted that his article about Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman for Rolling Stone fell short of his expectations. “Let me be clear: my article has failed,” he allowed. The piece, a strange sort of longwinded gonzo journalism, has been widely condemned for the concessions the author and magazine allowed the subject prior to publication. My preoccupations are less pedantic. I think Penn’s article is terribly written, but that’s not my main criticism. I think the piece fails because it lacks substance.

I imagine that Sean Penn did most of the research for the article at the airport on his iPhone before showing up in Mexico to do his fieldwork. Sean Penn claims he wanted to change the national conversation on the War on Drugs with his article, but somehow between October of 2015 and January of 2016 he didn’t find the time to do any research to bring his piece to life. He secured an exclusive interview with El Chapo and literally farted it away. In the end, Penn’s piece has become a major conversation starter, but not for the reasons he would have liked.

So, here are five articles about Mexico and the War on Drugs that are actually worth reading and discussing:

ONE: In his article “The Disappeared” for California Sunday Magazine John Gibler provides an illuminating and well-researched investigation into the disappearance of 43 students from the city of Iguala in the state of Guerrero in southwestern Mexico. While El Chapo’s capture, escape, and re-capture have captured public attention around the globe in places such as Guerrero, outside of the spotlight, the brutal grind of organized crime has continued to plague residents’ lives. …



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Latest Tweets by @IASecurity

Videos Featuring Our Experts

Kingpins and corruption: Targeting transnational organized crime in the Americas Roger Noriega on the Crisis in Venezuela: The world's response | IN 60 SECONDS

Venezuelan crisis: A brief history by Roger Noriega | IN 60 SECONDS

WAC Philadelphia: Latin America’s Role in 2017 and Beyond, feat. José R. Cárdenas

Promo for CNN's AC360°: "Passports in the shadows", feat. Roger Noriega

Ambassador Roger Noriega on PBS NewsHour discussing U.S.-Mexico relations under Trump

José Cárdenas Interview with Opinion Journal: "Hungry in Venezuela"

Ambassador Noriega Analyzes President Obama’s visit to Cuba on PBS’ ‘Newshour’


During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.