free hit counter
top of page


May 22, 2023

Remembering Javier Valdez

It has been six years since journalist Javier Valdez was murdered in a brazen act of violence in downtown Culiacán, Sinaloa. For the past five years, on the anniversary of the crime, journalists and activists around the country have organized events to honor Javier’s legacy. Nowhere are these commemorations more significant than Culiacán, where his deep connection to the community continues to shape how he is remembered.

March 13, 2023

The Kidnapping in Tamaulipas

Over the past two years, 155 U.S. citizens were murdered in Mexico, according to the U.S. State Department records - The kidnapping of four U.S. citizens on March 3 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, is thus simultaneously a horrific tragedy and perhaps less extraordinary than it appeared.

February 27, 2023

The Trial of Genaro Garcia Luna

García Luna's conviction closes a chapter, but there are still more questions than answers about both the past and the future. What does the case tell us about the drug war? What are the implications for the future of US-Mexico security cooperation? Moving beyond the narco-novela stories of cash-filled duffel bags and clandestine meetings, there are four important considerations to understand the significance of the guilty verdict.

January 9, 2023

Black Thursday II and the Arrest of Ovidio Guzman

In a pre-dawn operation on January 5, Mexican army forces captured Ovidio Guzmán López, unleashing a wave of violence across the entire state of Sinaloa. The terror mimicked the events of October 17, 2019, when blockades and shootouts in Culiacán forced security forces to release Guzmán López after briefly detaining him.

December 19, 2022

2022 Recap Roundtable

How do we make sense of 2022? For this special edition of El Acarreo, we turned to some of our favorite observers and analysts to help explain the past 12 months.

December 19, 2022

2022 in Review

In many ways, a recap of 2022 would sound very similar to that of any other year in Mexico’s recent history. At the same time, the past twelve months have not been simple repetition of history, and it is worth examining some of the most significant developments to understand what 2023 might have in store.

September 6, 2022

Militarization and the National Guard Reforms

Early Saturday morning, in a largely party-line vote, Mexico’s congress passed a set of controversial reforms to the National Guard. The Senate is expected to approve the legislation in the coming days. Here are four points help understand the significance of these reforms...

August 22, 2022

Blockades and "Narcoterrorism"

Two weeks ago, residents of several Mexican cities experienced frightening waves of violence and intimidation. Should we call these events "narcoterrorism"?

July 25, 2022

The Arrest of Rafael Caro Quintero

Only July 15, Mexican Marines arrested Rafael Caro Quintero, one of the most infamous figures in the history of Mexican drug trafficking. Our interview with Benjamin Smith helps explain what Caro Quintero represents.

May 5, 2022

US-Mexico Security Cooperation

US-Mexico security cooperation is once again a hot button topic this month, in the wake of news reports that Mexico has all but stopped collaborating with the DEA on drug trafficking investigations. With intense, close operational cooperation appearing unlikely to return anytime soon, what might the security partnership look like going forward?

December 22, 2021

2021 in Review

In many ways, the past year demonstrated that violence and security policy in Mexico must be understood in long-term context. Reflecting on the major trends we saw, here are our five takeaways from 2021:

November 17, 2021

Nuevo Laredo Disappearances

Last Tuesday it was reported that a judge had ordered the release of twelve Marines, who had been arrested earlier this year in connection with a string of enforced disappearances that occurred in Nuevo Laredo in 2018.

June 21, 2021

Journalism in Tamaulipas

Tamaulipas is a state that simultaneously exemplifies and exaggerates many aspects of the drug war. The site of one of the earliest media blackouts due to threats from organized crime, it is also a place that is difficult to understand, where nuance and context are absent from the narrative.

April 12, 2021

Elections and Violence

Campaigns for Mexico’s June 6 election officially kicked off just over a week ago. The elections are the largest in the country’s history, and they are occurring in the shadow of a wave of political violence.

February 25, 2021

The Arrest of Emma Coronel

The arrest of Emma Coronel Aispuro made international headlines but unlike her husband Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán who was presumed one of the world’s most infamous drug traffickers, she was mostly reduced to being named as ‘El Chapo’s’ wife. Her treatment by the press and law enforcement also highlighted what project co-founder Cecilia Farfán has called the paradox of invisibility: By thinking of women as outsiders, they become valuable members of sophisticated criminal groups.

February 5, 2021

Cienfuegos and the Bilateral Relationship

As the new Biden administration begins to chart a path for what is bound to be a complicated relationship with Mexico, the case of Salvador Cienfuegos remains both a topic of conversation and a source of conflict.

bottom of page