Latest Issue

Lost war on drugs

Mexico cannot cope with crime—or legalisation

By Luis Rubio   May 2012

A protest against drug violence, Mexico City

An apparently perfect solution may be nothing more than a false start. For Mexico, the nation most brutalised by the international drugs trade, the idea of legalising narcotics may be just that—an irrelevance.

Those who favour legalisation say it would resolve all problems. With a legislative act, violence would vanish and a taxable, multi-billion dollar industry would be created in its place. But the problem is that theoretical discussion of legalisation ignores Mexico’s broader political and social problems. It also ignores the conditions required for legalisation to function.

Here in Mexico, I see…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect