Local Elections and Organised Crime: The Case of Michoacán, Mexico
This study, based on ethnographic analysis, reveals that municipal government elections in Mexico have become spaces of struggle among criminal groups striving to strengthen their presence throughout the territory. In municipal contexts characterised by institutional vacuums, delinquent organisations have succeeded in capturing political spaces. We argue that the continuous violence that has plagued the country since 2013 can be explained largely by factors of an institutional order coupled with distorted electoral processes in municipalities and states, exacerbated by widespread citizen disenchantment with democracy and especially manifest at the level of local government. This situation suggests the need for strategies that address the influence of these criminal groups that go beyond police-based approaches and for actions designed to improve the quality of state institutions.
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