The Mexican Drug War: The Case for a Non-International Armed Conflict Classification


Carina Bergal


Part I examines the current applicable legal standards and definitions for classifying a NIAC. In addition, Part I provides the historical legal background of the laws of war and how they developed over time in order to accommodate the changing landscape of hostilities and how they were waged in light of newly emerging foes. Part II describes the history of the current conflict between the Mexican government and the drug cartels. In addition, Part II addresses the domestic and global implications of the current nonlegal status of the Mexican drug war. Specifically, Part II analyzes the inadequacy of the current system and discusses the alternative arguments and approaches for ameliorating the escalating violence. Part III argues in favor of classifying the Mexican drug war as a NIAC within current applicable legal standards. Part III principally focuses on cohesively interpreting the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols, judicial decisions, the Rome Statute, and other authoritative sources to propose the application of a NIAC classification to the Mexican drug war.

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