LAS 354: Drugs and Violence in Mexico

The course will focus on the specific characteristics of the current conflict by learning about President Felipe Calderón's approach to combating organized crime, the involvement of the ATF and DEA in Mexico, and the important Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs), such as the Sinaloa Cartel, Los Zetas, The Gulf Cartel and their leaders Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, "El Lazca," Osiel Cardenas, Miguel Felix Gallardo, the Beltran Leyva brothers to name a few. We will also discuss the Peace Movement in Mexico and the work that is being done to change the course of the conflict. As the semester advances we will discuss more broadly the social issues imbedded in this conflict and provide opportunities for students to arrive at complex understandings of the role of drugs and violence in contemporary society.