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Mexican Drug Cartels and Dark‑Networks: An Emerging Threat to Australia’s National Security

Source: The Centre of Gravity series paper #25, Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific

Date: April 2016

Introduction: Over the past decade Mexican drug cartels’ power and the violent struggles between them have increased exponentially. Previously Mexico, and in particular the border regions with the US, were the key battle grounds for control of distribution routes. However, today Mexican drug cartels are now looking abroad in an attempt to extend their operations. It is in this context that Australia has now become a target of several Mexican cartels. They have already established linkages in the Asia Pacific and are further attempting to strengthen and expand these — with a particular focus on penetrating the Australian market.