Mexico: Declassification of the Three Armed Conflicts Involving Drug Cartels on RULAC

12 December 2022

Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts online portal (RULAC) classified the armed violence opposing the Mexican armed forces to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG, Jalisco Cartel New Generation) and to the Sinaloa Cartel, as well as the armed violence between these two gangs as non-international armed conflicts (NIACs).

According to this classification – based on the level of violence and on the level of organization of the drug cartels – international humanitarian law (IHL) applied to these clashes in addition to international human rights law (IHRL) and war crimes could be committed.

‘This was the only case on RULAC where armed violence involving drug cartels was considered as amounting to NIACs’ explains Dr Chiara Redaelli, Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.

Challenges in Attributing Acts of Violence to Specific Drug Cartels

This declassification does not mean that the violence decreased throughout the country, that there are fewer victims or that the overall situation improved.

‘While the armed violence between the government and the drug cartels, as well as between cartels themselves, remains high, it has become increasingly challenging to attribute these instances of violence and clashes to specific armed groups. As we cannot attribute these acts of violence to a specific drug cartel, we cannot conclude that the intensity of violence’s requirement is met, and, therefore, conclude with certainty that these three NIACs are still ongoing’ explains Dr Redaelli.

‘This declassification does not leave a protection gap. Indeed, IHRL continues applying to these clashes. This means that the applicable framework is the law enforcement paradigm as opposed to IHL’ she adds.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Military use of AI Drone News

New Report on Artificial Intelligence and Related Technologies in Military Decision-Making on the Use of Force in Armed Conflicts

13 May 2024

This report examines themes that arose during two expert workshops on the role of AI-based decision support systems in decision-making on the use of force in armed conflicts.

Read more

LLM Students News

LLM Students Address IHL Issues Arising from the 2008 Armed Conflict in South Ossetia

16 May 2024

Students from our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights took part in a pleading exercise on the 2008 South Ossetia armed conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Read more

Surveillance Camera Project

COUNTER-TERROR PROJECT: A LEGAL EMPIRICAL APPROACH

Started in June 2019

The ‘Counter-Terror Pro LegEm’ project combines legal analysis with social science research to (1) examine the effectiveness of counterterrorism measures and their effects on human rights and (2) analyse the structure of terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda or the Islamic State and see whether they qualify as ‘organized armed groups’ for the purpose of international humanitarian law.

Read more

Iraq, Mosul. View of the west bank after the war. Project

IHL in Focus

Started in January 2024

As a yearly publication, it keeps decision-makers, practitioners and scholars up-to-date with the latest trends and challenges in IHL implementation in over 100 armed conflicts worldwide – both international and non-international.

Read more

Cover of Report Publication

Artificial Intelligence And Related Technologies In Military Decision-Making On The Use Of Force In Armed Conflicts: Current Developments And Potential Implications

published on May 2024

Anna Rosalie Greipl, Neil Davison, Georgia Hinds

Read more