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Knocking Off Drug Kingpins Makes Drug Violence Worse – Lindo and Padilla-Romo at Cato Institute

We find that the capture of a DTO leader in a municipality increases its homicide rate by 80 percent, and this effect persists for at least 12 months. Consistent with the notion that the kingpin strategy destabilizes an organization, we also find that these captures significantly increase homicides in other municipalities with the same DTO presence. In particular, we find that homicide rates in neighboring municipalities with the same DTO presence rise 30 percent in the six months after a kingpin capture before returning to expected levels. 

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