|Francisco “Pancho” Villa turned his criminal organization into an army and was warlord over Chihuahua until his death in 1923|
Given the utter failure of the Mexican federal government to abide by its social contract to provide specific services to the large sectors of its population—i.e., education, health care, respect of civil liberties, protection of property, and most importantly, protection of life— coupled with the government’s failure to exercise sovereignty over territory firmly controlled by narco-warlords, indigenous insurgent groups, and self-defense militias, it’s reasonable to conclude that Mexico is a failing state.
Since the state still exists and provides services to some sectors of the population, it hasn’t failed altogether, but it certainly is in the process of failing. More so since the erratic behavior of the Trump presidency and the announcement of the 20% wall tariff caused the peso to crumble.
Criminologist John P. Sullivan (of the Small Wars Journal) elaborates on the Mexican criminal insurgency; namely that the insurgency’s main goal is to gain autonomy and economic control over territory. By hollowing out the state and creating alternative states—in this case feudalistic fiefdoms ruled by narco-warlords through their narco-guerrilla armies—the criminal insurgency introduces a dual-state model.