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Newly obtained declassified documents allow researchers to evaluate successes and failures of U.S. drug policy in Latin America

ProQuest’s unique relationship with the National Security Archive (the Archive) – an award-winning research institute, library and publisher of declassified documentation based at The George Washington University – is enabling researchers to explore nearly a half-century of counternarcotics cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico – an issue of persistent U.S. domestic, regional and national security concern. Digital National Security Archive: Mexico-United States Counternarcotics Policy, 1969-2013 encompasses newly declassified records from the Nixon administration through the first term of the Obama presidency, tracing the often-contentious relations between the hemisphere’s largest consumer of illegal drugs and a principal producer and transit point for those substances, a topic with implications for U.S. ties to the rest of Latin America.

"The National Security Archive’s relationship with ProQuest makes a particularly powerful content set far more accessible to students, researchers, historians, political scientists and international relations specialists," said Archive Director Tom Blanton. "These records provide an essential foundation for understanding how the United States and Mexico relate to one another by showing their common struggle. It's an extraordinary lens through which to view the shared history of these nations."

Comprised of once-secret documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), presidential libraries, and the U.S. National Archives, as well as carefully selected reports and congressional documents, Digital National Security Archive: Mexico-United States Counternarcotics Policy, 1969-2013, enables researchers to study the multi-layered impact of illegal drug smuggling on neighboring nations. Beginning with Operation Intercept -- President Nixon’s unilateral attempt to stem marijuana traffic by closing the Mexico-U.S. border -- the collection provides insight into the impact of U.S. drug policy on Mexico-U.S. relations; the infusion of U.S. counternarcotics aid in the form of equipment, training, and joint eradication programs; the transformation of drug control from law enforcement to a national security concern; the increased role of the Mexican military in drug control; the rise of Mexican cartels, drug violence, and official corruption; and efforts, through the Merida Initiative, to support judicial reform, institution-building, and institutionalization of rule-of-law. Researchers can explore specific themes such as the priority of drug policy from the Nixon through Obama administrations, the shift in drug trafficking from Miami to Mexico, the killing of DEA agent Enrique Camarena and the subsequent investigation, efforts to control gun smuggling from the U.S. and money laundering, as well as many others.

Earlier this year, ProQuest published its fortieth collection in partnership with the Archive -- CIA Covert Operations: From Carter to Obama, 1977-2010. Each collection has been carefully curated by an expert in the field and is years in the making. The expert selects the most important documents based on broad archival research; active use of the FOIA, including going to court if necessary; and even the incorporation of documents from other countries, as appropriate. The result is a comprehensive set of declassified materials providing unparalleled coverage of the subject, event, or region.

ProQuest’s expansive digitization program broadens access to unique information that advances research and global knowledge. To learn about ProQuest’s mission to make serious research more productive, visit

About the National Security Archive
The National Security Archive is an innovative, award-winning research institute, library and publisher of declassified documentation based at The George Washington University. Since 1985 the Archive’s mission has been to expand public knowledge and debate over critical issues in United States foreign policy by identifying, making available (through the Freedom of Information Act), organizing, indexing and disseminating the primary sources that make up the available historical record.

About ProQuest Historical Collections
For 75 years, ProQuest has played a pivotal role in preserving and unlocking rare historical information for use by students, scholars and librarians around the world. Its expertise in handling rare and fragile documents was honed in 1938 with the microfilming of the archives of the British Museum – a project that ensured virtually every book printed in English between 1473 and 1700 would survive the ravages of World War II. Since then, the company has partnered with an extraordinary range of organizations and individuals, preserving and building access to their information collections.

This creative teamwork has built a digital chronology of history from countless perspectives. Via ProQuest, researchers can access the world’s largest collection of dissertations and theses; 20 million pages and three centuries of global, national, regional and specialty newspapers; major European rare book collections such those of the national libraries of France, the Netherlands and the Library of Florence; and archives that provide unique counterpoints – the records of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; personal notes from AP reporters on the front lines of Vietnam, Queen Victoria’s personal diaries, plantation records from the Slave era in the Southern U.S.

ProQuest’s robust and evolving technology brings that content to researchers where they are, enabling them to explore at will – whether page by page, reviewing full-color scans that are as crisp as the real thing or via precision search that takes them to the exact nugget of information they’re seeking.

About ProQuest (
ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company has forged a 70-year reputation as a gateway to the world's knowledge — from dissertations to governmental and cultural archives to news, in all its forms. Its role is essential to libraries and other organizations whose missions depend on the delivery of complete, trustworthy information.

ProQuest's massive information pool is made accessible in research environments that accelerate productivity, empowering users to discover, create, and share knowledge.

An energetic, fast-growing organization, ProQuest includes the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary®, and Serials Solutions® businesses and notable research tools such as the RefWorks®, and Pivot services, as well as its' Summon® web-scale discovery service. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

05 December 2013

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