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Drug Violence in Mexico - Research Paper Example

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Going down a checklist of quick and easy facts, Mexico at first seems like the perfect neighbor for the United States. It shares an extensive border with the United States. It also has a warmer climate than some of the states, and miles of beaches, making it a good destination for tourists that wish to leave the country but not go too far away…
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Drug Violence in Mexico
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Download file to see previous pages Mexican drug trafficking is not a new item in the history of the country; the country has since Prohibition years of 1917-1933 been exporting illegal substances to the United States, and even before that, in Civil War years, was seen as one of the major suppliers of opiates, including morphine and heroin used to treat soldiers (Gonzalez). Though drugs have been commonly used in Mexico during this time, even though they were exported to the United States, they were still only being used for medical purposes, therefore the government saw no need to regulate or otherwise deter their uses. If there were addicts, they were seen as “ill persons”, not criminals, and the government was more concerned about protecting the public from low-quality drugs in its desire to make laws against drug use than they were in sending people to jail for it (Gonzalez). Another reason that the Mexican drug trafficking grew and prospered, coming under the control of what is known today as the drug cartels, is that for a long time the attentions of anti-drug campaigns were focused elsewhere, specifically Columbia. With all of the United States attention focused on bringing down the Columbian cartels, it is only natural that Mexico would be able to “fly under the radar” of the anti-drug missions and grow unchecked to the size that it is today. However, once the Columbian cartels had been dealt with by the American government, the Mexican cartels took what they had learned, and made their own drug pipeline (“Losing Ground Against Drugs: The Erosion of America’s Borders” 1997). Now Mexico is considered a major drug producer, as well as a major supplier, both in United States and the world. It is the main foreign supplier of methamphetamine and to the United States, and although Mexico accounts for only a small share of worldwide heroin production, it supplies a large share of heroin consumed in the United States, with an estimated 90% of cocaine entering the United States through Mexico (Cook 1). Violence in the border region has begun to spill over and affect Americans, with more than 60 Americans kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico as of 2008 (Cook 1). Clearly, this is not the relationship that the United States envisioned with Mexico, though Mexico publicly does not support the actions of the drug cartels, as kidnappings and murders are generally seen as bad on both sides of the border. Today in Mexico, seven known drug cartels operate throughout the country: the Arellano Felix Organization, Beltran Leyva Organization, Los Zetas Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel, Carillo Fuentes Organization, Gulf Cartel/New Federation, and La Familia Michoacana, each with its own fluid area and territory of influence (Cook 3). However, that does not mean that each cartel is content with what they have accomplished, and since there are no fences marked with “this cartel’s territory here” or “keep out”, the borders are often fought over. Infighting is common, and an almost immediate result of the rise in the Mexican drug cartels was a spike in violence, not just across the US-Mexican border where the cartels fought the authorities, but within Mexico itself, where the cartels wage turf wars against one another (Cook 13). Drugs are a very dangerous trade in Mexico. One of the biggest reasons for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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