Mexico Drug War Essay
Running Head: MEXICO'S DRUG WAR
Mexico's Drug War
The purpose of the paper is to discuss the aspect of Mexican war of Drugs. This paper attempts to highlight link between the drugs and the Mexicans and how all of this had an effect on its neighboring states including the United States of America. Concerns of United States were ever-increasing forcing the government of Mexico to take action against the cartels and bring down the trafficking of drugs under any circumstances. The government of Mexico was left with no choice other than to be involved in an armed conflict with the owners and the gang members of drug cartels.
Mexico's Drug War
Mexico and the United States have been close together, at the same time being so far apart. Mexico and the U.S. have maintained a healthy neighbor to neighbor relationship over the centuries. There have been disputes of course, but for the most part both of them are working together (Payan, 2006). When striving to maintain a healthy relationship between neighboring countries, certain problems arise. When the countries don't have the same standard of living, people might try and migrate illegally to the better country. When one country has more illegal drugs than the other, people might try smuggling the drugs. Also, trade between the countries is always a factor in keeping a healthy connection (Baird, 2010).
Q1) What are the consequences of Drugs ?
Drugs have become a very serious problem in the United States. They have become a component of one's every day lives. This Nation's reliance on drugs for pleasure, depression, and medical relief dominates the political and economic scene. Much debate over the drug issue occurs daily. There are hundreds of different drugs, each with its particular effect on the body's nervous system. For instance, narcotics are a series of drugs that affect the mind, causing mental changes (Payan, 2006).
The United States Government will not allow new drugs to be prescribed by a doctor or sold by a pharmacist until the drug has been thoroughly tested and proven to be medically safe. These tests take as long as years to be approved for public use. Unstable drugs are street drugs such as crack, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and MDMA that are made up of several chemical substances that are produced illegally under poor circumstances. Some drugs that are stable are still highly addictive and can cause a number of problems in an individual's life. Certain drugs are responsible for killing thousands of people each year. Those who escape death are sometimes confined to a mental institution.
Q2). What is Alcohol?
Alcohol is the most used and abused drug in the world....
Loading: Checking Spelling0%
Overivew of Mexico's Drug War Essay2138 words - 9 pages Over the last several decades, violence has consumed and transformed Mexico. Since the rise of dozens of Mexican cartels, the Mexican government has constantly been fighting an ongoing war with these criminal organizations. The cartel organizations have a primary purpose of managing and controlling illegal drug trafficking operations in Central America and South America to the United States. Violence on a massive and brutal scale has emerged due...
Success and Failure in the US-Mexico War on Drugs3266 words - 13 pages Illegal narcotic drugs represent a $60 billion market in the U.S., and this year alone the State and Federal governments will each spend roughly $20 billion in attempting to stifle this market. The amount of money involved in the drug trade, substantially inflated due to prohibition, makes both systemic corruption and violence inevitable. The illegal drug trade is a sophisticated international network, and while no nation’s...
The Failure of the Drug War1839 words - 7 pages Hoque, JahanaraA-2 Sullivan2/1/2011IntroductionHistory of Drug War"The Food and Drug Act of 1906 required that all ingredients and products be revealed to consumers, many of whom had become addicted to substances falsely marked safe" (Ojeda 23)Having it legal doesn't make it better, contrary to the present popular...
Drug Trafficking, Consequences, and Accountability1703 words - 7 pages The illegal drug trafficking found throughout Latin America is not an issue that can be solved by either a government or an individual alone. Unfortunately, it is also an issue that requires more than one solution in order to solve the problem. Each Latin American state is unique, as are the various citizens who inhabit them. As drug trafficking is a transnational force, Latin American governments often find themselves not only at odds with one...
The Spread of Drugs as a World Problem1472 words - 6 pages There are many security threats facing nation states. The threat of international terrorism attract the most headlines and governments spend a lot of money to combat it. But there are so called "soft security" threats that if not dealt with lead to the strengthening of organized crime groups that wreak havoc on a society's security and economy. Three of the threats that challenge states today are the smuggling of drugs, arms trafficking,...
The U.S. - Mexico Border1784 words - 7 pages The U.S. – Mexico Border is the area of 62 miles on either side of the political border. It stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,951 miles. Its region contains sparse amounts of water, is flat and desert-like (Hively 1). The U.S.-Mexico Border should be abolished because it was the result of war and mistrust, it affected and still affects many people, and doing so would improve life in both the United States...
Mexico, history, political structure, biography included1568 words - 6 pages In this report I will be discussing the United Mexican States. I researched Mexico a great deal; this will show as you read the history section as it is comprehensive and ties in to today's current Mexican Political structure. I identify and discuss the key institutions to Mexico that will lead to understanding of Mexican politics. In the next session I explain demographics in...
Mexico- The Latinamerican Giant1878 words - 8 pages In the world there are clearly economic gaps amongst nations– with most of the wealth concentrated in few countries. Mexico, considered a Latin American giant, is currently labeled as a developing nation due to its less developed economic and social state when compared to other more affluent nations. The reasons as to why Mexico has not yet reached a developed state is due to a number of factors, but the most prevalent are its colonial legacy and...
Drug Cartels and Violence2140 words - 9 pages How would you feel if the only thing that you knew was violence, and drugs? For many children this is not a hypothetical question. There are children in Mexico that live this way. Some willingly join drug cartels. These children lose their education in order to make money, and because they do not know the true danger that they are getting themselves into by working for the cartels. Should children be fighting, and working for the cartels? These...
Legalization is the Solution to Drug-Related Crime1197 words - 5 pages How many times have you heard the local news lead a story with the phrase "drug-related"? Probably too many times to count. Indeed, it is an expression so thoroughly imbedded in the media lexicon that it qualifies as a kind of unintentional propaganda. Like all successful propaganda, "drug-related" has become so hackneyed that no one bothers to examine its fundamental truthfulness. And, also like successful propaganda, the phrase is rarely a...
Trouble Down South1261 words - 5 pages Early in our school years we are taught the importance of staying away from drugs and their harmful effects. We live in a nation surrounded by drugs and the culture that surrounds them. Drugs inhabit our everyday lives through the mediums we come in contact with on a daily basis. Most people cannot go through their day without running into a drug reference of some sort on their phones or televisions. However, with all the drugs in our nation,...
Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars, by Sylvia Longmire (2011, Palgrave/Macmillan, 248 pp., $26.00 HB)
El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency, by Ioan Grillo (2011, Bloomsbury Press, 301 pp., $27.00 HB)
Gangland: The Rise of Mexico's Drug Cartels from El Paso to Vancouver (2012, Wiley, 276 pp., $22.95 PB)
The soldiers would order everyone off the bus, then randomly inspect luggage. Afterwards, everyone would trudge back onto the bus, and off we'd go, past a last sign proclaiming, "Thank you for your cooperation in the permanent campaign against drug trafficking." I never saw the soldiers actually find anything.
Funny thing about those checkpoints -- they never moved. Year after year, there they were in the same places. Of course, everyone in the area, including the dope growers up in the mountains and the traffickers who moved the weed, knew exactly where they were and simply went around them or paid the local military commander to look the other way when a load needed to pass.
But those checkpoints were there, and the Mexican government could point to them and say, "Look, we're doing our part." That Potemkin village-style "war on drugs" worked for Mexico for many years. In the '70s, the '80s, the '90s, observers would note sardonically that Mexico was not suppressing the drug trade so much as managing it.
Of course, it helped that Mexico was then under the venerable grip of "the perfect dictatorship," the one-party rule of the PRI that had governed the country more or less since the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1919. The lines of authority were clear, PRI officialdom was happy to take traffickers' bribes and keep a semblance of order in the underworld, and those bundles of pot trickling down out of the mountains became a roaring river of reefer flowing to the insatiable north.
Back then, one man, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, was the undisputed godfather of the Mexican drug trade. To avoid unnecessary strife, he and his lieutenants divvied up the plazas, or franchises for a particular smuggling location, among themselves, creating the Tijuana cartel (the Arrellano Felix brothers), the Sinaloa cartel ("El Chapo" Guzman and the Beltran Leyva brothers), the Juarez cartel (Amado Carrillo Fuentes, "The Lord of the Skies," and family), and the Gulf Cartel (Osiel Cardenas). Business was good. Profits from pot were plentiful, and in the 1980s, a new revenue stream, Colombian cocaine, only added to the permanent fiesta.
Yes, there were drug killings back then. You don't rise to the top of a ruthless Mexican drug trafficking outfit by being an overly nice guy. But the violence was minimal compared to the bloodletting that has gone on since 2008, when, under pressure from President Calderon's all-out offensive against them, the cartels turned on each other in a bloody fratricidal struggle, as well as going to war against the police and the military. The killing continues to this day, as does the flow of drugs north and cash and guns south.
And the alarm bells are ringing across the land, thus this spate of books. Former California state intelligence analyst Sylvia Longmire, veteran British-born Latin America reporter Ioan Grillo, and Canadian journalist and author Jerry Langton all describe the evolution of the cartels from their humble Sinaloa roots to their positions today as hugely wealthy, murderously violent drug trafficking organizations with a global reach, although they all bring different perspectives into play.
Grillo has spent years working in Mexico, and it shows. He feels more attuned to Mexican culture, although Langton provides some excellent historical background, and his book is the most interested in the broader social phenomena surrounding Mexico's drug wars. Grillo takes the reader into the world of the narcocorridos, the border ballads celebrating the exploits of the traffickers, and their singers, quite a few of whom have been killed for their efforts. He also explores Santa Muerte, the peculiarly Mexican church (or cult, depending on whom you ask), favored by the poor, the delinquent, and the dopers.
Our authors disagree on just exactly what the cartels are. For Langton, they are essentially just frighteningly overgrown criminal gangs; for Grillo, they are a "criminal insurgency;" for Longmire, she of the national security optics, they are closer to terrorists, of whom she cites Al Qaeda and Colombia's FARC in the same breath.
I don't know that I can buy either the criminal insurgency or the terrorist appellation, though. Both insurgency and terrorism imply political, or, more precisely, ideological goals. While the cartels can be said to have political goals, such as putting a paid-off politician in a powerful post, those goals are merely means to the cartels' real ends: making money. Unlike the FARC, who have a strong (if fraying at the edges) revolutionary socialist platform, or Al Qaeda types, with their Islamic fundamentalist credos, as far as anyone can tell, Shorty Guzman could care less about anything other than making money.
Which is not to say the cartels aren't scary as hell. They are an insurgency in so far as they represent a serious challenge to the Mexican state's monopoly on the use of force. And they do. These guys are heavily armed, thanks in part to "straw buyer" weapons purchased in the US, some of them have police or military training (the Zetas in particular have proven to be a paramilitarized menace even to the Mexican armed forces), and they are capable of acts of exemplary savagery. They are also known to roll through cities in convoys dozens of vehicles long, all full of heavily-armed men, in brazen displays of power.
Grillo notes a key turning point: the effort to arrest Gulf cartel head Osiel Cardenas in 2004, a couple of years after he formed the Zetas out of former US-trained elite anti-drug troops. In the good old days of Mexico's "war on drugs," the occasional arrest was understood as part of the game and took place in an almost gentlemanly fashion, at least at the top. But Cardenas didn't go down like that. Instead, his Zetas engaged the military in a day-long running gun battle, viciously defending their chief against the odds until his capture, and continuing to attack even as the military fled with its captive to a local airport and then back to Mexico City. Now, that's what you call a challenge to the state's monopoly on force.
And that was just the beginning. Now, you can go to web sites like El Blog del Narco and read about almost daily pitched battles between narcos and soldiers. And narcos and police. And narcos and narcos. And police and soldiers. And federal police and state police. There is truly multi-sided mayhem going on.
So, what is to be done about it all? None of the authors are very optimistic that anything will turn this around anytime soon. Unsurprisingly, there seems to be unanimity among them that reforming the hopelessly corrupt, complicit, and outgunned Mexican police forces is high on the agenda. A single national police force may be an answer, but that will take years, if it ever happens at all.
Longmire in particular argues for smarter and more law enforcement on both sides of the border, but concedes that it's unlikely to make much difference. In the end, even she suggests that maybe we should think about legalizing marijuana. Grillo suggests that, too, noting that the cartels are making billions a year on Mexican brick weed. All of them note the utter futility of trying to eradicate the trade.
But while Longmire and Grillo talk about legalizing weed, Langton correctly points out that that's a long shot, and even if you legalize marijuana, that still leaves cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and Ecstasy for the cartels to traffic and grow rich off of.
None of them directly confront the fundamental root cause of the problem: drug prohibition. The cartels are the Frankenstein's monster of drug prohibition, created by the mad policymakers of Washington and their hunch-backed global anti-drug bureaucracy assistants in Vienna ("Yeesssss, master") and energized by an unending flow of black market dollars. Langton is right -- legalizing marijuana isn't going to do the job by itself, even if it does attack one cartel revenue stream (though that is not an argument against legalizing it).
At this point, even legalizing everything will not make the cartels vanish. They are now too wealthy, too well-established. They've diversified into extortion, kidnapping, and other crimes. They own businesses. They are integrating. Still, ending drug prohibition would take substantial wind out of their sails, much as ending alcohol Prohibition severely weakened, but did not kill off, the US mob. That may be the best we can hope for.
Or, barring that, Langton mentions another possibility, one not spoken much of aloud these days, but one that is being quietly murmured as the PRI appears set to retake the presidency after the July elections. Mexico can either continue down the path of the drug wars and hope the violence subsides, as with the crack epidemic in the US in the 1980s, he writes, "or they can go back to collaborating with the cartels, allowing them to keep the peace in their own way."