The Economics Behind Drug Trafficking and Cartels in Mexico: A Study of the Cartel’s Influence on Mexico and the Expansion to West Africa

The Economics Behind Drug Trafficking and Cartels in Mexico: A Study of the Cartel’s Influence on Mexico and the Expansion to West Africa

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Imagine living everyday of your life in constant fear. You wake up never knowing for sure what terrible acts of violence and injustice you will encounter, how many people you personally know will die – or if you yourself will die. Imagine that there is no escaping this fear, no one to say everything is going to be alright, and worst of all, no hope. This is the common life of many citizens who live in Mexico, specifically in areas where drug cartels are present.
The war against drug trafficking is an ever-present problem, and is seemingly always growing more violent as the cartel’s and gangs power. Drugs are obviously not a constructive product, and countries such as Mexico are suffering in terms of image, prosperity, safety and politics due to their abundance of drug related problems. Drugs have caused a staggering and horrific amount of deaths through violence between the rival drug cartels, as well as governmental involvement through the military. The number of deaths is so appallingly high, which shows how highly motivated these cartels are, and motivated to receive the enormous sums of money that comes from trafficking and selling drugs. They have become extremely powerful, and are now looking for ways to expand their business further, as any well-ran and successful organization will do. One area of expansion is in western Africa, where they have found a new location to bring their drug business closer to the wealth and abundant drug users of Europe. A report from 2009 states that “at least nine top-tier Latin American drug cartels have established bases in 11 West African nations.” (Brice) West Africa however has found the recent increase in attention and importance from drug trafficking beneficial in some ways that I wil...


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...increasing efforts from the countries with the wealth and the fire power necessary to counter act the wealth and the fire power of the cartels. The most important countries would be the United States and those of Western Europe. Another solution could be to legalize many of the illegal drugs, and set up high taxes and closely monitored limits for those who desire the drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. This would then eliminate the need for the cartels (hopefully), but would be unlikely to be approved, as it would be seen as extremely unethical and pro-drug, something no good politician would want their image to have. In the end, the drug wars must be focused on much more closely, and the developed world must strive to find ways to fight against these cartels in greater amounts, as they have started globalizing and are constantly increasing in prevalence worldwide.

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