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The Effects of Cartels in Mexico

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In ten years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, 6,335 US soldiers have been killed in combat. In less than half that span of time, from December 2006 to December 2010, approximately 38,000 Mexican citizens were killed by cartel related violence. Even without counting the many thousands of Mexicans who were killed before December 2006, the War on Drugs, over ten years, will be fifteen times deadlier than the War on Terror. The level of violence near the border is unacceptable and the United States must share the blame. The rising death toll serves as the proof of what certain people have been saying for years: both the Mexican and American governments need to change their strategy in order to minimize the presence of drug cartels and to curtail drug violence. In order to fight the drug traffickers and any associated bloodshed, one must first understand why the cartels exist and how they operate. Visualize America and Mexico. America is wealthy, has a strong governmental and social structure, and is the world's largest consumer of almost everything, including drugs. Mexico, on the other hand, is poor and has a weak government, but is conveniently located between America and the drug-producing countries in Central/South America. Mexico is, because of its geography, the most efficient pathway used by drugs entering the United States. When America criminalized popular drugs like marijuana, the market price for the drugs jumped significantly because of decreased availability to consumers and the increased security risk to dealers selling the drugs. Higher market prices in America translate to bigger profit margins for the middleman transporting the drugs, because the purchase price remains low in South America but the sale price is... ... middle of paper ... ... Beith, Malcolm (2010). The Last Narco. New York, New York: Grove Press. 41. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. Fillippone, Robert. "The Medellin Cartel: Why We Can't Win the Drug War." Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 17.4. (1994): 323. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. Mercille, Julian. "Political Economy of the War on Drugs." Third World Quarterly. 32.9 (2011): 1637-1653. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. "Supply and Demand." Economist 4 June 2011: 70. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. Myklebost, Nils. "Norwegians Battle Butter Shortage in Peak Season." Associated Press [Oslo] 14 Dec. 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. Duncan, David. "Dutch Drug Policy: A Model for America?" Journal of Health and Social Policy 12. (2009): 317-322. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. Sanchez, Alejandro. "Not in My Backyard: Mexico's War: The Steady Decline from Bad to Worse." Journal of International Peace Operations 4. (2009): 9-12.Web. 13 Dec.2011.
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