In the Documentary “Mexico’s Drug Cartel War”, it displays a systematic approach of drugs and violence. The Drug War has been going on since the United States had a devastating impact on Mexico after the recession where it nearly doubled its interest payments. Mexico could not afford the interest payments but did have many agricultural imports. This created the trade between the United States and the land owned by the two million farmers. It spread the slums to Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez to work in maquiladoras (assembly plants just across the border) (Jacobin, 2015). This paper will focus on explaining how drugs are related to violence in Mexico, how drug enforcement policies influence the relationship between drugs and violence, and how battle for control in their own country.
Mexicans claim that the war in drugs only made the cartels more violent and the state authorities more tainted. The result is that guiltless onlookers are often caught up in the crossfire. For periods, drug transferring groups have used Mexico's fragile political system to make "a network of corruption that ensured distribution rights, market access, and even official government protection for drug traffickers in exchange for lucrative bribes," (Shirk,2011).
Drugs have influenced daily life and society since the day of their discovery centuries ago. Their impact ranges from medical to industrial, to recreational to political, and to criminal. Drugs can not only influence the individual, but even cities or countries as whole. A prime example of the power of drugs is the establishment and occupation of the drug cartels in Mexico. Not only have the effects of these cartels infamously changed Mexico, but they have traveled to the United States (US), and change continues to be exchanged between the two. The following report attempts to answer the question, what are the Mexican drug cartels, and how are the United States and Mexico effected by them? A brief history and introduction of Mexican drug cartels
The United States has had a long-standing policy of intervening in the affairs of other nations when the country has thought it within its best interests to do so. Since the 1970’s the United States has tried to impose its will on other nations to combat the most pressing political enemy of the day often linking the war on drugs to the matter to stoke support both domestically and abroad. In the times of the Cold War, this enemy was communism and the government tried to make the connection of the “Red Dope Menace” insinuating drug links with China, Castro’s Cuba, and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. However, as the world has evolved and communism’s prominence has waned, there is a new enemy whose existence has become intertwined with the drug war. That enemy is terrorism. The connection has gone so far that politicians and journalists have coined a new term to describe the link calling this new problem of our time “Narco-terror.” This paper will examine US efforts to control the drug trade and fight terrorism in Colombia, Peru, Afghanistan and the desired and often undesired consequences that have come about because of those efforts.
The drug problem in the U.S. and around the world is an important issue and seems to be a difficult problem to tackle across the board. The inflow of drugs has become one of the largest growths in transnational crime operations; illicit drug use in the United States makes it very difficult for nation states police and customs forces to get a handle on the issues. War on drugs, drug trafficking has long been an issue for the United States. There has been a proclamation of “war on drugs” for the past 44 years.
Relations between the United States and Mexico have become increasingly strained, due in part to American’s contribution to ever-growing cartel violence in Mexico. The United States has been the main contributor to the cartels’ takeover of Mexico, and the current policy approach of limiting the United State’s role has failed. History has exhibited our inability to make peace with Mexico, and without considerable reform to our approach to the “War on Drugs” relations between the countries will not improve.
A former director of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency’s Mexican office once stated:” The heroin market abhors a vacuum.” The truth in this statement can be extended to not only the heroin trade but also the trade of numerous other drugs of abuse; from cocaine to methamphetamines, the illicit drug trade has had a way of fluidity that allows insert itself into any societal weakness. Much like any traditional commodity good, illicit drugs have become not only an economy in and of themselves, they have transformed into an integral part of the legitimate global economy. Whether or not military or law enforcement action is the most prudent or expedient method of minimizing the ill-effects of the illicit drug trade is of little consequence to the understanding of the economic reality of its use in the United States ongoing “War on Drugs”. As it stands, not only has the illicit drug trade transformed itself into a self-sufficient global economy, so too has the drug-fighting trade. According to a CNN report in 2012, in the 40 years since the declaration of “The War on Drugs”, the United States Federal Government has spent approximately $1 trillion in the fight against illicit drugs. Additionally, a report in the New York Times in 1999 estimates that federal spending in the “War on Drugs” tops $19 billion a year and state and local government spending nears $16 billion a year. Given the sheer magnitude of federal, state, and local spending in the combat of the illicit drug trade, one would reasonably expect that the violence, death, and destruction that so often accompanies the epicenters of the drug economy would be expelled from the close proximity of the United States. While this expectation is completely reasonable to the ...
The U.S. government has instituted the following ways for enforcing its foreign drug policy: interdiction, eradication, legislative reform. Interdiction is the attempt to stop drugs as they are en route to the United States. This remains to be a formidable task; because of the enormous size of the United States, policing its vast borders has proven to be extremely difficult. For example, the United States has over 12,000 miles of shoreline, through 300 ports of legal entry, and over 7,500 miles of border with Canada and Mexico. The jurisdiction of these border points fall under all of the above mentioned agencies and military branches. Herein lays the first problem of foreign policy on drugs, determining which agency/branch has rightful control over which part of the border. The DEA and FBI have overlapping roles in when it comes to enforcing drug policy. Miscommunication often happens when attempting to interdict drugs because of overlapping jurisdiction between two government agencies. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, the United States has spent over $25 billion on s...
As we have discussed throughout the semester, the United States has made it part of their foreign policy to become deeply involved in Latin American affairs. The War on Drugs is a perfect example of United States intervention through a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid. The War on Drugs is an extremely costly campaign that has been viewed with mixed results. “Even by conservative estimates, the War on Drugs now costs the United States $50 billion each year and has overcrowded prisons to the breaking point, all with little discernable impact on the drug trade” . Plan Columbia is one of the most prominent and controversial initiatives on the War on Drugs. Plan Columbia has been an ineffective use of American tax dollars due to underwhelming results, apparent U.S. involvement in supporting their political interests and the damaging of other crops and adverse health effects from aerial fumigation.
The current “War on Drugs” involves skirmishes in an arena with two fronts: The consumer and the manufacturer. The successes and failures of the battle are not clearly identified without first looking at how the battle can be ultimately won. When it comes to cocaine, the problem of punishing the whole instead of the individual is hard to define. Many countries use the raw ingredient, the coca plant, as part of a social and cultural structure. The only way to win the “War on Drugs” is to focus war efforts on fighting the manufacturer of the finished cocaine product.
The Mexican drug war began in the 1960s, with America’s love for illegal drugs fueling the fire. Narco-violence has claimed the lives of thousands of citizens in recent years. Drug cartels have become comparable to Mafia figures, and have resorted to Mafia-style violence to prove to the Mexican government that they remain in control. The violence caused by drug cartels is rumored to lead Mexico to become a failed state. George W. Grayson, regular lecturer at the United States Department of State, has made more than one-hundred and twenty-five research trips to Mexico, and is considered an expert on U.S.-Mexican relations. A recent book by Grayson, Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State, describes the depressing situation provoked by drug cartels, and debates the controversial argument of whether Mexico will become a failed state. Narco-violence in Mexico will be analyzed by the severity of the drug problem and the executives’ influence on the drug war, to determine if Mexico will reach the status of a failed state.
Concerned authorities have focused essentially on criminalization and punishment, to find remedies to the ever-increasing prevalent drug problem. In the name of drug reducing policies, authorities endorse more corrective and expensive drug control methods and officials approve stricter new drug war policies, violating numerous human rights. Regardless of or perhaps because of these efforts, UN agencies estimate the annual revenue generated by the illegal drug industry at $US400 billion, or the equivalent of roughly eight per cent of total international trade (Riley 1998). This trade has increased organized/unorganized crime, corrupted authorities and police officials, raised violence, disrupted economic markets, increased risk of diseases an...
The war over drug routes and power between rival cartels has left Mexico in a bloody war. The violence occurring throughout the country only seems to escalate. In part, the United States has a role in this war because of the exploitation of weapons. Unfortunately, a lot of people are being killed every day because of the drug war. Action from Mexico must be taken swiftly to avoid any further casualties by collaborating with the United States on how to stop the smuggling of guns, building trust between the community and the police, and deciding on a plan to the help the economy for their citizens.
The United States has a long history of intervention in the affairs of one it’s southern neighbor, Latin America. The war on drugs has been no exception. An investigation of US relations with Latin America in the period from 1820 to 1960, reveals the war on drugs to be a convenient extension of an almost 200 year-old policy. This investigation focuses on the commercial and political objectives of the US in fighting a war on drugs in Latin America. These objectives explain why the failing drug policy persisted despite its overwhelming failure to decrease drug production or trafficking. These objectives also explain why the US has recently exchanged a war on drugs for the war on terrorism.
Over the last decade, Southwest border violence has elevated into a national security concern. Much of the violence appears to stem from the competing growth and distribution networks that many powerful Mexican drug cartels exercise today. The unfortunate byproduct of this criminality reaches many citizens of the Mexican border communities in the form of indiscriminate street gang shootings, stabbings, and hangings which equated to approximately 6,500 deaths in 2009 alone (AllGov, 2012). That same danger which now extends across the border regions of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California has the potential for alarming escalation. Yet, despite the violence, evermore-brazen behavior continues to grow, as does America’s appetite for drugs. Even though drug-related violence mandates that law enforcement agencies focus on supply reduction, the Office of National Drug Control Policy should shift its present policy formulation efforts to only drug demand reduction because treatment and prevention efforts are inadequate and strategy has evolved little over the last three decades.