WIWMAB

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In the ethnography, When I Wear My Alligator Boots, Shaylih Muehlmann tries to give a different perspective for understanding the drug trafficking relationship between the United States and Mexico and the people who are involved in the trade. Muehlmann shows that drug trafficking is wrapped into everyday lives of the individuals in the ethnography and as a result, it is amorphous. Through Edberg’s essay, it is shown that men in the narcotrafficante business are often idolized through popular culture and that NAFTA and the United States’ ‘war on drugs’ has created a prime environment for trafficking of drugs across the US-Mexico border. Poor economic conditions in Mexico have created an environment in which drug trafficking is seen as one of the few ways to earn enough to have a decent standard of living. In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement was established; creating open borders between the United States and Mexico. This created easier access points to the Mexican drug cartels who sold drugs across the border. The United States’ ‘war on drugs’ has created the perfect opportunity for drug traffickers to gain much business in the United States due to an increasing demand for drugs, but not enough people in the United States to make and distribute Stout). In recent years, there has been increased militarization along the Mexico side of the border, but this has only caused greater bloodshed with no evidence of a reduction of the flow of drugs into the United States (Edberg). In the ethnography, Muehlmann talks about how cartels smuggle drugs into the United States through the story of El Chibo. El Chibo is a truck driver who places a false bottom in his truck in order to smuggle drugs across the border underneath... ... middle of paper ... ... and arresting them, and the evil are the dealers who supply the drugs to the people in the United States. The consumers are completely ignored in this description of the war on drugs (Stout). NEED TRANSITION In rural Mexico, drug trafficking is in everyone’s lives in different forms and as a result, it is often safer to be in the trade than not. In El Chibo’s situation, he became a smuggler for his own safety rather than for money. Cartels often hide drugs on a truck, without the driver’s knowledge then steal them back once the truck gets across the border. He was first a truck driver, then became paranoid that someone was going to put drugs in his truck without his knowledge, he reasoned that it would be better to willingly be a mule and get paid for it than to possibly be harmed while the cartel is taking their drugs back from his truck (Muehlmann 13).

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