The Drug War in Mexico

Topics: Mexican Drug War, Illegal drug trade, Mexico Pages: 6 (2166 words) Published: September 13, 2013
Mexican Drug War
Alex Woodman

The drug trade in Mexico has flourished since World War II. The drug lords and kingpins have as much power or more power than the government. In 2006, Felipe Calderon took office as Mexico’s President. His first act as President was to declare war on the drug cartels. Since then, the violence towards government officials and military/police personnel has increased dramatically. Although cries from the citizens of Mexico call for the violence to stop, the government continues its fight against the cartels. The violence in Mexico, caused by the government’s war against the drug cartels, has brought the country into chaos. The Mexican government needs to take measures to ensure the safety of the Mexican people and to re- establish control over the country. The legalization of the less dangerous drugs that bring in a large amount of profit for the cartels as well as the strengthening of the civilian police to create strong relations with the civilian population and youth of Mexico will reduce the power the cartels have over the entire population, allowing the government to bring the country out of chaos and diminish the violence that has shredded the Mexican community. Establishing these relations will stop the youth from immediately gravitating towards joining the cartels. The government needs to close the gap between government/military officials and the civilian population. The cartels use the average citizens estrangement as a weapon against the government. The drug cartels currently have the sympathy of the civilian population, but if the government creates good relations with the citizens and help them, then that may just tip the balance of power back in favor of the government. Summary Section

During World War II, the Japanese seized the Asian supply of Opium, which was used to make morphine. The U.S. needed a steady supply of morphine to send to the frontlines, so they turned to Mexico for help. The Mexicans began to grow massive amounts of opium in the Sinaloa region, where the land was fertile and good for farming. Trying to make a fortune, a vast majority of the population of Mexico chose to start growing opium. “Some government officials bought the harvest from the farmers to export themselves”(Bergman, Frontline). After the war ended, the U.S. no longer needed Mexico’s weaker strain of morphine. Most farmers that grew opium during the war continued after, and some turned to growing illegal narcotics for a larger profit. Groups of these farmers formed, and smuggling systems were set up.

In the mid 1980’s, Mexico’s narcotic growers began looking for ways to turn an even larger profit. The Colombians found the answer for them: Cocaine. Colombian narco-traffickers were finding it increasingly difficult to get their product into the U.S. through South Florida, so they began looking for alternate routes. The Mexican struck a deal with the Colombians that allowed them to use the Mexico U.S. border as a way to get narcotics into the United States. In exchange, the Colombians would give a portion of the profit to the Mexicans. “The relationship lasted a few years until the Mexicans tired of just smuggling cocaine for a fee and began demanding payment in cocaine. The Mexicans soon set up their own distribution networks in the U.S. and greatly increased their profits and power”(Bergman, Frontline). Mexican narcotic trafficking became a huge business. The profit off of just one shipment of cocaine that was distributed in the United States became 15, 20, or even 30 million dollars. Different groups of traffickers formed, and, as is common with this sort of situation, rivalries formed. Violence increased in the areas most prosperous with the drug trade and in cities near the border/trafficking route. In 1970, the violence forced the Mexican military to “launch Operation Condor, which flooded streets and countryside with soldiers. Face-offs between traffickers and the military were brutal...
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