Mexican Drug Cartels: Problem Of The Past Or Indication Of The Future?

1673 words - 7 pages

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.
First, narco-violence from overpowered drug cartels has become a major issue in Mexican politics. The severity of the problem is intensified by violent crime, kidnappings, and corruption. Although cartel violence is occurring throughout Mexico, border states have become exceptional hotspots. According to Grayson, the murder rate has more than tripled from 732 in 2006 to 2,648 in 2008, in Chihuahua, Baja California, Sonora, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas. A particular horror spot is Chihuahua’s largest city Ciudad Juarez, especially for young women. Tijuana competes with Ciudad Juarez as Mexico’s most dangerous city. Thus, Calderon’s administration is focusing on restoring safety to the border states.
As well, almost as alarming as the violent killings are the abductions, which have ascended to epidemic proportions. As stated by Grayson, the average number of monthly abductions is sixty-four. Sadly, an academic study confirms the conventional wisdom that families do not inform police of the abduction because they believe the police may be involved in the crime. The abductions range from children of prominent wealthy citizens to American anti-kidnapping specialists. Drug cartels have been known to harass American citizens traveling in borders states, while threatening them with violence or abduction. Especially unsettling is the participation of the police in the capture and ransom of the victims.
Furthermore, drug cartels have expanded their power by the infiltration of authorities. Corruption exists in the Mexican police force, army, and border patrol agents. According to Grayson, the cartels have even infiltrated U.S. Border patrol officers. Narcos are willing to pay American officials substantial rewards to minimize the risk of losing the merchandise. This has expanded into the formal NAFTA economy; which is beneficial to the cartels as there are nearly 5 million semi-trucks that cross the U.S.-Mexico border each...

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