The Crack In The Mexican Drug War

960 words - 4 pages

Mexico is a poor stricken country with no way to help itself out of the hole it has dug with the war against drugs. The influence of drugs has always been a problem, along with drug trafficking and drug related violence. Unfortunately, only drug related crimes are prevalent throughout the news. However, the media fails to mention the political side of the drug war or the reasons why certain organizations are lashing out. While the Mexican presidents had good intentions of stopping and controlling the drug war, their actions only made things worse.
Traditionally people hear the same basic story of Mexico. There were drugs and violence throughout Mexico but it did not become apparent until Vicente Fox became president. He was in office from 2000-2006 and was part of the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN). However, before Fox’s presidency, corrupt PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) officials had created a “Pax Mafioso”, or a period of peace and stability with the mafia, by allowing criminal organizations to engage in illicit drug trafficking, in exchange for large bribes. They required that criminal groups not to fight each other, to abstain from violent behavior, and from selling drugs within the Mexican borders.
Nobody knows when and what caused the drug war to escalate, but many believe the war became worse when Felipe Calderon was in office. Others speculate that there has always been a war, but Calderon just shined a light on it, exposing it to the world. After just a few days after his inauguration, Felipe Calderon publically announced war on drugs in all of Mexico. He had the drug lords found and captured, however, in doing so he caused more tension and violence within cartels. Many cartels started fighting each other for turf and control over the leaderless gang. Throughout his presidency over 100,000 Mexicans died, according to the government’s records. (Hernandez, “Calderon’s War on Drug Cartels”) Ruben Aguilar and Jorge G. Castañeda wrote that general homicides had decreased 2.2 percent every year from 1997 until 2006, the same year Felipe Calderon became president.
By killing and imprisoning important drug lords, an increase of violence appeared within these organizations, who lacking a leader, split up into smaller gangs that constantly confronted each other (Rios). The confrontations between these groups attracted the attention of the government, increasing the number of enforcement operations that tried to capture those who were violent, and triggering even more confrontation between other groups. Mexico had gotten itself stuck in a self-reinforcing violent equilibrium (Rios). The battle for turf raised the incentives for the government to prosecute traffickers, and the prosecution caused even more conflict between criminals. The government thought that by breaking up these groups and by capturing or killing the leaders of these groups, that the criminals would get to a point where they would be too weak to...

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