Trouble Down South Essay

1261 words - 5 pages

Early in our school years we are taught the importance of staying away from drugs and their harmful effects. We live in a nation surrounded by drugs and the culture that surrounds them. Drugs inhabit our everyday lives through the mediums we come in contact with on a daily basis. Most people cannot go through their day without running into a drug reference of some sort on their phones or televisions. However, with all the drugs in our nation, many Americans do not take the time to wonder where they came from or how they got here. The most common answer is the U.S.-Mexico border (Gootenberg 2). As officials worry about the number of illegal immigrants that sneak into the nation, they seem less concerned about the amount of drug content that is smuggled in as well. With high-powered groups such as Los Zetas and the Sinaloans controlling Mexico’s drug world with violence and terrorism, our southern neighbor has a problem that has remained uncontrollable for the past twenty years (Gootenberg 4).
Mexico has not always been infested with drugs. The current drug problems stem back to the cocaine boom of the 1980s in Columbia and U.S. efforts to eliminate trades in the 80s and 90s (Gootenberg 1, 2). During the boom, Columbian drug systems were organized in major cities such as Miami and New York. As the mid-80s approached, there were an approximated 22 million cocaine users in the United States (Gootenberg 2). With such success came a rapid expansion of the cocaine market, and it also led to more competition. As this competition rose, the Columbians were forced to insert hit men into the U.S to fight off their Cuban rivals (2). The violence caused by the Columbian markets forced the U.S. president to get involved. Presidents such as Reagan and Bush I used hysteria to propel anti-drug efforts across our nation and overseas (2). The United States’ and Drug Enforcement Administration’s efforts aided in the removal of the Columbians from the Caribbean-Florida area. However, the departure of the Columbians left room for new drug groups to take over. With the Columbians gone, a door opened for the development of Mexican drug lords (2).
With the dust from the 80s blowback now settled, there are two main Mexican cartels that stand above the rest. The Sinaloa group which, based on sheer volume of drugs moved, is Mexico’s largest cartel (Kellner and Pipitone 31). The Sinaloa cartel is actually a group of smaller cartels that are all controlled by the same drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera (“Mexican Drug Cartels: Two Wars and a Look Southward” 6). El Chapo has become one of the wealthiest people in the world through drug trades, and he was acknowledged for this fact by Forbes magazine in 2009 (6). Despite the success of the Sinaloas, the group has run into obstacles along the road. First, the group lost ties with the Beltran Leyva Organization, a group with intelligence surpassing many of the other cartels (6). The Sinaloas control each branch of their...

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