Affects of Drug Trafficking in Mexico and the US
The United States of America has always been regarded as the land of opportunity. It is seen as a place where anyone, regardless of their age, race, or religion can achieve the “American Dream” and make a great life for themselves and their families through dedication and hard work. For some, this is achieved through academic prowess coupled with a thoughtful plan to ensure success in the workforce once the goal of earning a degree or learning a trade has been attained. For others, the Dream is achieved by finding ways to beat the system and make money illegally. The drug industry in America is one place where much of this illegal activity can be traced, and Mexico is America’s main drug supplier. Drug trafficking numbers account for more than a billion dollars annually (DEA), and these numbers only reflect the drugs and money confiscated through raids or arrests. It does not account for the money that continues to circulate through the hands of dealers still in business. Furthermore, the problem of drug trafficking is no longer isolated to drugs such as crack, cocaine, marijuana, and heroine. The sale of controlled substances or prescription drugs is also becoming a booming market in the United States (DEA). According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of Americans currently abusing prescription drugs is more than the total number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined (DEA). The people who are engaged in these drug trafficking activities are also part of a drug society, much like the underground world, with its own set of laws, rules, and regulations that dictate how to live and socialize in it. Although drug enforcement agencies across the nation are working diligently to track down and destroy these organizations, the heart of these complex operations are located outside of American borders, which makes it more difficult to pursue them without violating international laws. In addition, citizens in drug infested communities who fear retaliation by drug terrorists are often afraid to cooperate. Law enforcement officials across the country are reporting success in reducing the sale of illegal drugs in the United States and securing our borders; however, 2009 statistics reported by the Drug Enforcement Administration paint a different picture. Law enforcement officials across the country combat daily, and discover the facts about drug trafficking, as well as the successes and failures of local and national officials engaged in the war against drugs in this country. The purpose of this paper is to understand how drugs are being brought into and distributed throughout this country in order to determine if current measures being used to combat drug traffickers is at all effective.
The nucleus of drug trafficking in the United States begins in Mexico, which is where the majority of drugs being sold in the United States are produced. Mexico is the leading producer of the heroine, marijuana, and methamphetamine being distributed in the United States. The United Nations estimates the value of the Mexican drug business to be "142 billion -- 11 percent of Mexico's gross domestic product" (Longmire, pg. 36). In addition, cocaine, which is produced in South America and sold in the United States, is also trafficked through Mexico and generates an estimated 13 billion dollars per year (Buchanan, pg. 30). Mexican drug trafficking organizations, which resemble organized crime units, control the drug trafficking routes between the United States and Mexico. There are currently four major drug trafficking organizations with 100,000 employees competing for control of these routes, which "has fueled widespread violence between rival drug trafficking organizations and the Mexican government" (Buchanan, pg. 30-33) trying to stop them.
In 2006, Mexico's President, Felipe Calderon, announced a crackdown on drug trafficking....
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