The Good Side to Mexican Cartels

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When I tell anyone around me that I am going to Mexico for a vacation, the first thing I hear is that I am going to get killed. Many people think that anyone who enters the country is at high risk of getting kidnapped or murdered by any cartel affiliated member. Of course, the violence between and within the various cartel organizations receives much of the spotlight and therefore frightens the public. Truth is, the majority of the Mexican cartels are not out hunting to harm tourists or even the locals; their primary focus is the economics and well-being of their drug business. Even though Mexican cartels are depicted as being violent and prone to crimes, their cartel behavior indicates the “business-like” purposes behind what they do. However, people generalize all cartels according to the Zetas ruthless acts of violence, one of the most dangerous cartels in Mexico. Unlike the Zetas, the Sinaloa Federation which consists of the loosely-knotted alliance between the Sinaloa Cartel and Juarez Cartel, is business-orientated and has become the most powerful cartel group Mexico has ever seen.

For many decades now, Mexico has been suffering from an on-going drug war that continues to plague the country. The “majority of drug production comes from the western states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua” which allows the Sinaloa Federation to reign over this territory and dominate the drug trafficking business. The Federation is a group of individual cartels that work together in order to gain more power and further strengthen their personal drug businesses. The main player in the Federation is the Sinaloa Cartel, ultimately controlled by Joaquin “EL Chapo” Guzman. With all the success of the Federation, competition quickly arose. The Zetas, currently the most dangerous cartel in Mexico, partnered up with the Gulf Cartel in their attempt of seeking power because they felt threatened. However, the Zetas didn’t “enter the Mexican drug trade in the same way as the other cartels. They came into it as pure killers and kidnappers” (Longmire), breaking all unwritten law of the trafficking drug business and ruining their already deteriorating reputation. As the Zetas ambition to overpower the Sinaloa Federation continued to intensify, more and more acts of violence continuously broke out. The Sinaloa Federation is primarily involved in the smuggling and distribution of Mexican marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and Colombian cocaine into the United States. They control the majority of the drug trade in Mexico and continue to branch out into Central and South America. Similarly to other American business owners, the Federation has expanded their business into less economically developed countries (LEDCs) because the cost of production in these geographic locations is less than in Mexico so they revenue more profit. In their case, more money means more power and stability in power is what keeps them in “totalitarian” control of the drug trade. Another quite intelligent reason for the cartels to expand their business to these locations is that government enforcement in LEDCs is not as strict because of the fact that these countries do not have a strong economic output. Therefore, the likelihood of the Federation getting caught for any illegal activity is very slim. The expansion of the Federation’s business has successfully benefitted them and allows for them to “maintain presence in 17 states” within Mexico and additionally control “numerous distribution cells” throughout the United States. The Sinaloa cartel has carefully constructed a system of techniques for the transportation of drugs across the border. Their numerous techniques vary from “exporting drugs in fire extinguishers” to “developing alternative drug transportation routes through Central America to avoid detection in Mexico”. Simply avoiding contact with Mexico already eliminates a huge boundary for the cartel to successfully transport drugs across the border because that’s one...
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