Mexican Drug Cartels; Can They Ever Be Stopped
“The drug cartels are lucrative, they are violent, and they are operated with stunning planning and precision.” -Attorney General Eric Holder
The Mexican cartels have been able to slide under the radar for quite some time now and are finally beginning to get the attention they deserve. But is this too late? Have they already done too much damage to their country and their people where emerging out of this horrific phase is even possible? This could be the case if no immediate action is taken. In order for this two happen two things must occur. The first is an immediate solution to the reoccurring violence and corruption within and outside of the Mexican borders. The second is a long-term solution must be made therefore preventing any sort of international dominance like this to happen again. Some solutions that need to be made in the immediate future are an increase in border security and heightened sense of awareness for smugglers not only from Mexico but into it as well, a stricter regulation on the selling of United States firearms, and. In terms of for the long run, there must be a greater relationship between the United States and Mexico not only toward the security issues but also toward the political ones. The Mexican government must implement reform in places like education, training of officers, and policies to help
build a better democracy, and finally there must be a constant and sustained effort to cut off all supply lines of money and weapons to the cartels.
The origins of the cartels can be traced back to the Columbian Cali and Medellin mega-cartels who were responsible for the majority or drugs coming into the United States. Fortunately in the 1990’s the Columbia drug cartels were able to be suppressed and eventually extinguished (Kindt). However the positive efforts in Columbia created negative ones in Mexico. With no one fully controlling the drug supply to the United States anymore the battle for dominance began. After dissolving most of the drug routes through Miami and the Caribbean the only other option left was Mexico (Kindt).
While this shift of power was taking place within the cartels, the Mexican government was also facing a shift in democratic power with the emergence of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). It began its rule in 1929 and had total dominance over the political world in Mexico. The PRI was able to subdue all other voices and elect officers that had the party members best interest in mind. This normally would work however the members of PRI were usually corrupt and therefore it wasn’t long before the newly formed Mexican drug cartels and the PRI linked up. The PRI was notorious already for suppressing voices of people who did not agree, granting monopolies, and paying off labor leaders (O’Neil).
It wasn’t until the 1980’s and into the 90’s where the violence started to occur. The PRI began to loose its power and there was an every-growing struggle for power. In 2000 the ties to the PRI was officially broken with the election of Vicente Fox as president. This however created even more corruption with the number of local authorities being paid off which in turn forced disorganization between leaders at the local, state, and national levels.
Now that the cartels were beginning to be met with resistance they started to become more violent and militarized. Among the most feared were The Zetas, member of the Gulf cartel, who were alleged to be former members of the elite Mexican army unit (Weinberg).
With this new floodgate opened for Mexican drug trade multiple cartels began to come onto the scene, which caused inter-cartel violence as well. The United States finally had to intervene during a struggle between the Tijuana and Sinaloa cartels ending in the assassination of a catholic archbishop and the favored presidential candidate. The United States began to strengthen border controls...
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