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Free Essay Mexican Drug Cartel

Mexican Drug War
Introduction
The Mexican Drug War is perhaps the deadliest and most devastating battle this country has encountered in it’s history. Its’ violence affects both civilians and its’ very culture. Since 2006, the border of Mexico has been a place of hostility, turmoil, and outright warfare which has transitioned throughout the countryside. Unlike traditional military solutions, Mexico and the United States must work together to quell the hostility by creating economic opportunities for those in Mexico, stop the flow of drugs into the US, and stop the feed of guns into Mexico. Background

The Mexican Drug War is based in Mexico, although the United States can be blamed for making a large contribution to it. Mexican organizations that deal in illegal activities started during the US prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s. It seems that when there is a demand for an item in the US and no supply, Mexico has always been there to supplement our “needs”. A Mexican Cartel is a criminal organization developed with the main purpose of promoting and controlling drug trafficking operations both interstate and intrastate. They range from loosely managed business agreements among various drug traffickers to formal commercial enterprises. The main Mexican Cartels consist of the Sinaloa, Gulf, La Familia, Tijuana, Beltran, and Juarez cartels. These cartels cover the majority of the territory in Mexico. There are two main cartels that control most of the market, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Gulf Cartel. The Sinaloa Cartel is led by a man nicknamed “El Chapo”.

He was in jail in 2001 but escaped allegedly in a laundry basket. He is the most wanted man in the world with a bounty of eighty-seven million dollars. No one has drawn so much law enforcement attention since Al Capone. He and the Sinaloa Cartel are so successful that he has his own Forbes profile, he is estimated to be worth one billion dollars, making him the 1140th richest man in the world and the 55th most powerful. There are also allegations that the Sinaloa Cartels teamed up with the the Mexican government to take out other cartels. The Gulf Cartel is reknowned for hiring a private mercenary army of corrupt elite military soldiers to work for them in 2001. The Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels worked together as partners up until February 2010, when their partnership dissolved. The dissolution was so involved and violent that it turned some border towns into ghost towns. (Mexico’s Drug Wars).

Most recreational drugs are outlawed in the United States and the main ones Mexico supplies are marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin. Marijuana has accounted for 858,408 arrests in 2009 in the US. It can have a lasting effect on young people with effects such as “structural and functional deficits of the brain”. Cocaine is a very dangerous drug, due to its power to get people hooked very quickly. The effects are scabs on mucus membrane, damage to the nasal septum, and eventually make your nose collapse. Heroin is a very addictive drug, in fact, one fourth of the people who try it, become addicts. The effects are infection of the heart lining and the valves, liver disease, lung disease, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS from needle use. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that can cause loss of weight, teeth, the development of scabs and open sores on the face. It can also cause psycotic behaviors, such as paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. ( Above the Influence) Defining the Problem

In the city Juarez, a border city next to El Paso, violence has escalated to a point that people are actually moving their businesses to El Paso for safety precautions. The Mexican National death toll for the month of January 2013 was issued and it had 1104 related to the Mexican Drug War, that is an average of 34.45 deaths per day during that month. Juarez is the best example of how the Mexican drug war can ruin a town. The deaths in Mexico from the drug war amount to about 60,000 since 2006; 67 reporters, 3,500 officers, and over 1000 children. It has displaced over 1.6 million people, many of whom were forced to leave their possessions behind. The violence is astounding and is the main problem in this war. ( Mexico’s Drug War Violence and the Role the United States Plays) and (An Uneasy CoExistence: Security and Migration Along the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez Border) Causes

There may be corruption in the Mexican government, and there is no way to be sure. They have denied everything, but claims say otherwise. If this is true, there has to be a new power in the Mexican government. Certain allegations say that the government has been turning a blind eye towards the activities of the cartels or have taken bribes. When the cartels are allowed to run free, lives are lost. (Key issues on Obama’s Mexico trip: Trade, immigration, and drug war) The demand for drugs seems to be ingrained in the American culture. There are movies that portray the taking of drugs as a very cool, and natural thing to do, when really it can destroy lives. As long as we accept drugs as the thing to do, we will keep relying on the drugs that come from Mexico. Positions/Perspectives

People all see the Mexican drug war with different views, and many want to approach it different ways. The world leaders are the people with the most influential views. United States President Barack Obama has said that the US will try to prevent demand for drugs and stop the illegal sale of guns but legalizing drugs is not our best choice. “ I personally, and my administration’s position is, that legalization is not the answer”. (Key issues on Obama’s Mexico trip: Trade, immigration, and drug war) Pena Nieto, the current president of Mexico, has said that creating more economic opportunities for the citizens of Mexico will turn out to be Mexico’s greatest solution.

Countrymen and others have to go to the drug cartels to make money and pay the bills, but when there are more choices for people, they don’t give the drug cartels life.( Key issues on Obama’s Mexico trip: Trade, immigration, and drug war) Another top Mexican official has said “ Economically, there is no argument or solution other than legalization, at least of marijuana.” . He said that it would move nearly all production of marijuana to California. He also said “ Mexico’s objective should be to make the US self sufficient in marijuana.” Also three former Latin American presidents have said that governments should very seriously consider the legalization of marijuana. (Saving Mexico) Solutions

Overview of the US and Mexico working together efficiently means the US doing its part in stopping illegal gun sales and trying to douse the demand for drugs by its citizens while Mexico must attempt to stop the violence, and create more economic opportunities for people. Analysis of Solutions

The US needs to regulate its gun laws. The Mexican authorities have seized 70,000 weapons of US origin from 2007 to 2011. When there are no guns, there are no fire fights in the streets of Mexico. The guns going to Mexico are just gasoline on the fire. ( Mexico’s Drug War Violence and the Role the United States Plays) The countrymen of Mexico are subjected to producing for the cartels, and have no where else to go, but with more jobs and choices they are able to avoid this dirty work and go do anything else. (Mexico’s Drug War and the Role the United States Plays) If you can clear the drug cartel out of one town, you save that town.

There may be other towns that need to be saved, but if you can make a difference in that one town, the difference will mean the world to them. Locally Mexico needs to try and fix a town at a time. Legalization of marijuana could be the best option, but according to the president, that cannot happen, off the table, not possible. The most efficient and effective solution is that Mexico and America work together by stopping the guns coming coming in and increasing the job diversity in Mexico. Conclusion

Defining a Drug Cartel and Organized Crime
There is no widely accepted definition of what a drug cartel is or the characteristics that define a drug cartel. To further complicate matters, there is no widely accepted definition of what characteristics define an organized crime group.  Law enforcement agencies and academics all utilize their own definitions.  To simplify matters, definitions of organized crime were chosen for comparison and defining purposes.  Specifically, the definitions I am referring to are those offered by Carter (1994) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1994).

In order to define a drug cartel, I have formed a definition of a drug cartel from pieces of other definitions.  These definitions are from the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading (2006), Joseph Finckenauer (2005), and David Carter (1994).  The definition used for a cartel is from the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading, which defines a cartel as “an agreement between businesses not to compete with each other” (2006). Finckenauer (2005) argues that organized crime can be defined by crime of choice or organization or behavior.  This means that certain crimes such as drug trafficking require an organized structure, compared to homicide which can be conducted by a single person. David Carter gives a summary of characteristics of organized crime, which are

  • Profit accumulation.
  • Longevity.
  • An organizational structure, which facilitates criminal activity.
  • The use of violence.
  • Efforts to corrupt government officials, police, and corporate officials (1994).

Employing Carter’s definition combined with the definition of a cartel and taking Finckenauer’s argument into consideration, a description of a drug cartel begins to form.  However, these definitions do not clearly differentiate how a drug cartel is different from any other organized crime group.  Therefore, for the purpose of this thesis I have formed a definition of a drug cartel  from the above definitions and the research conducted into drug trafficking organizations.  The definition used for this thesis of a drug cartel is a structured group, which exists for an extended period of time.  A drug cartel is large in number of members, covers a large amount of territory, and has extensive connections with foreign and native criminal groups.  The group uses violence and corruption to continue its criminal activity, and its main source of profit is from drug trafficking.
A drug cartel differs from a drug trafficking organization, because it is an amalgamation of independent organizations that agree to work together under the direction of specific leaders and a main boss.  A drug trafficking organization can be considered the single unit that when combined with other drug trafficking organizations form a drug cartel.  Not every Mexican drug trafficking organization is part of a cartel.

The Beginnings of Drug Trafficking in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez

El Paso, Texas is located at the farthest western point of Texas.  Northern and western routes lead into New Mexico.  Las Cruces, New Mexico is only a thirty to forty minute drive.  Juárez, Mexico is to the south, and can be accessed by any one of El Paso’s four international ports of entry.  El Paso and Juárez form the largest international metropolitan area in the world (Draper 1995).  Several major highways also pass through El Paso, which gives drug traffickers options for transportation and convenient access to the rest of the United States.  El Paso’s proximity to the border, major highways, and a major airport make it highly desirable to drug traffickers who need to move their goods quickly.

Drug smuggling in Mexico was a substantial business several decades before Colombian drug cartels began to gain power.  In the nineteenth century, the opium trade between Mexico and the United States was a growing business due to an influx of Chinese immigrants into the Southwest United States (Lupsha and Schlegal 1980).  During World War II, the United States’ supply of illegal narcotics and various goods, such as rope, medicines, and tires became scarce in the United States.  Mexican smugglers were able to utilize the porous 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border to bring anything from hemp to heroin to U.S. citizens (Lupsha and Schlegal 1980).  Mexican smugglers simply added drugs to the various goods they transported into the United States (Poppa 1998).  Finckenauer, Fuentes, and Ward (2001) describe these smuggling groups as “‘mom and pop’ distribution franchises.”  These smaller groups utilized family connections to store and transport goods throughout the United States.  Mexico became a frontrunner in poppy and marijuana production, and these “mom and pop” smuggling groups began to grow into major crime families and informal criminal organizations (Lupsha and Schlegal 1980).

During the 1970s, American law enforcement began to focus on the growing cocaine usage in the United States and specifically on Colombian drug cartels.  Slowly, American authorities learned that the Colombians were fond of using Caribbean routes to transport cocaine into the United States.  They used Florida heavily, especially Miami as a port of entry.  In the 1980s, American authorities began to tighten control over the drug flow through the Caribbean, and Colombian cartels had to find another route to get their product to the customers (Constantine Testimony 1995).  They began to utilize Mexican smugglers who had been penetrating the U.S.-Mexican borders for generations.  Chepesiuk (2003) argues that the Colombian use of the Mexican smuggling group was unavoidable.  The earliest reports of a Colombian presence in the El Paso/Juárez area are from 1983, when an operative arrived in Juárez to begin making contacts there.  The unknown operative belonged to the Medellin cartel from Colombia, a notoriously violent cocaine trafficking organization (Draper 1995).  He arranged for the Medellin cartel to use the El Paso/Juárez port of entry as a crossing point.  The cartel would fly the cocaine into the interior of Mexico, and utilize the various Mexican smuggling families to transport the cocaine to the border and across into the United States, where a Medellin employee would meet the load and take it to its designated city (Draper 1995).  From this business arrangement, the Juárez cartel began to grow and establish itself as a major drug trafficking organization.

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Tags: colombian cartels, david carter, drug cartels, el paso, english essays, finckenauer, health essays, juarez, mexican drug cartels, smuggling

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