Drug War in Mexico

3036 words 13 pages
Mexico’s Drug War
Drug trafficking has become an increasingly growing problem in the world today. Illegal drug trade is a worldwide black market consisting of production, distribution, packaging, and sale of illegal substances. Although today’s "War on Drugs" is a modern phenomenon, drug problems have been a common problem throughout history. The market for illegal drugs is massive, when we consider the estimated global drug trade value is worth $321 billion (Vulliamy). The most drug trafficking happens on the border between Mexico and the United States. Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon said, “Our neighbor is the largest consumer of drugs in the world. And everybody wants to sell him drugs through our door and our window”
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In every country in the world there is some sort of corruption; Mexico is no exception. Corruption is the abuse of public power to gain benefits. Mexico has never had an honest, reliable, police force and this goes back to colonial times (Sordo). Citizen attitudes about police in Mexico may be part of the problem. In Mexico, corruption consists of a system of exchanges in which support for public officials is given in return for certain privileges. Mexican police are usually paid little, making them vulnerable to bribes and extortion.
The global drug trade is a $300-350 billion per year enterprise; Mexico’s share is estimated to be $25-35 billion per year of the aforementioned total (Galen). In addition to dealing drugs, cartels are expanding their power by getting into the oil business. They steal from pipe lines that are underground, taking tons of crude oil and gasoline from Pemex— Pemex is the governmental monopoly of gasoline in Mexico. This has created a huge income stream, as much as $715 million a year (Hawley). This gives the cartels the resources to bribe or to hire sicarios (hit men) to deal with those who do not want to cooperate. Cartels corrupt local public officials and top government officials to turn a blind eye to cartel activities or work directly with them.
Mexico developed the Clean House operation, which investigates all government officials that might be linked to cartels. Under this operation, Mexican investigators have arrested the


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