The essay explores the bilateral relationship that exists between Mexico and USA on issues concerning drugs and drug cartels. Drug business has been a major problem in Mexico for decades. Mexico cartels of drug traffickers have played a major role in the flow of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana in the United States.
Moreover, the essay discusses how the United States has stepped in to crack down on the illicit drug business with Mexico authorities to enhance peace and mutual relations between Mexico and the United States. Furthermore, the essay explores why Mexican gangs are more heard than their USA counterparts.
The essay also explores the possibilities of whether drug business can be legalized the role of the United States in minimizing and eradicating the drug cartels. In addition, the essay looks into the violence that engulf Mexicans because of the fight with drug cartels, and finally, the essay concludes by suggesting ways of how the war on drug business can be achieved by the United States and Mexico.
Mexico drug problem and relations with the United States
Mexico has been experiencing enormous crime rates in urban areas for many years. This has been aggravated by drug cartels that operate vast illegal business empires across major cities and the United States. Drug activity has been made possible due to the Mexican economic polarization thus stimulating systematic and organized crime activities in socio-economic settings (Payan, p. 38). The United States has been a lucrative and ready-made market for most Mexican drug illegal businesses. México supplies the largest amount of foreign marijuana and heroin in the USA market (Payan, p. 46). An American – Mexican gang is well organized in supplying and distributing drugs in the two countries. Marijuana and Poppy are grown and produced in the Mexican Sierra Mountain region and find their way into the larger American Market. Moreover, about drug trafficking, Mexican cartels have been closely associated with arms and human trafficking, kidnapping, and murder. This has been a worrying situation both in Mexico and the United States.
Mexican authorities have noted that Mexican cartels have been involved in trafficking persons who act as mules to further their illegal business and sometimes shield them from possible tracing by police (Payan, p. 76). The United States law enforcement authorities comment that the weak and corrupt Mexican laws about drug business have not provided any opportunity to curb the trade but it has accelerated it. This is because intimidation has been witnessed through murder, kidnapping, and torture to those who are seen as an obstacle in the path of the cartels to frustrate their business. The corrupt police force has been a source of help to the cartels. They have been involved in corruption and collaborate with the cartels or are sometimes intimidated by the cartels (Payan, p. 93).
The Mexican Cartels
Mexico’s cartels have increasingly waged relentless wars with the government and between themselves to control their vast business. The Mexican government has been trying alternative ways on how they can wipe out the cartels and their related activities within Mexico and in the United States. When President Felipe Calderon was elected in 2006, he quickly deployed several troops in hard-hit areas to aggressively fracture actions linked with drug-associated violence, though this did not yield any tangible efforts because there have been continued cases where many people have been killed (Payan, p. 98). Gun battles and death have continued to rise every moment. This has been due to a deeper and well-established problem involving laxity in the judicial system and corrupt police administration in dealing with the cartels. However, the United States in a close working relationship with the Mexican government has been a major move in curbing the illicit trade and thus reducing drug-linked violence.
Mexico’s government has devised alternative ways of pursuing the fight against the cartels. Though the use of the military has been much focussed by the media, the government has come up with another far-reaching initiative to contain the situation (Payan, p. 106). First, the Mexican government has come up with an extradition initiative. Mexico in liaison with the United States has extradited several drug barons to the United States, for example, the mastermind of the Gulf Cartel. This has been a significant endeavor to slow down the drug business in the gulf.
Secondly, Mexico’s government intensified the eradication and interdiction initiative to get rid of marijuana and dismantle laboratories that are used to make methamphetamine at the same time interdicting the shipment of cocaine. Thirdly, comprehensive reform in the country’s security system has been enhanced. This has involved creating a criminal database which as a national outlook and instituting a central coordination center that monitors the police force and corruption-related activities within.
Fourthly, there have been comprehensive judicial reforms, this was due to the passage of constitutional reforms aimed at overhauling criminal actions in the country. Reforms that have been instituted involve allowing public participation, carrying judgment based on evidence provided, and appointing a special group of judges to oversee the dissemination of search and arrest warrants s(Payan, p. 114). Lastly, the government has merged its police forces and division of duties provided for instance, there is a division which deals with intelligent information gathering and its duties involve maintaining law and order though it cannot investigate (Payan, p. 123).
The United States through its initiative Merida initiative has provided a huge amount of dollars to incorporate a variety of activities in Mexico. Some of these activities include providing aircraft and surveillance equipment for the military, professionalizing the police force, and protecting the victims. Moreover, as much as the United States plays a role in assisting Mexicans to deal with the drug cartels, it has designed internal mechanisms in its own country to also reinforce its determination to counter the cartels within the United States (Payan, p. 127).
This strategy involves the creation of a multi-agency unit for law enforcing and tracing the illegal guns and finances which make the drug business possible. Close collaboration between Mexico and the United States is an important responsibility in succeeding in the war against the drug business. The United States gangs are not popularly heard because; they are only used to facilitate the work of their Mexican counterparts. Due to the sensitivity of the business, they prefer working in the background looking for markets within the United States (Payan, p. 137).
Drugs consumption in Mexico and the United States
Drugs and their consumption in both Mexico and United States are at a high rate. Mexico plays a central role in Cultivating and subsequent production of its end products, which is strictly prohibited by most countries. Most countries prohibit trading on these commodities except when the license is granted. Mexican government laws allow possession of a small number of drugs which include cocaine, heroin among other drugs. The effect of consumption of drugs by the Mexican has brought undesirable characteristics in the society spanning from health-related problems, political instability to socio-economic impact.
Consumption of drugs in the United States has been on the increase because of availability and low cost associated with them. Due to these reasons, the United States society has been faced with a serious issue that is associated with drugs. usage of drugs has caused broken families, violence, deterioration of health, racial disparities, high rate of imprisonment, and decay of civil liberty among other undesirable ills. The consumption of drugs in the United States has been associated with minors and the youth (Landau, p. 45). They consume and supply drugs to a well-organized chain within the society.
United States drug War
The stability of both Mexico and the United States is threatened by the drug cartels. Mexico alone won’t manage to stamp out this vice on its own because of the well-organized chain that spreads between the two countries (Landau, p. 64). The war does not only involve drugs, murders, and related activities, but cartels have provided make terrorists with easier options to penetrate the United States by smuggling money, dangerous weapons and even performing suicide bombings. In assisting the Mexican government to counter the threat of drugs cartels, the United States is showing solidarity at the same time safeguarding its borders against terrorism.
By blocking avenues of cartels’ penetration to the United States and instituting mechanisms to deny cartels the ability to access arms, the United States would be better placed to slow down and subsequently help the Mexican government to contain the cartels (Landau, p. 78). Moreover, the United States has to exercise policies that help in making the cartels access financial means to further their illegal business by implementing strategies that can easily be monitored. This should be done in liaison with their Mexican counterparts to ensure tangible results are achieved between the two countries (Landau, p. 93).
Violence is a common norm that is associated with gambling in the illicit market but has no way in the legal world. Violence has been known to be associated with policies that perpetuate the creation of the black market but not in a healthy thriving market environment. The solution will be to legalize the drug trade. The reasons for this legalization can be varied. First, the prohibition of drugs enhances the society to be corrupt especially the ruling class, politicians, and those who have the power to influence decision making in the country. This however can have consequences of reducing the country’s profit accruing from this illegal trade (Washington Examiner). This is the reason why threats, bribery, and murder are common in this illegal trade.
Secondly, the prohibition of the drug trade has negative implications regarding national security. By making producers and suppliers of the drugs rich, it chains terrorism who in turn tenders their services of protection to drug cartels. Thirdly, if the prohibition is exercised, the public health of many people would be jeopardized, for example, patients who suffer from illnesses such as cancer and glaucoma, under the law of most federals are not allowed to use marijuana despite its evidence of efficiency (Washington Examiner). In addition, patients who are terminally ill depend on drugs, so doctors through fear may refuse to prescribe some drugs. Fourthly, prohibition has been seen as a drain of public pockets. The federal government has spent millions of dollars to enforce laws that deal with drug-related activities.
The government losses more taxes per year which in turn would have been collected from drugs that are legalized. Under prohibition, the revenues accrued increase the profits. The proper policy is to legalize the trade while instituting proper regulations to reduce reckless behavior that is drug-related like driving under the influence of strong drugs (Washington Examiner).
Violence in Mexico
A drug cartel in the virtue of safeguarding their vast illegal business has resulted in unprecedented wars within the group and the government authorities which has left thousands of people dead (Landau, p. 135). Because of the intrinsic and complex web that is associated with the cartel’s many innocent civilians, police forces and the military have been killed and their remains dumped in various parts of the countries only to be discovered when they have decomposed pausing hardship in identification.
The most affected part of Mexico has been in the cities and parts covering the border of Mexico with the United States. The violence has been caused by members who refuse to comply with the cartels or do not give in to their demands (Landau, p. 108). The cartels furthermore have progressed their violence in the country by the use of corrupt police personnel.
Furthermore, because of technological advancement, the drug cartels find their way into the security systems of security personnel and hence give threatening messages of murder to the law enforces when they fail to corporate. In residential areas, for instance, people have been taken out of their houses and killed in front of their family members. The situation has been worse and the violence has shaken the stability of Mexico as a country (Landau, p. 134).
The Mexican government has been trying to reform its law enforcement authorities especially the police on how to combat corruption and improve efficiency in handling the drug cartels. This has been achieved through encouraging professionalism in the duty of service and incorporating rule of law in the training of recruits. Furthermore, the prosecution of police officers who have been involved in corruption and collaboration games with the cartels has been successfully prosecuted.
To build collaborative efforts and ensure cohesive intergovernmental relations, the United States has helped the Mexican government through programs such as counter-narcotics assistance, Mexico receives a bigger share than other countries which are facing the same problem such as Colombia and Afghanistan. The help has been channeled through International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement account. Through this program, Mexico has been provided with, support for interdiction of Mexico’s drugs, numerous arrays of eradication programs, and training of Mexican law enforcers.
The United States has developed a counternarcotics policy that involves cross-the-border screening between the United State and Mexico and at the same time interdicting and eradicating drug shipment interdicting. The United States Government and the groups which support this policy have disrupted and disintegrated drugs that are shipped to the United States and have significantly decreased drug usage by the American youth. The US presidential National drug Control Strategy provides an infrastructure by creating a strategy that dwells on curtailing usage of drugs, disorganizing the illegal drug market and treatment. These policies have decreased usage of drugs by the youth in the United States hence fostering good relations with Mexico.
The United States has been at the forefront of assisting, Mexico by providing an alternative to drug business by encouraging other economic activities to develop Mexican economies. The efficiency and structuring of the security of Mexican authority have been another policy that the United States has employed to promote cordial relations with the Mexican government. The provision of security in Mexico has drastically improved the ability of Mexico to combat illegal drug business, but continued support has to be promoted to ensure cooperation between the United States and Mexico.
- Landau, Elaine, Meth: America’s Drug Epidemic. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2007
- Payan, Tony, The three U.S.-Mexico border wars: drugs, immigration, and Homeland Security. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006
- Washington Examiner, Mexico needs U.S. help against cartels, 2010.