Mexican Drug War is Also an American Issue


The brutal war over control of the drug trade in Mexican cities like Nuevo Laredo or Ciudad Juárez leaves the state and the police powerless and paralyzed. Even if this civil war between the mafia clans between themselves and their fight against the police seems far away, the delicate situation in Mexico could affect the United States economically and socially. 

America has relationships with its neighbor relating to immigration, trade, and counter-narcotic operations. The importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship should not be underestimated: Mexico lies at the border to the United States and therefore is already endangering citizens of the U.S. living in North America. The Mexican problem already got a “North American problem”.

Officially the U.S. is trying to help Mexico in its war. But in it’s double moral is supporting the drug trade by economic relationships. Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner and 80 percent of Mexican legal exports are destined for U.S. consumption. But the real problem is that Americans are also the Mexican drug cartels’ best customers because there is great demand for drugs. 

And addicts don’t care where drugs come from and what their consummation implies. 90 percent of cocaine enters the U.S. through the Mexican border. Even more, these cartels also manufacture 80 percent of the crystal meth sold in America, 14 percent of the heroin and a huge amount of marijuana. American dollars are essentially funding drugs wars which resulted in the death of over 34,000 people in the past four years and are partly responsible for the situation. A measure of the U.S. to help Mexico would be to fight against the black market, because the war on drugs is driven by the motive of profit and for this they need to sell drugs on the black market.

To return the favor, Mexico is the biggest buyer of weapons from America. The Obama Administration and the ATF shipped guns into Mexico so that they could "track them." Some of these guns could have been used to kill U.S. agents. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is estimating that around 90 percent of those guns taken away at the border or after violent conflicts, is produced in the U.S. So on the one hand the U.S. is fighting against the mafia clans but on the other side is selling them weapons to kill innocent people. It seems that people just have a conscience as long as there is no money involved.

Another reason why Mexico is dangerous for a part of America is the cartels’ capabilities. The U.S: Defense Department has stated the two of Mexico’s biggest drug cartels, Sinaloa and Gulf, have about 100,000 foot soldiers. This is just around 30.000 men less than the Mexican army possess. The power of the drug cartels is horrifying and it is constantly growing. If these forces of the mafia are mobilized and unified against the state, the whole country could sink into chaos and war.

So, the Mexican war is spilling over the border into the U.S. The U.S. Department of Justice has reported that Mexican drug cartels have gang members in nearly 200 U.S. cities from Los Angeles to Baltimore and represent the “largest threat to both citizens and law enforcement agencies in this country.” So it is okay to worry about Pakistan and Afghanistan, but the violence in Mexico is an extremely serious U.S. national security issue as well. This is an issue of joint responsibility.

If left unchecked, the Mexican government itself may collapse and descend into chaos. The U.S. should immediately work to curb demand, monitor weapon sales and pursue a comprehensive effort to combat the ruthless drug lords from border protection policies to taking advantage of the abilities of the Central Intelligence Agency, as well as the Treasury and State departments, among others. Over all, the drug wars in Mexico have already claimed nearly 40,000 lives since 2006 in a massacre of be headings, kidnappings, torture and corruption. 

The violence that powerful Mexican cartels have brought into the border regions of the United States is underestimated. But one have to remember that this is not a Mexican problem, it is also a North American problem. The battle between Mexican drug cartels threatens to it into a failed nation-state and has spilled deeper into U.S. territory than anyone has imagined.