Mexico Current Issues: Drug War

?Stefan Tian Period 2 War in the Cities Recently, Mexico has been facing a horrendous civil war. This internal conflict is coming from the country’s powerful drug leaders. This epic drug war was been taking place ever since these “cartels” relocated from the South American nation of Columbia to Mexico in the mid 1980s. since then , this bloody conflict has arose several issues in Mexico. Mexico’s new president, Felipe Calderon, just recently launched an all out military campaign against these drug lords in 2007. This campaign included increased military personnel stationed in locations of intense combat.
These increased troops eventually ammounted to more than 25,000 troops stationed throughout Mexico(1). But still, this drug war rages on and has dramatically affected Mexico in negative ways. If not stopped, this drug war will continually drag down the Mexican economy as well as the continued corruption of the Mexican infrastructure. One of the more shocking results of this ongoing drug war is its diminishing effect on the Mexican economy. This horrendous civil war, unfortunately takes place on Mexican soil. Specifically, it takes place in the bustling urban cities that make up Mexico’s tourism and industrial trade.
For example, one of the most heated spots of this drug war is at Tijuana. This is obviousley due to its close proximity to the United States. Tijuana faces constant suburban warfare between the cartels and the mexican military. This conflict in Tijuana climaxed on April 26, 2008 when a major battle took place and ended up in the deaths of 17 people(2). Because of this extreme violence , the citizens, as well as factories of Tijuana are scared to go out of their homes or begin to operate. They have reached a mere standstill.

This is a huge problem because Tijuana is Mexico’s sixth largest city and its annual GDP is higher than the nation’s average by 35,000. Its GDP is the 3rd highest in the country, closely trailing Cancun and Mexico City(3). These conflicts have been immobilizing whole cities, such as Tijuana, the whole state of Michoacan, Morelia, and Tijuana. These battles have not only been a direct detriment to the economy, but they have also provided many indirect factors. Because of all the crime and violence occuring in Mexico, foreign investors are beginning to worry about their investments.
They are starting withdraw some of the money that they had put into Mexico in fear of governmental collapse. According to Mexican Finance Minister, Agustin Carstens,”the deterioriating security level is reducing gross domsetic product annually by 1 percent in Latin America’s second-largest economy. ”(4) This one percent decrease is from the withdrawal of investors alone, not including the immobilization of cities and slowing of production. Now, some may argue that the drug industry has been beneficial to the Mexican economy. They claim that the illegal drug trade has been a vital part of Mexico’s international trade.
According to the United Nations, the annual revenue generated by the illegal drug industry is at 400 billion dollars. (6) This money is in turn introduced to the Mexican economy, giving it substantial stipulus. While, this may be true, we have to look at the fact that in the process of acquiring this money, people’s lives were held in danger. In the process of this war, over 7768 people’s lives have been lost. (5) Also, the money that the Mexican federal government put in to counteract these illegal practices is also substantial. The 400 billion dollars gained from this trade is not worth the thousands of lives sacrificed for it.
The economy has been lowering in a drastically sharp manor due to this drug war. Another major consequence of this raging drug war is that it’s corrupting affect on the Mexican infrastructure. The drug cartels have infiltrated the core of the Mexican government. They have been able to corrupt the very federal police that is supposed to combat them. Their vast influence has been able to penetrate the supposed upholders of the law. The Attorney Geenral of Mexico did a scan of his federal police force and found that 1/5 of all federal officers are now put under investigation for criminal activity.
Also, 1500 AFI’s are also put under criminal activity. (7) This creates a severe unresting feeling in the mexican population as to whether who they can trust. If the drug cartels had already infiltrated the system to the point that they had influences in the very law enforcement department, that is an extensive amount of corruption. The reasons for this corruption is that these cops and federal agents see the kind of money that these cartels generate in the course of a year and they flock to them. They have a considerable amount of revenue, and these cartels know that bribing these officers would help in their peration by ten-fold. The mexican government needs to be careful of their law enforcement department and purge their systems regularly in order to get rid of the corrupted officers. This Mexican drug war has become more than just a nation wide epidemic. Its influences have begun to spread farther, into the United States as well as other South American nations. Once we do settle this conflict with the cartels, a system wide purging is needed too of the government infrastructure. What would probably work better is a whole reorganization of the sytem in order to make sure that no corrupt officers hold any power.
Mexico needs to keep this situation under control in order to become one of the top world powers that it currently has the potential to be. 1. http://www. iht. com/articles/ap/2006/12/11/america/LA_GEN_Mexico_Drug_Violence. php 2. http://www. reuters. com/article/newsOne/idUSN2639514820080427 3. http://www. inegi. gob. mx/lib/buscador/busqueda. aspx? s=est&textoBus=tijuana&e=&seccionBus=bieb 4. http://www. bloomberg. com/apps/news? pid=20601087&sid=akDCw. fUKYOc&refer=home 5. http://www. eluniversal. com. mx/notas/560074. html 6. http://www. dpft. org/hernandez/ 7. ttp://ftp. fas. org/sgp/crs/row/RL34215. pdf Annotated Bibliography Cook,Colleen “Mexico’s Drug Cartels” CRS Report for Congress 2007, Oct 17. http://ftp. fas. org/sgp/crs/row/RL34215. pdf Epstein, Jerry “Esquiel Hernandez Killing” Drug Policy Forum 1998, March 15 http://www. dpft. org/hernandez/ Unknown “Ejecuciones rompen record: van cinco mil” El Universal 2008, December. http://www. eluniversal. com. mx/notas/560074. html Gould, Jens “Mexico’s Drug War turns into Terrorism” Bloomberg 2008, Oct 20 http://www. bloomberg. com/apps/news? pid=20601087&sid=akDCw. UKYOc&refe r=home Unknown “Banco de Informacion Economica” Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Geografia 2005, Jun 4 http://www. inegi. gob. mx/lib/buscador/busqueda. aspx? s=est&textoBus=tijuana&e=&seccionBus=bieb Diaz Lizbeth “Seventeen Killed in Mexico’s Drug War” Reuters 2008, Apr 26 http://www. reuters. com/article/newsOne/idUSN2639514820080427 Unknown “Mexican Government sends 6500 troops to state scarred by violence,drugs, and beheadings. ” Herald Tribune 2006, Dec 11 http://www. iht. com/articles/ap/2006/12/11/america/LA_GEN_Mexico_Drug_Violence. php

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