Mexican Drug War
Mexico has had a reputation for traf?cking drugs to the United States and
South America since the major traf?cking started in the early 1960s, but the drug trade between the United States and Mexico started in 1933 when the United States revoked the alcohol prohibition. It is easy for the drug cartels and traf?ckers to move the drugs through Mexico because of its prime location between the United States and South America. Also do to the cartels in nearby Columbia.
The Sinaloa Cartel, lead by Pedro Aviles Perez, was one of the original major drug smugglers in Mexico. Previously there was small time smuggling going through Mexico, but it wasn’t until the 1960 when Pedro Perez started smuggling marijuana to the border states of the United States.
The cartels could only smuggle small amounts of marijuana into the United States, either by putting small amounts stored into a suitcase or by walking it across the border in a backpack. This was a risky way to move the drugs and a lot of them were con?scated by authorities. They needed a new way to get the drugs across the border that was safer.
Pedro Aviles Perez and Carlos Lehder thought of a new way to transport drugs. They tried loading them on a small aircraft and taking off from a small airport in Mexico and landing in the United States. It was a success. This revolutionized the way drugs were smuggled, and made it much easier to move large amounts of marijuana to the United States. This also led to huge pro?ts for the cartels.
In the 1970s the Mexican cartels joined together with the Columbians. The Columbians started supplying the cartels with cocaine. Then the cartels would smuggle it across the border to the United States. In the beginning the cartels were paid in cash by the Columbians, but in the 80s they started to give the cartels 35-50% of the cocaine as payment. This brought the cartels into the business of selling the cocaine.
Throughout the 80s and 90s Pablo Escobar was the main exporter of cocaine to the United States. Pablo started his cocaine operation in 1975. He gained a reputation after murdering a well known drug dealer named Fabio Restrepo. He had already established routes to the Untied States from his previous smuggling of marijuana and heroin. His control over the Mexican drug trade lasted well into the 90s until he was
arrested by Mexican of?cials.
In 2006 Mexico elected Felipe
Calderon as President, a man that was determined to abolish the Mexican drug trade. Calderon implemented military style tactics on the cartels, trying to crush them by force. He sent 6,500 Mexican Army soldiers to the state of Michoacan to stop the cartels that operate there. They conducted raids, made arrests and set up highway check points. Before this most government of?cials turned a blind eye to the drug traf?ckers, saying that it was the United Sates issue. But not Felipe Calderon, he was bent on destroying the cartels.
Since Felipe Calderon got elected in 2006 there has been an unimaginable amount of deaths in Mexico, directly related to the drug war. Some say 15 times more people have died in Mexico in the past six years than in the United States’s Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
Although most media outlets agree that approximately 50,000 have died. Molly Molloy, a researcher at New Mexico State University says “99,667 have died since december 2006”. Many of these deaths are from the drug cartels using guns that are thought to be coming from the United States.
Drugs are smuggled through
Mexico into the United States in return money and weapons are sent back to Mexico. In the past ?ve years 68,000 guns have been recovered by Mexican authorities that have been traced
back to the United States. Most of these guns have been linked to crimes committed in Mexico. They are either found at the senses of cartel shootings or were seized in raids on illegal arms deals.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon says that the United States government is not doing enough to stop the ?ow of illegal assault ri?es, among other guns into Mexico. In 2004 a temporary ten year ban in the United States on 19 types of assault ri?es was not renewed. In the next two years assault ri?es replaced hand guns for Mexican drug cartels. In 2009 The Obama administration called for another ban on the assault ri?es but the Congress did no pass the ban.
Earlier in 2012 there was a new presidential election held in Mexico, Enrique Nieto was elected. During his campaign Enrique promised to coordinate a major shift in the countries drug war strategy. He understands that Mexico can not just crush the cartels, they have become much to strong for that. He plans to place a higher priority on reducing the violence in Mexico.
The situation in Mexico is an intractable one. The cartels have simply become much to powerful. Cartels raise to power and fall on a regular bases but the drugs are still there and that only means that there will be another cartel to smuggle and sell them. Many cartels have taken control of villages and even cities in Mexico. For some in the cartels that lifestyle is the only they know or have been exposed to. They are surrounded by family and friends in the cartel and deprived an education in lue of joining a cartel at an early age.There is no way in the near future to stop the cartels, all that can be done is reduce the violence.
In 2001 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) approved an operation called Fast and Furious. This was a United Sates operation that let certain gun stores sell weapons to individuals that were suspected to be linked to the cartels. In Phoenix gun dealer sold thousands of guns to suspicious buyers without checking for any papers. The ATF intended to track these weapons to ?nd the whereabouts of the Mexican drug cartels. They used a tracing system called eTrace. This allowed them to track the serial numbers of the weapons into mexico, when the buyers of the guns arrived into Mexico they were arrested. The United States realized that not all the guns were recovered and scraped the operation. Many of the weapons went to the cartels in Mexico, and where recovered at crime scene. One of the weapons was linked to the murder of a United States border patrol agent. This incident made the operation famous. It outraged people from the United Sates and Mexico that the United States government would let this happen. !
Isabel Walis is a hard working, well off citizen of Mexico city. Isabel’s son was kidnaped in 2006 by a cartel led by a lieutenant in the Mexican police. When her son was kidnaped he was put up for ransom. Isabel payed the cartel thinking she would get her son back safe and sound, but that was not the case. Days after she payed the ransom Mexican police found her son lying died in a ditch on the side of a highway. Ever since then Isabel has been looking for her sons killer. She has devoted her life to ?nding the man that murdered her son. She has gone to every branch of the Mexican authorities but there is nothing anybody can do. Cases like this are common in mexico, in fact according to Fox News reporters only one in ten abductions is even reported to the authorities. Last year well over 2,000 kidnaping were reported, but less then one percent ever lead to any conviction at all.
Since July 11, 2009 Felipe Calderon, president of Mexico, arrested three of La Familia’s leaders. One of the leaders arrested was named Arnoldo Rueda, a very powerful man in the cartel. On the same day of the arrests La Familia launched the biggest attack in the history of organized crime. Eight cities were attacked in the western part of Mexico, including the building Arnoldo Rueda was being held in. Arnoldo was escorted by dozens of heavily armed police men to Mexico City and never left the custody of the Mexican police. These attacks were in direct response to the arrest of Rueda. In response to the attacks from La Familia the federal government surrounded the state of Michoacan by land, air and sea. With a total of over 7,000 soldiers and federal police the government arrested three high ranking La Familia members by the end of the month. One of them being the former leader Nazario Gonzalez.
Drug lord and outlaw, Pablo Escbar was born
in 1949. As a teenage boy he would steal
tombstones, sand them down and sell them in
Panama. In the early 1970s he entered the cocaine
business. His ruthless ambition led him to be one of
the wealthiest, most powerful and violent criminals of
Pedro Aviles Perez:
Pedro was a pioneer drug lord in the late 1960s. He
was considered to be the ?rst generation of the major drug smuggling business in all of Mexico. Pedro was best known
for revolutionizing the way drugs would be transported.
Pedro was the ?rst to use aircraft to transport drugs across the border.
Felipe took of?ce December 1, 2006. He is best
known for his political actions against the Mexican drug
cartels. Including starting the Mexican Drug War. His
tactics of trying to crush the cartels have been very
controversial. Many believe he has gone about dealing with
the cartels in the wrong way, but nevertheless he was the
?rst politician in Mexico to do something major to stop the cartels.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/thinktanked/wp/2012/11/30/mexican-drug-warprohibition-in-obamas-second-term-and-a-new-mexican-president/ http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/sentenced-operation-fast-furious-gunsmuggling/story?id=17820580#.UL4uU6W9ozU http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/08/sinaloa-cartel.html
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