"[362], The cartels have also infiltrated the Mexican government's immigration agencies, and attacked and threatened immigration officers. [147] He was arrested and escaped in July 2015,[148][149] and re-arrested in January 2016. [273] The cartels use grenade launchers, automatic weapons, body armor, Kevlar helmets, and sometimes unmanned aerial vehicles. The most common weapons used by the cartels are the AR-15, M16, M4, AK-47, AKM and Type 56 assault rifles. Drug shipments are often delayed in Mexican border towns before delivery to the U.S., which has forced drug traffickers to increase prices to account for transportation costs of products across international borders, making it a more profitable business for the drug lords, and has likely contributed to the increased rates of local drug consumption. As seen in other instances when top cartel leaders are taken out, fragmenting within the organizations occur, causing short-term violence. His life and vast drug-trafficking empire have been the subject of numerous books and TV series. [152] The Juárez Cartel similarly used gangs such as La Línea and the Barrio Azteca to fight the Sinaloa Cartel. According to a report by the U.S. Army Intelligence section in Leavenworth, over a 6-year period, of the 250,000 soldiers in the Mexican Army, 150,000 deserted and went into the drug industry. [125], More recently, researchers from the World Economic Forum have noted that despite the Mexican economy being ranked 31st out of 134 economies for investment in education (5.3% of its GDP), as of 2009, the nation's primary education system is only ranked 116th, thereby suggesting "that the problem is not how much but rather how resources are invested". [409] The Council on Hemispheric Affairs states it is time to seriously consider drug decriminalization and legalization,[410] a policy initiative that would be in direct opposition to the interests of criminal gangs.

The result of the high levels of poverty, lack of well paid jobs, government corruption, and the systemic failure of Mexico's schools has been the appearance of los ninis, a youth underclass of school-dropouts who neither work nor study, who might have ended up as combatants on behalf of the cartels. [45] Leadership vacuums are sometimes created by law enforcement successes against a particular cartel, so cartels often will attempt to pit law enforcement against one another, either by bribing corrupt officials to take action against a rival or by leaking intelligence about a rival's operations to the Mexican or U.S. government's Drug Enforcement Administration. [216] Paramilitaries, including the Zetas, have now entered uncharted territories. [343] The cartels have also threatened to kill news reporters in the U.S. who have done coverage on the drug violence. The bounty for his capture? As of 18 January 2011, Mexico had captured or killed 20 of the 37 in the most-wanted list. [57] Peña stated that he planned to deescalate the conflict, focusing in lowering criminal violence rates, as opposed to the previous policy of attacking drug-trafficking organizations by arresting or killing the most-wanted drug lords and intercepting their drug shipments. [72] In 2019, the promised Mexican National Guard was created. Cartels profited from marijuana growing operations from Arkansas to Hawaii. Video, Biden or Trump? Allegedly, the ATF allowed to complete the transactions to expose the supply chain and gather intelligence. [261], Although violence between drug cartels had been occurring long before the war began, the government held a generally passive stance regarding cartel violence in the 1990s and early 2000s. Some analysts, like U.S. Creechan, James. [315] He is now a fugitive. Jalisco Cartel defeated La Resistencia and took control of Millenio Cartel's smuggling networks. One of the theories is that the paramilitaries have sprung out of deregulation of the Mexican army, which has been slowly replaced by private security firms. This action is regarded as the first major operation against organized crime, and became the starting point of the war between the government and the drug cartels. [371] A report from the Brookings Institution[374] warns that, without proactive, timely efforts, the violence will spread throughout the Central American region. One of his campaign promises was a controversial "strategy for peace", that is to give amnesty to all Mexicans involved in drug production and trafficking as a way to stop the drug trade and the resulting turf violence. Its assets are thought to be worth more than $20bn (£15.5bn). This includes a 13% increase for prevention and almost a 4% increase for treatment. The cartel is led by Ruben Oseguera, known as "El Mencho", a former police officer who is Mexico's most wanted man. "El Chapo" - or "Shorty" - was once ranked as one of the world's richest men.

It also had access to a huge arsenal of weapons, including a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and Guzmán's own gold plated AK-47. [60] However this strategy, allegedly proposed by General Óscar Naranjo, Peña's security advisor from Colombia,[61] crumbled when autodefensas started to have internal organization struggles and disagreements with the government, being finally infiltrated by criminal elements, that deprived the government forces the ability to distinguish between armed-civilian convoys and drug-cartel convoys, forcing Peña's administration to distance from them. The cartel kidnapped, tortured and slaughtered members of rival criminal gangs. After the arrest or assassination of various members of the Arellano Félix clan, the cartel is currently headed by Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano, a nephew of the Arellano Félix brothers. This has led to a surplus of cocaine which has resulted in local Mexican dealers attempting to offload extra narcotics along trafficking routes, especially in border areas popular among low income North American tourists. Government of Mexico, Recomendación 12/2002 a la Procuraduria General de la Republica sobre el caso del homicidio del señor Guillermo Velez Mendoza (Mexico City: National Human Rights Commission, 14 May 2002). [109], Although Mexico accounts for only a small share of worldwide heroin production, it supplies a large share of the heroin distributed in the United States. During this time, the Mexican criminal underworld was not widely known, as it later became with president Calderon and his war on drugs.

[348] These numbers are not proportional to the audience size of the different mediums; most Mexican households have a television, a large majority have a radio, but only a small number have the internet, and the circulation numbers for Mexican newspapers are relatively low. "An overview of drug cartels in Mexico" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, Nov 01, 2006 . [288], Torres Félix, one of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel was killed in a gunbattle with the Mexican Army in the community of Oso Viejo in Culiacán, Sinaloa early in the morning on 13 October 2012. [370][371] The smugglers pick up drugs from small planes that land at private airstrips hidden in the Guatemalan jungle. Cardenas was arrested in 2003 and is currently serving 25 years in jail in the US. The cartel was led by Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, who was Mexico's most-wanted drug trafficker with an estimated net worth of U.S. $1 billion. Cartel Land. In 1999, Gulf Cartel's leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, hired a group of 37 corrupt former elite military soldiers to work for him. They use banners or "narcomantas" to threaten their rivals. [211][212][213] Since 2017, the cartel has been engaged in a war with the CJNG. Typically, many junior-level cartel members then fight amongst one another, creating more and more chaos. [citation needed], Mexicans have a constitutional right to own firearms,[236] but legal purchase from the single Mexican gun shop in Mexico City is extremely difficult. Jalisco New Generation Cartel expanded its operation network from coast to coast in only six months, making it one of the criminal groups with the greatest operating capacity in Mexico as of 2012. [155], Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was arrested on January 8, 2016, and extradited to the United States a year later. On December 12, 2012, HSBC settled for a $1.93 billion fine.
Colombia through the National Police of Colombia, The Mexican drug war (also known as the Mexican war on drugs; Spanish: Guerra contra el narcotráfico en México)[24] is the Mexican theater of the global war on drugs, as led by the U.S. federal government, that has resulted in an ongoing asymmetric[25][26] low-intensity conflict between the Mexican government and various drug trafficking syndicates. [379], The Mexican Army has severely curtailed the ability of the Mexican drug cartels to move cocaine inside the U.S. and Canada, prompting an upsurge in gang violence in Vancouver, where the cocaine price has increased from $23,300 to almost $39,000 per kilo as both the U.S. and Canadian drug markets are experiencing prolonged shortages of cocaine. It was a sign the group remains an immensely powerful force. Indeed, the cartel has gained notoriety for a series of attacks on security forces and public officials. [194], After the emergence of the Knights Templar, sizable battles flared up during the spring and summer months between the Knights Templar and La Familia. Consulting and training support by: Guatemala has also arrested dozens of drug suspects and torched huge cannabis and poppy fields. [73], Despite the new government's planned strategy changes,[74] during the first two months of the new presidency the violence between drug trafficking organizations sustained the same levels as previous years.