Mexico’s “War” on Drugs: Causes and Consequences
Mexico’s “war” on drugs refers to the ongoing federal and military intervention in Mexico to combat drug trafficking and drug-related crime. The campaign began in 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderón deployed military forces to several states in an effort to combat the powerful drug cartels that operate in Mexico.
The causes of Mexico’s drug war are complex and multifaceted. One major cause is the high demand for illegal drugs in the United States, which is the largest consumer market for drugs in the world. This demand creates a lucrative market for drug traffickers, who have been able to establish powerful criminal organizations in Mexico. Additionally, the close proximity of Mexico to the United States and the long shared border between the two countries makes it a natural transit point for drugs being smuggled into the US.
Another cause is the widespread poverty and lack of economic opportunity in many parts of Mexico, which makes it easier for drug cartels to recruit people, particularly young men, into their organizations. The criminal organizations can offer them relatively high-paying jobs, which may be more attractive than the alternatives.
Furthermore, corruption is also a big issue, in which government officials and law enforcement officials being bought by the cartels or in some cases they are the direct members of the cartels.
The consequences of Mexico’s drug war have been devastating. The number of deaths associated with drug-related violence has been staggering, with tens of thousands of people killed in the past decade. The violence has also had a destabilizing effect on many parts of the country, making it difficult for businesses to operate and for people to go about their daily lives. Additionally, the government’s focus on drug trafficking has also led to human rights abuses, such as extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances.
The economy has also been hit hard, as tourism and foreign investment have dropped due to concerns about safety. The same goes for domestic business, that are afraid of retaliation from the cartels if they don’t comply with their demands.
In addition, the war on drugs has strained Mexico’s relationship with the United States. U.S. has provided aid and support to Mexico’s military and law enforcement agencies, but some in Mexico believe that this support has been insufficient, and that the U.S. demand for drugs is fueling the violence.
It’s worth mentioning that despite Mexico’s efforts, the drug cartels continue to operate and violence related to the drug trade continues to be a major problem in many parts of the country.