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Drug Cartels in Mexico Essay

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Updated: May 8th, 2020


Drug abuse is a global problem affecting countries all over the world. Common drugs that are being abused include bhang, cocaine and heroin just to mention a few (Lyman 102). The increasing number of companies producing and distributing drugs is the reason behind the increasing drug abuse. It is important to note that the most numerous group of drug abusers in the world is the youth. The reason for that is the pressure from their peers who are using the drugs.

Drug abusers get the drugs from drug dealers who manage drug cartels (Lyman 145). Mexico is one of the nations where drug cartels are rampant. This is attributable to the geographical location and the fact that it is the origin of drugs such as cannabis and heroin. This paper seeks to analyze the history of drug dealers in Mexico as well as the impact they have on Mexico and other nations.

History of drug dealers in Mexico

The historical link of drug trafficking in Mexico has a lot to do with Mario Villanueva who was known as the governor of “narco” and General Gutierrez Rebello who was an antidrug czar (Oyarvide 1). While Mario is currently imprisoned in the USA, Gutierrez is serving his term in a Mexican prison.

According to sociologist Luis Astorga, the history of drug cartels in Mexico has a correlation with the political eras in the region. This means that drug trafficking in Mexico is rampant in political periods. Astorga gives a four period timeline of the years 1914 to 1947, 1947 to 1985, 1985 to 2000 and from 2000 to date. The last period is during the reign of Vincente Fox who was a member of a non-PRI political party. Astorga indicates that most of the drug dealers in Mexico began operating during the 1910 industrial revolution.

Despite the fact that the laws inhibiting the production and sale of drugs such as marijuana and opium were enforced, the sale of drugs was facilitated by the governors who worked together with the drug dealers. Above all, the origin of drug cartels in Mexico can be traced to Miguel Gallardo, the founder of Guadalajara cartel. Miguel was a federal police agent who controlled drug trade across the border of Mexico and USA (Oyarvide 1). He is the man behind the smuggling of drugs such as marijuana and opium into the American soil.

Effects of Drug cartels

Drug cartels in Mexico are arranged in ranks, with the falcons being the lowest in rank. The falcons have the responsibility of getting information on the ground and pass it on to the other members of the cartels. As such, they are the eyes and ears of the drug cartels. The hitmen, lieutenants, and the drug lords, who are highest in rank, follow the falcons respectively.

Nevertheless, other groups of people operating in drug cartels include producers and suppliers of the drugs. Common drug cartels in Mexico include La Familia, Los Negros, Tijuana, Los Caballeros, Los Zetas, and the Gulf Cartel just to mention a few (Grillo 1).

Mexican drug cartels have had significant effects on the economic, social, and political stability of Mexico. First of all, they have been the reason behind the unending violence in Mexico, which has claimed the deaths of many people. In fact, statistics from the attorney general’s office in Mexico indicate that nine out of ten victims of drug war were die-hard members of the Mexican drug cartels.

The reason for this conflict is the fight against drug cartels by the Mexican president Calderon. Calderon doubled the number of federal police officers in charge of seizing drug traffickers. This conflict is also the reason behind the September 2008 grenade attacks in Morelia, which led to the death of over 100 people.

Drug cartels in Mexico have also led to corruption of government officials as they take bribes from the leaders of drug cartels. Most leaders favor particular cartels and in turn, they are guaranteed votes from the members and followers of those cartels. This brings about the issue of corruption. In addition, drug cartels are responsible for social problems such as human trafficking, exploitation of immigrants, and murder of politicians among other problems (Oyarvide 1).

Impact on other nations and the USA

Mexican cartels have also had a significant impact on other nations such as USA, China, countries of Europe and the Middle East. For instance, Mexican cartels pose the greatest threat in crime to the United States. They are also responsible for several killings, home invasions, and kidnappings in the United States of America. Statistics indicate that about 19 citizens of the United States were killed in 2008 and another 92 killed in 2009 and 2010. These deaths are claimed to be linked to the Mexican drug cartels.


Taking all of that into account, it is clear that drug cartels in Mexico have had a negative impact on the stability of Mexico and the world at large. The reason is that the Mexican government has put measures of fighting drug cartels in an effort to eliminate them. Elimination of drug cartels in Mexico will not only make the nation stable but it will also rejuvenate the peace status that the nation enjoyed before the emergence of drug cartels.

Works Cited

Grillo, Ioan. Mexico cracks down on violence. 2006. Web.

Lyman, Michael. Drugs in Society: Causes, Concepts and Control. Cincinnati: Anderson Publishing, 2010. Print.

Oyarvide, Cesar. : The history of a centenary arrangement. 2010. Web.

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