Did you know the drug trade from Mexico is a multi-billion dollar business?
Did you know tens of thousands of people have been killed as a result of violence between cartels and police forces? It also contributes to many people going missing, and major corruption within the Mexican government. One main problem with this industry is the individual buyer who purchases drugs from the organizations. While it may seem like this action could never have an influence on the war on drugs in general, it is in fact contributing to the perpetual violence and criminal action seen. Many people who contribute to this may not realize their actions indeed have a direct effect on the ongoing war on drugs.
Joaquin Guzman, better known as “El Chapo” and leader of the Sinaloa cartel, recently escaped a Mexican prison this July. He escaped through an incredibly sophisticated, ventilated tunnel that was large enough to stand in, and was also built with lighting, ladders, and oxygens masks. The tunnel went from the prison shower to a lone house in the fields of Mexico. Guzman's cartel has been around since the 1970s, and started small with locals shipping cocaine and marijuana to make additional income. Things have changed since then, and they now focus on exporting more lucrative drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. The cartel is so powerful they have influence over local towns, big businesses, and even Mexican government and law enforcement officials. In fact, after one of El Chapo's arrests, hundreds of people protested in the streets of Mexico, claiming the drug lord supported them by creating jobs and positive economic changes for rural populations.
Mexican cartels have a powerful influence on the United States, as well. While many things are tough to actually track, some confirmed statistics are:
- Mexican drug cartels net $19 to $29 billion in U.S. sales every year.
- 70% of guns recovered from criminal activities in Mexico from 2007 to 2011 originated from sales in the U.S.
- Mexico is the main supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to the U.S., and responsible for 90% of the cocaine that enters the country.
In addition to producing drugs and contraband, the war on drugs is responsible for the deaths of over 55,000 people and the disappearance of 5,000 people in drug-related crimes since 2006. Over 2,000 Mexican women have been arrested for drug trafficking or related charges in the past decade in the U.S. In 2013, roughly 10.7 billion, or 40% of Mexican households reported at least one family member became a victim of a drug-related crime. These heinous acts will continue to occur as long as the Mexican-American drug trade and it's involvement with drug cartels goes on.