The US and the Mexican Drug War

Law enforcement officials in cities and towns near the southern border believe that a recent spike in drug-related crimes, namely home invasions and kidnappings, is related to the bloody conflict between Mexican drug cartels and the government of Mexico.  More than 7,000 Mexicans have died since January 2008 as a result of the fighting.  Most of those who perished were part of the drug trade or law enforcement.

 

The ongoing drug war has multiple facets.  There are intra-cartel power struggles for control of the organizations, turf battles between rival cartels as well as clashes between the cartels and the security forces that are trying to subdue them.  The latter are the result of a campaign initiated two years ago by President Jorge Calderon to deal with the rampant violence associated with the illicit groups.

 

The US is intimately connected with this conflict.  Most of the guns used in the fighting, some of which are assault rifles, are illegally imported from the US.  Most of the money that fuels the lucrative drug trade and is the object of the fighting comes from American buyers.  The networks that distribute the black market goods are spread throughout the US and extend all the way to Alaska.

 

Many in the US have called for greater border control and drug enforcement efforts to deal with the growing problem.  Gov. Rick Perry of Texas recently requested the deployment of National Guard soldiers to his state.  The Obama administration will send more federal agents to the border but does not plan on sending troops there, according to White House officials.

 

If drug-related violence in border towns escalates it is not inconceivable that the US would deploy military units to help quell it.  Although it is unlikely that American forces would cross over into Mexico, the raids of Pancho Villa a century ago precipitated that exact action.  The Mexican government would certainly not condone such a violation of its sovereignty, although it is unclear how it would respond.

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One Response to “The US and the Mexican Drug War”

  1. Conway Says:

    Maybe the US can finally strengthen its gun laws if it is seen as a national security matter.

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