The Mexican drug war is the name that is given to the armed conflict between the Mexican government and the drugs cartels. However, not only Mexico is suffering from this Drug War but also all parts of North America. The US and Canadian drug market are living a shortage in supplying what created tensions in both side. This tension is mainly concentrated in the border regions between Mexico and the US. As a consequence, the US is involve in the solution of this regional conflict.
Although violence between the cartels has long been hurting Mexico, the actions to combat drug trafficking, did not begin until December 11, 2006, when the Mexican president Felipe Calderon sent 6500 federal troops to Michoacán to curb the rising violence in that area caused by the attempt to create a new cartel.
One of the greatest successes of the government of Felipe Calderon has been to get the United States has admitted his responsibility in this conflict. Since a long time, the President of the US have to take measures so that to fight against narcotic-trafficking worldwide. Obviously, Mexico is one of the countries which receive more aids from the International Narcotics Control (more than 400 million dollar in 2010). Moreover, different acts have been established, such as the International Narcotics Control Act.
However, the current violence has been so important that the US’s government had to intervene directly. Recently, various attacks have been done and several American civil servants have been killed by cartels. As a preventive measure, all US American were repatriated. The problem is that nowadays, more and more people ask for a political asylum in order to cross the frontier and felling more secured in the US. Moreover, according to the Mexican government, the US government did not act like it should have. In fact, they think that the situation is also due to US citizens’ consumption and for that reasons, the US have to be more concerned about this issue (and not being present only at a financial level).
On the other hand, the government's strategy of using the army has had detractors. Numerous civil organizations have complained that the military presence on the streets has coincided with an increase in the number of human rights violations, while the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) has warned about the increase of complaints received by this question: since the start of the fight more than 15,000 people have been killed, many of them civilians with no ties to the cartels. For this reason, Mexican strategy has been revised in March 2010. In order to develop the so-called “Mérida Initiative”, established during Bush’s governance and based on military assistance, American and Mexican agencies would be constantly in contact, so as to work better together. The new strategy consist in making civilian law more strict (such as screening people who want to cross the border) According to an article from The New York Times “Next year's foreign aid budget provides for civilian police training, not equipment”.
In addition to the difficulties to resolve this issue, Mexico suffers from corruption in the government and especially in the prisons.If you ask Mexican inmates to describe prisons they would answer that it is a place where drug dealers can recruit new members and bribe their way out. This is the reason why the Mexican government is shipping many drug traffickers to the United States, where it is harder for them to continue their crimes or make contact to their criminal networks. The United States are involved in program to help fix Mexico’s broken prisons with $4 million. Specialists from United States prisons have started to train Mexican guards to clarify the ethical guidelines and methods they have to use in their daily work.
The wealthiest inmates are able to pay to receive key for their cells. It is not uncommon to have pizza deliveries, prostitutes, drugs and alcohol inside the prison walls. Sometimes prisoners will pay to the guards to leave the prison for a while or make break out from prison. Some convicts manage to escape even before they get to prison or to court, usually with help of other cartel members or by bribing the guards.
Mexico´s prison system is full of flaws and jail facilities are very bad quality. The most dangerous prisioners should be locked to maximum security cells but there is huge lack of space. So these inmates are taken to less secure prisons. The government is planning to build prisons to get more beds. One major goal is to divide the cartel members from other inmates to prevent them from recruiting new gang members.
The uses of the Internet and newer technologies have also an impact in this conflict. This opens also new opportunities for headhunting or dealing in a very fast and effective way. As the number of daily murder rises in Mexico also the fight about information has become a field in which the government has to face certain issues. You Tube, Facebook, Twitter etc. are now used by the traffickers as well by governmental institutions to inform citizens and cartels or their enemies.
Due to the strong intervention on drug traffic in Mexico and the violent response from the drug trafficking groups, the number of killed people that were related to the cartels have increased from 2,837 people connected in 2007 to 9,365 people in 2009.
If we think in the number of civilians victims that the government strategy has produced, we have to ask if this really is the right way to secure and ease the streets of Mexico.
Anyway, since 2008 the government has tried to attack the issue from others fronts such as social programs aimed at preventing the consumption or the increased surveillance in areas where there are large masses of children and young people because they are the largest population risk.