What are 3 causes of drug trafficking

Causes and effects of the drug war in Mexico using the example of Ciudad Juárez

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Problem
1.2 Aim of the housework

2. Historical background and role of the drug economy in Mexico

3. Causes of the drug war using the case study Ciudad Juárez

4. Impact

5. Conclusion

Bibliography Internet directory

1 Introduction

1.1 Problem

“Sicario” (German: contract killer) is the title of a crime thriller that appeared in 2015 and presents the brutal gang wars in Mexico and the powerlessness of an American FBI agent. In reality, too, a bloody drug war has been raging in Mexico for many years, which has claimed over 70,000 lives since 2006. A large part of the country is in the violence and crime of the drug gangs, which grows from year to year and has a negative impact on the security situation of the population. This is not only due to the dangerous drug gangs, but also to the drug use of the rich countries that started the drug war. Violent clashes have raged between rival drug cartels that rule large areas of Mexican society since the 1990s. While drugs are mainly smuggled into the US by Mexican cartels, weapons are also being smuggled from the US to Latin America. Today, drug cartels are not limited to drug trafficking, but also human trafficking, extortion, arms smuggling and many other crimes. Even the state border is no longer able to stop the cartels in Mexico. Mexico's political problems can thus be seen in scientific theory as a disintegrated state (failing state) can be recorded.1 As a socially fluctuating and economically unstable country, Mexico is confronted not only with illegal drug trafficking, but also with corruption and social inequality.

1.2 Aim of the housework

This housework makes a contribution to the drug war in Mexico. Unfortunately, within the scope of this work, the drug war in the entire area of ​​Mexico cannot be dealt with in detail. It is therefore advisable to limit the content to the case study at Ciudad Juárez. In order to explain the main causes and effects to the reader, the historical background and the role of the drug economy in Mexico are listed first. Then both the causes and the effects on Ciudad Juárez in the last ten years are clarified. The fourth chapter closes the housework with a conclusion that summarizes the findings of the drug war in Ciudad Juárez.

2. Historical background and role of the drug economy in Mexico

Historically, drug trafficking increased as early as the 1960s through Colombian cartels that led the Latin American market. Mexico initially played the role as a means of transport to the United States and for the time being took its share of the transport. Initially, drug gangs mainly smuggled heroin, opium poppies and marijuana into Mexico. The border between Mexico and the United States was seen as the drug cartels' most popular delivery route as the Americans closed the route for Colombian cocaine smuggled across the Caribbean.2 For this reason, the cartels were forced to change their route and saw the northern Mexican border with the USA as an opportunity to continue their trade. In this way Mexico benefited as a middleman in several ways. On the one hand, the border provides the basis for numerous sources of income (including drug exports) and, on the other hand, Mexico gained more experience and influence from drug smugglers who belonged to the Colombian cartels. After the Mexican government began destroying marijuana fields in certain regions of Mexico in 1975, 80% of marijuana was consumed in the United States.3 This indicates that the high demand from the United States boosted production and drug trafficking significantly. In addition, the combination of various factors has resulted in Mexico gaining more leverage over drug power in just a few years. One of the various factors was the death of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, who was shot and killed in a raid on Medellín in the early 1990s. Mexico gradually rose in the drug business and took control of drug transport to the United States. In the nineties, Mexico was transformed from a place of transit to a place of production where, among other things, marijuana and synthetic drugs are produced in-house. Petra Eschenbacher gives an interesting general overview of the drug trade in Latin America (status: 1990) and claims in her economic research that the US scene is the largest drug market in the world and about 33% heroin, more than 70% cannabis products and 100 % Sources cocaine from Latin American countries.4 Over time, Mexico, as a criminal organization, has been able to diversify its business areas and engaged in other criminal activities. These include human trafficking, kidnappings, (...), arms trafficking, car theft, shoplifting, smuggling, robbery of transport vehicles (...) and much more.5 Like other companies, the drug cartels invest their capital in economic areas that promise attractive profits. According to data from the US Drug Control Agency, DEA, Mexican drug traffickers make between $ 32 billion and $ 40 billion annually.6 The proceeds from Mexican drug deals are used to finance arms deals, among other things, which play an important role as an industry. Because the gun law in Mexico is strict, guns are illegally smuggled into Mexico from the United States. According to the US audit office GAO, more than 20,000 weapons that Mexican investigators collected from criminals between 2004 and 2008 came from the United States.7 This illegal exchange of goods creates the principle of supply and demand, which determine the profit of the criminal economy. One reason for the growing drug economy in Mexico is largely due to the social causes, such as the lack of access to education and the associated lack of prospects for the young generation. In an interview between Wolf-Dieter Vogel and the security expert Edgardo Buscaglia (“The Paradox of Repression”), he announced that eight million children in Mexico do not go to school. They hang out in the street, do drugs, become violent and self-destruct.8 In this way, the cartels mostly get cheap labor, because for many young people there is no prospect because unemployment is too high. The Mexican government behaved rather passively until the then newly elected President Felipe Calderón ordered the military and police in 2006 to end drug crime and fight the drug cartels. 9 Since then, the Mexican police and military units have been in the drug war with the drug cartels. At the same time, there is fear and terror among the population, as more than tens of thousands of people, including many civilians and children, have been murdered since Calderón's term in office. When the TV host Televisa asked President Calderón how he assessed the fact that there were more than 50,000 dead in Mexico during his reign, the head of state replied that the dead hurt him very much. However, he insisted that his strategy was the right one and that there was no other way than to fight the crime with due state violence.10

3. The causes of the drug war using the case study Ciudad Juárez

In the struggle for power and for the delivery routes, seven large (and several small) drug cartels have now formed in Mexico that organize drug smuggling across the border with the United States. The largest and most well-known drug cartels include the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Zetas, and Juárez cartels. As already mentioned, the content of this paper is limited to the city of Juarez, as it is considered the center of the Mexican drug war due to its border with the United States. Juarez is not only described as the most dangerous city in the world, but also as the most important market for the drug trade.11 The city is still seen today as the most sought-after smuggling route into the USA, as it lies on the Mexican-American border across from El Paso (Texas). It is estimated that 90 percent of the cocaine imported into the USA takes the route via Mexico, 70 percent via the Ciudad Juárez - El Paso corridor alone.12 In both metropolitan regions, most of the people live from bilateral trade and the manufacturing industry. The amount of trade that is handled at the four border posts between the two cities is estimated to be 42 billion US dollars in 2009, accounting for 15 percent of the total trade volume between the USA and Mexico. Both cities have a combined population of just over two million. The Juárez cartel, which has been active for over 50 years and flourished under the leadership of Amado Carrillo Fuentes in the 1990s, operates in Juárez and El Paso. The Sinaloa and Juarez cartels have been fighting over the smuggling route to the USA since 2008. While there have always been phases of violence in the history of Ciudad Juárez, in 2008 it got out of hand between the two cartels. The homicide rate rose from 307 in 2007 to 1607 (2008), 2601 (2009) and finally 3156 in 2010.13 The war between the two cartels claimed almost 8,000 deaths in three years. The resulting rivalry over the market and the drug corridor has made the fighting worse.


1 See The Failing State, 2016. Access date: 23.01.2016 1

2 Huffschmid, Anne (2012), p. 16

3 Eschenbacher, Petra (1990), p. 73

4 See Eschenbacher, Petra (1990), p. 79

5 See Huffschmid, Anne (2012), p. 43

6 See Huffschmid, Anne (2012), p. 43

7 US-Mexican Arms Smuggling: The Dirty Deal with Death, 2011, accessed: 01/24/2016

8 See Huffschmid, Anne (2012), p. 18

9 See Internal Conflicts - Mexico, 2015, accessed: 01/24/2016 3

10 See Huffschmid, Anne (2012), p. 49

11 Huffschmid, Anne (2012), p. 61

12 Huffschmid, Anne (2012), p. 62

13 See Huffschmid, Anne (2012), p. 60

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