The US-Mexican drug wars have been a series of conflicts between Mexican government forces and organized drug cartels. President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of Mexican soldiers as part of a strategy to fight the drug lords. While leading cartel leaders have been arrested, violent power struggles have erupted between the various cartels. The government also faces the problem of corrupt judges and police officers who are reported to be collaborating with the drug cartels.
Research has found that the majority of cocaine that enters the United States comes from Mexico (Economist). This trade is controlled by the notorious Sinaloa Cartel and Gulf Cartel. Both groups have been waging a brutal war over major routes. The violence has been brutal with victims being beheaded by the cartels. Violence has also claimed the lives of police officers and journalists. The drug cartels are heavily armed with advanced weapons like machine guns and grenade launchers.
These cartels have been known to receive assistance from Colombian cartels. The fighting dates back to the late 1980s when Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo was arrested for leading the cocaine business. The 1990s saw drug related violence at all time low. But this has erupted since 2000 when Vicente Fox sent Mexican combat troops to border towns along the border with the United States (Geri). The newly elected President Felipe Calderon deployed six thousand soldiers inside the state of Michoacan to end the drug war (Economist).
General Sergio Aponte is currently leading the war on drugs as head of the military campaign. American intelligence estimates that the Mexican cartels are responsible for the distribution and transportation of narcotics in the United States. These criminal organizations have expanded their operations in different parts of the United States. The drug cartels have been waging a brutal war for control of the key smuggling corridors. American intelligence sources have said that the drug cartels are equipped with lethal weapons and communication equipment.
There are two major drug cartel blocs with the Tijuana and Gulf cartel arrayed against the Sinaloa cartel and Juarez cartel (Economist). These drug cartels have been responsible for the smuggling of weapons inside Mexico. This has created a gang war between the rival blocs. The US-Mexican border is the major route for the smuggling of drugs and weapons. Sophisticated firearms like the AK-47 machine gun, semi automatic pistols, armor piercing bullets, grenade launchers, and sniper rifles have been used against rival gangs and law enforcement agencies.
Other examples of victims include toddlers being gunned by SWAT team after adhering to their commands to be positioned on the ground and an elderly man suffering fatal heart attack after the law enforcement officers came into her home during the night and placed flash grenades. Several residents in U. S Mexico border were killed on basis of allegations (Economist). The drug conflict has also sparked concerns that it would spread into the United States. The United States has been providing billions of dollars of assistance in an attempt to assist the Mexican government in defeating the drug cartels.