Mexican Cartels and Drug Trafficking

by Luis A. Velez

The Mexican drug cartel is a notorious drug smuggling organization that is feared by everyone. The cartel exists to promote and control drug trafficking operations. They employ different levels of employees, everything from “falcons,” who keep an out for the police and the federales, to the “drug lords,” who make decisions on alliances and possible executions.

What is a cartel?

  1. Here are two definitions that are the meanings of the word cartel: a group of businesses controlling a market: an alliance of business companies formed to control production, competition, and prices, like the oil cartels popular in Middle Eastern countries.

  2. Alliance of like-minded political groups: a political alliance among parties or groups having common goals.

Mexico’s drug cartels are ruthless in pursuit of money and power. Much of their money comes from the United States. The purpose of this article is to let people know where this negative source of drugs and crime are coming from: from the people of the United States.

The cartels are known for their decapitations of the head by using a chainsaw and a knife. They do this brutal method to show that if anyone ever tries to cross them or if they are not loyal, the cartel will kill them with no hesitation; that is one of the ways to show that they have power. Another tactic is to boil their enemies in hot oil so that the police cannot identify the body. A small group in the Mexican cartel called Los Zetas is most known for this method of hiding identity. Mexico’s drug cartels seem to be at war wherever there’s money to be made. Smart and deadly, these drug armies have spread their trade throughout Mexico and into many other countries in Latin America. Incredibly ruthless and vengeful, the cartels’ paramilitary units kill tens of thousands of people each year, while controlling much of the world’s supply of cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, generating an estimated $40 billion per year in profits. The largest consumer of illegal drugs in the world? The United States of America.

The Godfather of Mexico’s drug cartels is former Mexican police agent Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, who controlled Mexico’s drug trade in the 80’s. Then, in an effort to decentralize his operation and make it less vulnerable, Gallardo assigned the drug trafficking operations of certain regions of the country to many different Mexican crime families. But by the late 80’s, this Mexican Mafia eventually became the infamous drug cartels, which fought hard against anyone or anything aligned against them. Soon, as profits grew, they began fighting among themselves as well. Mexico City children between the ages of 11 and 17 were recruited by Mexico’s drug cartels to smuggle narcotics and work as spies.

Some of the money from the cartel goes to paying off the guards to allow them to export drugs and weapons across the Mexican-United States border. The most recent data released in 2008 by the U.S. National Drug Intelligence Center, which was closed last June, reveals that between $19 to $39 billion in illegal drug proceeds flow from the U.S. to Mexico every year. In 2011, a Mexican government official estimated that number to be $64 billion. Last year, a Justice Department official said it could now be about $85 billion.

Government officials from both Mexico and the United States have attempted to dismantle drug cartels by stopping the flow of money. Several bills, including one by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in 2010, have attempted to address this issue. Giffords introduced legislation that would have established a disclosure requirement for stored-value cards that total more than $10,000. It would have also established criminal and civil penalties for those who violated the rule. Another similar bill was introduced last year but like Giffords’ proposed bill, it went nowhere.

Everyone agrees that drug cartels are vicious groups that do enormous harm to numerous people. Most also agree that because they’re so terrible, they should be shut down. The difficult part is that cartels hold so much power due to their intimidation of the local population. They also can buy influence because they have large profits through their drug trade.

Mexican drug cartels are ruthless in their pursuit of money and power. They are known to employ vicious methods to get whatever they want. As Americans blame the Mexicans for all these horrible things that are happening, the ironic part is that Americans are most to blame. The fewer illegal drugs bought in the United States, the less money and power the Mexican drug cartels will have.


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