Mexican Cartel

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Mexican Cartel

Category: Capstone Project

Subcategory: Classic English Literature

Level: College

Pages: 9

Words: 2475

Mexican Cartel
The Mexican cartels have been in operation in Mexico for more than more than just a century. The drug trafficking organizations are global businesses that have forward and backward linkages used in managing the distribution and supply of drugs in many countries (Moore 13). As a business entity, these linkages are concerned with bringing products to the market in the very efficient way so as to maximize the profits. The Mexican drug cartels are the main wholesalers of illegal drugs in the United States and are gaining further control of the retail distribution by uniting with the U.S. gangs. However, the operations that are carried out in the United States are less violent as compared to those in Mexico, despite the high presence in many United States jurisdictions. Mexican cartels have maintained the use of violence and bribery in transacting their businesses in the different markets that they venture in them. Violence is usually employed in disciplining the employees, coerce opponents and limit the entry of other cartels into their market. On the other hand, corruption and bribery are used to neutralize the actions that the government uses to take action on drug trafficking and facilitate the smooth transaction of their illegal business operations (Bender).
The entrenchment and growth of the Mexican drug trafficking networks took place during the one-party regime that existed for 71 years (Moore 29). During the Institutional Revolutionary Party regime, the government was hierarchical and centralized in a manner that it protected and tolerated the production and trafficking of illegal drugs in some of the Mexican regions. AT some stage during its reign, it pursued an overall policy of accommodation, which enabled the government to arrest and eradicate the drug crops. However, corruption and bribery affected this system negatively and this was characterized by the working relationship between the Mexican authorities and the Mexican Cartels in the 1990s (Moore 41). Today, the Mexican cartels produce a variety of illegal drugs although each cartel might have a single drug that he specializes in trafficking or production. This has led to the spread of drugs such as Marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States. The west coast state of Sinaloa is the heartland for drug trafficking used by the Mexican cartels and this is due to the long coastline in the area that is difficult to access by the U.S authorities. The State also flourishes in the cultivation of poppy and marijuana and it has been providing the cartels with the goods for trade.
According to the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of 2015, Mexico has been pointed out as the leading producer of marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine. In 2014, the Mexican government enhanced its operations in eradicating opium poppy and cannabis, which are plants used for making heroin and marijuana respectively (Moore 21). However, the rate of methamphetamine increased by 36 percent in the period between 2013 and 2014, which amounted to 19.8 metric tons of methamphetamine. The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of 2015 indicates that the Mexican authorities have seized 143 meth laboratories in 2014, which represented an 11 percent increase from the total labs seized in 2013.
Recently, there has been a constant flux of the cartels in the country. There existed four dominant cartels in the country before 2006: Sinaloa Cartel, Gulf cartel, Juarez Cartel and the Tijuana cartel. However, these four groups have been subdivided to form many more cartels in the recent years. The fragmentation of these groups has been accompanied by the diversification of the cartels into other types of criminal activities (Bender). These cartels spread their propaganda and psychological operations so as to influence the rival groups and those people within their territories. Propaganda is spread by using the banners to threaten the intended people or rivals. Some of the big cartels give out leaflets and pamphlets to conduct some public relation campaigns. They have also controlled the information environment by giving threats to the bloggers, journalists and those people who are against their business. A cartel usually has an elaborate recruitment strategy since it targets the young adults to join the group (
Cartel Groups in Mexico
Sinaloa cartel
This is a group of farmers who eventually turned to be cocaine traffickers and was formed in the 1980s. It is also one of the biggest criminal groups in the world. Research indicates that they have links in approximately 50 countries, including Europe, America, South East Asia and West Africa. They are also known for ruthless violence that they are usually engaged in. This is a well-established cartel group that has its roots in the western Mexico and they have engaged in much ruthless violence in order to take control of the border states of Baja California and Chihuahua. With a decentralized structure of many loosely linked smaller groups, the cartel has been able to adapt to the competitive markets and the unstable environment that is in the country (
In February 2014, the cartel survived the arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. His capture was seen as a great achievement for the government and was supported by the United States intelligence unit ( In 2015, he was arrested again by the Navy forces, but eventually escaped from a maximum security prison. The drug kingpin crawled through a mile long hole that was built for him by the group. However, the group has established some strong connections on both the political and economic elite in the country. It is estimated that the group controls approximately 40-60 percent of the drug trafficking in Mexico. This places their annual earning to be approximately three billion dollars.
Los Zetas
This is a group that broke away from the Gulf cartel. Previously, it was a death squad arm of the Gulf cartel and was formed by 34 Special Forces soldiers that had the responsibility of protecting Osiel Cardenas, a young upcoming Gulf cartel leader. The group has become so powerful and it now controls 17 Mexican states and some parts of Texas. Research indicates that the cartel murdered more than 350 farmers in the country for refusing to join their ranks. The group is seen as more aggressive compared to the other groups since they employ the intimidation technique as the strategy of maintaining their territorial control. They also use the social media and public display of bodies to intimidate the security forces, rival cartels and the entire public. However, in 2012, the Mexican marines gunned down the group leader, Heriberto Lazcano (El Lazca) and later in 2013, the Mexican federal authorities captures El Lazca successor, Miguel Angel Morales, who was very common for his brutality. Los Zetas have expanded and diversified their criminal operations such as trafficking off firearms, kidnapping, fuel theft, human smuggling and extortion (Moore 31).
Juarez/Carrillo Cartel
This cartel group is based at the border city of Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua and it controlled the smuggling between the city and El Paso, Texas, between the 1980s and the 90s. Was founded by Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who died in 1997 and his brother took over until his arrest in 2014. Initially, it operated as a Sinaloa sub-branch, but eventually broke from the group and became independent. The rivalry between the Juarez cartel and the Sinaloa cartel is the main reason why the city of Ciudad Juarez turned into one of the most violent cities around the globe. At one point, the rivalry between the two groups reported ten murders in a single day. The period between 2008 and 2012 led to the death of approximately ten thousand lives, which is approximately 15 percent of the displaced population due to drug-related wars between 2006 and 2010 (Moore 27).
The Gulf Cartel
This cartel group rose to fame in the 1920s and by the 1980s, the group leader, Juan Garcia Abrego, formed ties with the Cali cartel in Columbia and the Mexican police department. The group is situated at the border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and carries its illegal operations in other states on the Gulf side of the country. The cartel group is organized in the transnational smuggling operation and has agents in South and Central America. In the early 2000s, the Gulf cartel was the main competitor of Sinaloa group for the trafficking territories. At the moment, there exist many cartels and this has made the Gulf cartel to compete with Los Zetas, over the Northeastern Mexico territory (Moore 29).
Reports from the Fox News Latino indicate that fight against drug cartels in the country has consolidated the business to just two major countries in the duration of more than eight years. Other cartels have splintered and degraded due to the arrest of most of the group leaders. The government has employed the “Kingpin strategy”, which entails pursuing the leaders of the groups. This strategy has been in existence since 2006, when President Felipe Calderon first deployed the federal troops to fight the powerful cartels in Michoacán. This strategy has led to the arrest of cartels such as José de Jesús Méndez Vargas of the La Familia Michoacana group, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes of the Juarez cartel, Heriberto Lazcano and Miguel Angel Treviño Morales of the Los Zetas cartel and El Chapo of the Sinaloa cartel. However, the approach also led to the violent sub-division off the cartel groups that were at one point united and stable ( In this case, there are only two big cartels left in the business and a swarm of small cartels. The Fox magazine quotes the message by the director of the Criminal Investigations Agency, Tomas Zeron, that only Sinaloa and the Jalisco New Generation Drug cartel are the only remaining big cartels that are operating and functioning within the country. The other cartels have splintered into smaller groups and some have been absorbed by the Sinaloa cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Drug cartel (Bender).
Sinaloa cartel has remained the single prominent and most powerful in the western hemisphere (Moore 93). The cartel has always flourished during the drug war since it has a non-hierarchical organization structure. Research indicates that the decisions in the group are made through a board of people and not just a single leader. The flexibility in its operations has allowed the Sinaloa cartel to continue thriving despite the setbacks faced by the group, including the arrest of their leader El Chapo Guzman. However, the Jalisco New Generation Drug cartel splintered from the Sinaloa cartel in 2010 and had since thrived in its operations making it expand into a big cartel (Bender). The insight crime points out that the group gained much of practical knowledge and business connections during its time with Sinaloa. Moreover, the stability of the state of Jalisco has enabled the cartel to consolidate and expand without engaging in any costly turf battles. In addition, the relative weakness those other cartels in the nearby states have allowed the Jalisco New Generation Drug cartel to expand outwards without much resistance.
Annotated Bibliography
Dudley, Steven S. “Drug trafficking organizations in Central America: transportistas, Mexican cartels and maras.” SHARED RESPONSIBILITY(2010): 9.
The author has focused on the relationship between the U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation. The article has analyzed specific challenges that exist between the cooperation between the United States and Mexico in curbing the issues of organized crimes, consumption of drugs, arms trafficking and money laundering that is carried out by the Mexican cartels across the border between Mexico and the U.S. The author advocates the use of the Mexican justice system that was adopted in 2008 to help in the anti-drug campaign. Although some of the reforms have been made, the question that might keep being is asked is about the sustainability and efficacy of these reforms. The author has provided some great importance on how the United States should help Mexico attain the established reforms. If the United States controls the level of corruption at its borders, the cartels might find a very small market to trade their illegal products.
Burton, Fred, and Scott Stewart. “Mexican Cartels and the Fallout from Phoenix.” Stratfor, July 2 (2008).
The article is based on how the effects of drug trafficking at Phoenix. The authors have focused on how the Mexican cartels can go to the extent of killing the residence of a particular area and the authorities in order to acquire a territory for their products. I agree with the authors that these groups are aided by some of officials in government who enable them acquire information regarding an area. Moreover, these groups are able to access fighting tools by using bribery and corruption too acquire tools such as guns and police uniforms which, they can use to pose as policemen during war. This article is an interesting article and contains information that is relevant in the implementation of laws that may restrict the cartels from accessing the United States. Steps such as training police officers on how to handle such situations and how to prevent them have been highlighted by the article.
Bunker, Robert J. “The Mexican Cartel Debate: As Viewed Through Five Divergent Fields of Security Studies.” (2011).
Bunker points out that the Mexican cartel debate has become very important to the United States National security. However, the topic has also brought confusion and heated debate that has led to very little agreement on what is happening in the United States and Mexico. The author has highlighted the views of divergent fields of security which are adding some layer of confusion about the Mexican cartel debate. Different scholars from divergent fields of security have come up with different assumption and concerns that relate to the topic. These views are personally preferred responses, terminologies and works that each scholar has come up with and those people analyzing the problem are seen to be discussing at cross-purposes, which is unproductive. The piece of article provides diverse opinions that can be taken in the security debate and they might aid in providing additional views on how to tackle these Mexican cartels who are prone to causing violence and spread the illegal drugs.
Simser, Jeffrey. “Plata o plomo: penetration, the purchase of power and the Mexican drug cartels.” Journal of Money Laundering Control 14.3 (2011): 266-278.
The paper explores the penetration of power in Mexico by the drug cartels and the attendant policy challenges that are encountered as the government tries to address them. Moreover, the paper explores the illegal activities that the Mexican cartels are involved in and the policy solutions that the government is employing to counter the spread of these people. The paper also explores the solutions other partners like the United States can explore to help Mexico control the menace since the neighboring countries are the main markets for the illegal drugs produced by the cartels. The challenges that are encountered by these countries are complex, long-standing and require concerted problem solving to at least change the conditions on the ground. I conquer with the authors view that the effects of longer time initiatives to enforce the rule of law requires some further studies since there are complex challenges that require much focus.

McGee, Sibel, Michael Joel, and Robert Edson. “Mexico’s Cartel Problem: A Systems Thinking Perspective.” Applied Systems Thinking Institute, Analytic Services, Inc (2014).
The author focuses on how the increase in the cartel-related violence has caused growing challenges on the socio-political stability of both Mexico and the United States. The author has used systems thinking perspective in addressing the issues and has provided a holistic assessment about the complex criminal networks that are operating in the multiple domains. As the paper progresses, the author highlights the dynamic relationships and complex feedbacks that are between the variables involved in the different cartel operation domains. In this case, he has pointed out the inherently systematic and casual factors that contribute to the situation. The client has done a systematic assessment of the Mexican cartel problem and has used different frameworks in coming up a clear understanding about the issue. This article has been arranged in chronological order and is easier to understand by the audience. The evidence has been clearly pointed out and one can easily trace them in the paper.
Works Cited
Burton, Fred, and Scott Stewart. “Mexican Cartels and the Fallout from Phoenix.” Stratfor, July 2 (2008).
Bunker, Robert J. “The Mexican Cartel Debate: As Viewed Through Five Divergent Fields of Security Studies.” (2011).
Dudley, Steven S. “Drug trafficking organizations in Central America: transportistas, Mexican cartels and maras.” SHARED RESPONSIBILITY(2010): 9.
Moore, Solomon. “Tougher Border Can’t Stop Mexican Marijuana Cartels.”New York Times (2009).
McGee, Sibel, Michael Joel, and Robert Edson. “Mexico’s Cartel Problem: A Systems Thinking Perspective.” Applied Systems Thinking Institute, Analytic Services, Inc (2014).
Bender, Jeremy. “Only 2 Major Cartels Have Survived Mexico’S 8-Year-Long Drug War”. Business Insider. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.,. “A Mexican Drug Cartel’s Rise To Dominance”. N.p., 2014. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.