How Mexico’s drug war affects the U.S.



Mexican USA drug relation dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Drug trafficking across the USA and the Mexican stretch, begun just before the First World War. The USA government over the years has indirectly funded the drug trade and empowered cartels. The country has continuously funded the police and the military in Mexico despite corruption and mafia interference in the forces. The drug trade has then directly and indirectly triggered violence across the country. The war on drug is complex and requires a cross border intervention. The current state of matters suggests a healthy environment for the trade to flourish and the cartels to overrun the US streets. The border initiatives focused more on the illegal immigrants and less attention to the war on drugs. Drug cartels are well organized and s both the government and the public.

The Mexican drug war and trafficking has been a major concern to the Mexican government and USA. In the country, drug lords remain powerful, as they own strong militia groups and have a say in the country political affairs. The Mexican drug business cuts across the border and has become a major concern to the Mexican government. In Mexico, the war against drugs has bared no fruit given the amount of corruption in the government and the nature of the drug loads to influence political and social issues. Just like any business, drug business requires a distribution channel from the main supplier to final consumers. The client base is wide and it involves neighboring countries. The United States of America has been largely affected by the drug business. Mexican drug business has had social, political and economic effect on the United States of America and is linked to continuous violence in USA.

Literature review

There exist a connection between the Mexican drugs and nature of organized criminal gangs in the United States of America. According to literature (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016; McCarthy, 2011) a higher percentage of drugs consumed in the USA originate from Mexico and is well guarded by well-armed gangs. In other sources, it is evident that the war on drugs was lost before it begun. The drug business according to articles (Jones, 2016; McCarthy, 2011), bases on two factors. The first aspect is the producers and the second is the distribution channels. The amount of cash exchanging hands and passing though these channels is tremendous. Along the chain, different cartels and syndicate control various points. Effects of the Mexican drug business are felt in the USA. Economic, social and political effects have been reported given the geographical proximity of the two countries. The involvement of the USA in the fight against the drug lords indicates the Mexican drug syndicate has greatly affected the country.


In an effort to effort to determine the effect of Mexican drug business on the United States of America, the paper will analyze data and compare information from the US department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The aim would be to determine the amount of drugs crossing over to USA and their source. The paper then will focus on DEA report on effects of the drugs on violence and the health of the end users. Several government initiatives and Mexican government role will be analyzed with an aim of linking corruption and the increase in the number of cartels involved in drug trafficking (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016).

The social, economic and political effects will be looked up with an aim of ascertaining the level of damage caused by the drug business. The Mexican border was reviewed and the Merida Pact analyzed in a bid to determine the social effect of the war on drugs (Brewer, 2009). The number of illegal immigrants will be analyzed to determine the main route used by smugglers and increase in gang activities within the borders. The Mexican-USA relation will be accessed to determine any political effect caused by the drug business. The end market and the production and distribution channels will be analyzed with an aim of determining the ripple effect on community and law enforcers.


The FBI report as of 2008, 40 percent of the seized heroin originated from Mexico with the drugs funding violence in Mexico and USA (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016). The result indicates that other illicit drugs being consumed by the local community originate from Mexico. The DEA report indicates that major cartels hold the Mexican government at ransom. The two reports indicate that the largest consumers of the drugs are American citizens. DEA reports that the drug lords control major gangs in the country. The DEA reports 300 percent increase in deaths associated to the Mexican drug syndicates (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016). Gang violence also had reported an increase with a higher number of drug users and drug gangs being drawn from learning institution and the residential areas. The research also indicate an active role played by the US government in reducing number of drug cartels and minimizing drugs being produced in Mexico. The research also indicates loss of revenue and increase in funds used in war against drugs.


The Mexican drugs have had a negative effect on the United States of America. The Mexican drugs have a well-routed chain of distribution and financers. The biggest consumers of the drugs are in the United States. The effects of the drugs are both social and economical. The focus remains on organized crime within the United States and drug cartels across Mexico.

 Social effects

Uprising of Gangs within the United States territory has been because of the Mexican drug business in USA. The need to protect the market and fend off competition has resulted to formation of gangs. A large amount of cash and income has allowed drug cartels to form and organize criminal gangs (Pan et al., 2012). The gangs are well connected to the Mexican drug cartels. The drug cartels effectively compensate gangs for activities within the USA.  An effective organization structure suggests the nature of authority and the role of each member in ensuring the drug business remain active (McCarthy, 2011). Cartel rivalry in Mexico reflects gang wars within the US boarder as each gangs is associated to main cartels across Mexico.

Gang related deaths

Organized gangs have increased in areas perceived to be the sources and drug warehouses. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics (2016),  a greater percentage of unemployed youth have joined the drug militia as a way of employments and protecting territories. The American suburbs have reported violence related to drug rivalry. Drug and violence closely are related with drugs having a negative effect on the psychological wellbeing of an individual. A bigger percentage of the narcotics consumed in the United States originate from Mexico. According to Jones (2015), the Mexican drug loads and cartels are the reason behind increase violence and gang related deaths. The source highlights social disorder triggered by drug cartels towards the American population. The nature of the violence is intense given the inability of the law enforces to crack down on these drug loads. The drug syndicate according to Valdez (2006) the border connections, a well established distribution channels are the reason behind the violence as the cartels act violently to protect the inducts and channels of distribution.

The second amendment allowed the American civilian population to own guns and other assault weapons. Given the amount of money involved in the trade, cartels and peddler have legally acquired firearms. The lack of supervision from the firearm department has paved way for increased acquisition of guns by cartels. The drug lords given their consoled identity are in possession of assault weapons. The black market also has paved ay for guns to enter in the drug business. Deaths within these gangs have been associated to rivalry and revenge attacks (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016).

Effect on the young population

The Mexican drug syndicate has directly or indirectly affected a higher number of the youth population. Given higher number of learning institution in the country, drug peddler have target the learning institution and the rest of the young population (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016). In Mexico, a higher number of students have been reported missing due to their recruitments into the drug business and drug gangs. The USA has on also had been affected with DEA reporting high consumption of drugs among high school students and the rest of the young population in the informal sector ((Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016. The youth have quit school and joined the drug business given the handsome rewards associated with the business. The media and the internet are partly to blame for the high number of dropout given their glorification of drug lord such as Escobar and El Chappo. A higher number of youth living in poverty turns into drugs as a means of acquiring wealth and psychological satisfaction (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016). The result of this pattern is an increase in deaths and reduction in the level of literacy among students living in certain parts of the country. Low literacy indicates the high number of youths joining criminal gangs across different states.

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Influx of Mexican immigrants

Drug cartels and the police force have caused a sense of instability in Mexico. Intimidation and deaths have characterized the Mexican drug chain. Most of the locals who feel unsecure have escaped the drug business and migrated into USA (Truong & Gasper, 2011). The Police force on the other hand has worsened the situation. Given high number of police activity within the local population and countless security checks, the residents have been forced to migrate into the United States. Corruption within the police force has placed the local population in danger (Brewer, 2009). Ironically, the US government directly has caused the uncertainty within the Mexican border. The USA and Mexican governments have a pact to fund the police force. Ironically, the police force has been stated as the source of violence and uncertainties within the local population. As per 2014, the USA government had released 2.4 billion dollars to fight cartels (Jones, 2015 & Brewer, 2009). Illegal detention and extrajudicial killings have been reported in the country.  Large number of immigrants have opted to move to the USA and applied for political asylum due to the nature of politics in the country. Due previous experiences and lack of employment, a number of immigrants have integrated into drug gangs as a means of survival and as a way of protection from gangs linked to the Mexican drug cartels.

Diplomatic conflict

The USA funding of the Merida initiative and other military pacts have escalated into a diplomatic conflict.  The opposition in Mexico and conservatives within the country have been on the crossroad with the government over the decision by the US government to fund the corrupt Mexican police force (Brewer, 2009). The funding of the Mexican police has increased collaboration between the cartels and the Mexican police. A higher number of politicians linked to either the cartels or the government have been executed or arrested causing uncertainty among citizens. Fingers have been pointed to the USA government for directly funding the violence and extrajudicial killings. A leaked communication between a drug Cartel (El Chappo) and the DEA suggested among the opposition that the United States had no intention of fighting drugs rather had a more political motive (Jones, 2015). Political tension between the two countries have emerged due to the war on drug and the USA involvement on the drug business.

Economic effect

War on drug has increased the country’s local expenditure and foreign aid while denying the country revenue. The country has been forced to fund the Mexican authority to reduce drug smuggling while at the same time has increased surveillance and personal along the borderline (Jones, 2015). In 2014, the country sends over 3billion on the Mexican war on drug. The military funding increased the total expenditure compared to 2013 (Brewer, 2009). The introduction of drones and more personnel along the borderline suggest increased recurrent expenditure by the USA government. Suggested wall along the Mexican stretch suggested future increase in government expenditure. High expenditure by the government suggests increase in tax. High cost of living is indirectly related to the war on drugs. Given the size of the country’s budget, it remains uneconomical to assist on the war against direct but given the direct effect of the drugs on the country, there is no other choice but to fight the war right from its roots.

The drugs have denied the country sizable amount of revenue. Illegal immigration because of drugs and the rampant business orchestrated by drug cartels have denied the country revenue (Truong & Gasper, 2011).  Drug lords and the commodity do not pay tax. Illegal businesses the create leakages within the economy. The county then is forced to overtax the few legal business given the unethical nature while collecting drug related taxes. The untaxed business indicate the amount of resources gained by cartels that enable them fund criminal gangs. The amount of resources used to stop drug trafficking is tremendous compared to the amount of revenue collected from the business. In addiction, a number of productive youths have engaged into the business. The effect of the drugs on productivity suggests the country is at loss. Youth engaging in drugs then become unproductive as a result affect the productively of the country. The number of unemployed youths has risen and the Mexican drug business is to blame for increased levels of unemployment among the youth (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016). The business has also affected the type of housing given the unanticipated increase in population resulting from the influx of immigrants from the Mexican side escaping the harsh environment created by the drug cartels and the corrupt government organs. Gang violence remains a stumbling block while investing in some parts of the country. The nature of the gangs to collect protection fee and loot property has chased away investors.

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The failure by the Merida Initiative to fight drug cartels and reduce the effect of Mexican drug business in the US community indicates the need to change strategy. The government needs to strategize and undertake a direct approach while dealing with the Mexican drug syndicate. Military funding should he halted to pave way for an overhaul of the current Mexican police force. The DEA should engage the Mexican authority in a bid to stem down the trade and act upon cartels. Powerful cartels should be extradited to reduce any chances of drug cartels bribing their way out of the Mexican prisons. The move should be an active way of breaking the supply chain and reducing the amount of drugs reaching the US community. Drug peddlers in the US should be used to track down the bigger players within the industry. The new initiative should be active to reduce drug trafficking and violence related to the business. Hefty fines and life senses should be introduced to deal with cartels and peddlers. According to (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016) drug, related deaths have surpassed terrorism related deaths and it is high time for the government to up their game. America remains the target market and it is high time to reduce the demand by involving the locals.

Community policing and civic education remains an active approach while dealing with drug usage and criminal. The public need to know the dangers of drugs and the government need publicly to  announce the deaths and negative effects of narcotic as a way of reducing usage among communities also there is need to list drug lords and peddlers. The police and the public needs to work in unity while identifying cartels and peddlers. The community needs to appoint a focal team that will identity and work with the community while dealing with powerful cartels,. Given the nature of the police force, the public needs an information center to allow the public share information in secrecy to avoid intimidation or potential deaths. A witness protection program should be in place to enable the local participate in court proceedings without reviling witness identify. The court should extend their jurisdiction and involve drug crimes committed in Mexico in an effort to reduce witness intimidation and cartels influencing court outcomes.


The Mexican drug Business has had a direct effect on the American community. A higher amount of narcotics produced and packaged in Mexico, end up in USA. A well-organized drug syndicate ensures continuous production in Mexico and a ready market in the United States of America. The move by these cartels has negatively influenced the united States. Violence and uprising of drug gangs have been reported thus affecting peace within certain region in the country. The USA government has suffered economically and diplomatically while trying to end the war on drugs. Deaths and side effects associated to narcotics remain a major undoing of the drug business. Each year the amount of drugs being seized has increased suggesting increased demand. The drug business remains active and continuous to create a sense of uncertainty among communities while causing deaths in USA and Mexico. Corruption has been an obstacle in the US fight against drug cartels.

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  1. Brewer, S.E. (2009). Rethinking the Mérida Initiative: Why the U.S. Must Change Course in its Approach to Mexico’s Drug War. Human Rights Brief 16 (3): 9-14.
  2. Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2016). Drugs and Crime Facts.
  3. Jones, S. (2015, July 30). “DEA Official: Mexican Drug Cartels Doing ‘Tremendous Harm to Our Communities.” Cnsnews.
  4. McCarthy, D.M. (2011). An Economic History of Organized Crime: A National and Transnational Approach . New York: Routledge.
  5. Pan, M., Widner, B. & Enomoto, C.E. (2012). Spillover Effects of Crimes in Neighboring States of Mexico. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(14): 14-32.
  6. Truong, T. & Gasper, D. (2011). Transnational migration and Human security: The Migration-Development-Security Nexus. New York: Springer Science and Business Media.
  7. Valdez, A., Kaplan, C.D. & Cepeda, A. (2006). The Drugs-Violence Nexus among Mexican-American Gang Members. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 38(2): 109-121
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