Mexican Crime Wave

The United States Government warns potential visitors to Mexico, “Crime in Mexico continues at high levels, and it is often violent, especially in Mexico City, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Acapulco, and the state of Sinaloa.. ” (US Department of State). The crimes include; robbery, assault, kidnapping, extortion, and murder. Victims are local citizens an tourist. The leading cause of the high crime rate is the illegal drug trade. Perpetrators of Crime The drug cartels in Mexico are very well organized and financed. There is little if any prosecution of the crimes these huge organizations commit.

The cartels are primarily family run organizations. Their main source of revenue is generated from the transportation of illegal drugs from the cartels in South America to the markets in the United States. The latest numbers put the illegal drug market from Mexico to the United States at $25 - 30 Billion per year. (Stratfor). The cartels openly bribe or assassinate any government official who stands in their way. Stratfor goes on to report that the larger cartels use the services of smaller gangs to do the actual dirty work of “kidnapping, drug distribution, security, intimidation and assassinations.

” (Stratfor). This mode of operations builds an additional buffer of protection between the cartel and the crime. History of Mexican Organized Crime The explosive growth of the Mexican cartels began in the 1960’s with the increase illegal drug use in the United States. Over the following 20 years the cartels become more organized and larger. With multiple mergers and hostile actions against the smaller 1 cartels, a few strong cartels grew into more structured organizations. The strength of the Mexican cartels is a direct result of the efforts of the Unites States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

As the DEA closed down the smuggling routes through the Caribbean into Florida, the routes shifted to Mexico. The 1980’s saw the Columbian cartels being weakened by the actions of the DEA. Drugs being smuggled by boat and air into Florida from South America were being stopped at very successful rates. As the US Government got better at identifying and stopping the drug routes in the south east United States, the Columbians had to come up with an alternative method to keep the illegal markets open. The solution to the problem was for the Columbian cartels to form alliances with the Mexican cartels.

Without intending to do so - the Unites States Government helped the Mexican organized crime families grow. Victims and Activities Everyone is a victim of the increased criminal activity in Mexico. Often the victims are opposition Mexican cartel members. Government officials are prime possible kidnapping victims. Law enforcement officers are often murder victims. Not only are major crimes seeing an increase, petty crimes are also on the rise. Many small neighborhood gangs are increasing their own robbery and theft activities since local law enforcement is focusing efforts on the cartels.

Tourist are potential victims for the local gangs and independent criminals. Pick pocketing, muggings, and purse snatching are all ever growing problem for the Mexican tourism industry. 2 Vigilante Justice Time magazine reports an increase in organized vigilante justice groups forming in Mexico. Some of these groups may be fronts for small gangs, but some are local citizens forming to regain control of their towns and villages. One such group has formed in a Texas border town of Ciudad Juarez. The group calls themselves Juarez Citizens' Command. They sent an e-mail to local

media in January saying “it will give the government until July 5 to restore order or execute one criminal a day. ” Signed by "Comandante Abraham," “the group claims it is financed by local businessmen, and includes university students, entrepreneurs and professionals in its ranks. It offers to cooperate with military intelligence and says it supports the government, but argues that the elected politicians have failed. ” (Grillo). Crossing the Border The increased crime rate in Mexico has begun to spread into the United States. The same gangs that move the illegal drugs across the border are interacting with United

States counterparts. There are territorial disputes among these gangs and violence is increasing in border towns. The illegal drug trade run by organized crime on both sides of the border and recognizes no international borders. Dug related crime is not restricted to border towns. There are organized crime families in the United States who receive the drugs from their Mexican counter parts. These organizations are in large cities and small towns across the United States. As long as there are buyers there will be sellers. The crime problem needs to be dealt with at both ends of the market.

From fields to veins. 3 Bibliography Grillo, I. (2009), Time. com , As Crime Mounts, Mexicans Turn to Vigilante Justice. Retrieved February 22, 2009, from http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1880450,00. html Stratfor, (2008), Stratfor Global Intelligence, Organized Crime in Mexico, Retrieved February 22, 2009, from http://www. stratfor. com/analysis/organized_crime_mexico US Department of State, (2009), Bureau of Consular Affairs, Mexico: Country Specific Data. Retrieved February 22, 2009, from http://travel. state. gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970. html#crime

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