Drug Cartels In Mexico

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Given its geographic location, Mexico has long been used as a staging and transshipment point for narcotics and contraband between Latin America and U.S. markets.
Towards the end of the 19th century, using drugs was a very common thing in the United States, due to the fact that drugs were legal back then. Unlike in today’s society where drugs are legally used to treat pain and illness, drugs a hundred years ago had no limitations. So drug users could find them very easily and often the local pharmacy was the provider.
After the Civil War many soldiers used drugs to still or reduce the pain from injuries. Often times the use resulted into addiction. “By 1895, around three percent of the population of the United States was addicted to morphine”.
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A cartel has basic structures and rigid hierarchies. The three most important cartels in Mexico and at the same time those with the most power are the Tijuana Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel and the Los Zetas.

Officials estimate that the drug trade makes up three to four percent of Mexico's $1.2 trillion annual GDP—totaling as much as $30 billion. It is believed that the cartels and the whole drug industry employs at least half a million people. But the estimated number of unknown members could be much higher.

According to a study performed by Colleen Cook, an analyst in Latin American Affairs, regarding Mexico’s cartels and their operations, it was not until a few years ago that the Mexican cartels began gaining a significant amount of power. Cook states the causes as being, “the demise of the Medellín and Cali cartels in Colombia. Closure of the cocaine trafficking route through Florida also pushed cocaine traffic to Mexico, increasing the role of Mexican cartels in cocaine trafficking.” (Cook pg. 7)

The Cartels are practicing a very violent approach against other cartels and members of the State. That could be a simple policeman on the street or the Attorney

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