Mexican state interaction with drug organization

In a recent article I read (the link to which is provided at the bottom of this post) the author illustrated a complex chronology of activities between the U.S. state (including CIA and DEA), the Mexican state (including police force, Army, and Marines), and drug cartels (primarily the Beltran Leyvas gang and the gangs arch kingpin Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman). The article essentially went through four years of activity between these groups; the highlights of the article are as follows. The Mexican Army is plagued with corruption and refused to work with U.S. intelligence officers to take down a major drug lord. The Mexican police force is also corrupted and fired upon U.S. CIA officers. The two mentioned gangs have intense competition and this results in extreme amounts of violence. The Mexican Marines worked with U.S. intelligence officers to shoot down a major drug lord, Arturo Beltran Leyva. Mexican soldiers arrested Hector Beltran Leyva, the leader of the Beltran Leyva gang after Arturo Beltran Leyva’s death. Hector who was one of the U.S.’ most wanted men in the area.

This article is very interesting and relates to many of the topics we have covered in class so far. For one thing, the article dealt specifically with a Mexican drug cartel. Additionally, the article highlighted the fact that there is unstated, yet blatant, corruption of state, police force, and Army by organized crime organizations. The article also illustrated the fact that there is intense competition among drug organizations and that such competition leads to intense violence, which is further intensified by acts of revenge against the state and by an ongoing confrontation between criminal organizations and the state. Furthermore, the article illustrated that criminal organizations often sustain themselves over a long period of time by replacing lost leaders with new ones, thus complicating the concept of eliminating the organization by removing its leadership.

Additionally, the article related to a concept we are currently discussing in class, that of U.S. intervention/assistance to Mexico in the “war on drugs.” In the article, U.S. provided intelligence, opportunities, agents, funds, and training to Mexico. However, the Mexican Army and police force backfired on the U.S. or refused to work with the U.S. This illustrates that perhaps the Mexican state does not want U.S. involvement or aid. On the other hand, the Mexican Marines did utilize U.S. aid and intelligence and, through this, were able to take down a major drug lord, illustrating the fact that the U.S. and Mexico can have very effective results against drug organizations when they work together. It is very interesting to note that the U.S. did not intervene in this operation, but rather simply offered aid and assisted/improved Mexican efforts. This fact is very significant as it maintains Mexico’s sovereignty of affairs in Mexico.


2 thoughts on “Mexican state interaction with drug organization

  1. I thought that this was a very interesting take on the corruption in Mexico: not absolute, but ever present. It gives hope to the idea of working through an era of violent crime syndicates and shutting down international drug trade, all while ridding a developing country of corruption in government. Of course, this is the view of an idealist. A realist would say that the cartels will eventually become too big to stop and that their reach into the pockets of officials will only become a stranglehold on government. It’s a very fine line to walk when it comes to how much can be done between intervening and getting results at the cost of looking like a tyrannical government and standing back and doing nothing, resulting in a stronger criminal organization.


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