Noah Widelo: Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime in Mexico

Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime in Mexico

The issue of drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico has produced longstanding, devastating effects for the country and surrounding regions. Mexico traffics narcotics such as heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and other illicit drugs into South America and the United States. Large drug cartels debilitate the political economy due to corruption of the government through bribery and flagrant drug-related violence. Furthermore, Mexican drug cartels take in between $19 billion and $29 billion a year from drug sales to the United States alone. This fact is one of the primary reasons behind the current administration’s efforts to build a physical barrier along the border. Additionally, in 2018, data showed that homicides in Mexico reached a new high at thirty-six thousand that continues to trend upwards. In 2019, more than seventeen thousand homicides occurred between January and June according to Mexico’s national security system. Mexico receives billions of dollars from the United States in order to reform their judicial system, security forces, and other investments.

The drug related crimes have also negatively individual rights for their citizens and travelers with fear mongering and restricting small business owners using methods of extortion. Many presidents become elected by running on platforms committed towards finding modern ways to combat the high levels of crime. The president can work towards shrinking the underground criminal market through advances in surveillance and strategic intelligence initiatives as well as holding public officials accountable for financial crimes. The problem of drug trafficking and organized crime is multifaceted, which means that every layer in society plays a significant role from policeman to drug lords.


Fas. “Striving For A Safer World Since 1945.” Federation Of American Scientists,

“Mexico’s Drug War.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations,

“Mexico Cartels: Which Are the Biggest and Most Powerful?” BBC News, BBC, 24 Oct. 2019,

“Mexico Drug War Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 28 Aug. 2019,

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