Criminal Violence in Mexico

In America, there is a widespread problem of drug overdoses, which is exacerbated by the influx of narcotics from the cartels crossing the border. The impact suffered by civilians due to the state’s violation of human rights in its fight against gangs and drug cartels forces migrants to seek refuge at the U.S. Border. The primary perpetrators of the violence, which has resulted in the deaths of over thirty-thousand individuals annually since 2018, are gangs and drug cartels, leading to a crisis of kidnappings, disappearances, and various other criminal acts in Mexico.

In Mexico, violence escalated as the factions started battling for territorial dominance and market access, resulting in a surge in violence. During the 1980s, these factions became structured, with each group being assigned specific regional territories to control and establishing networks and routes for drug trafficking, coinciding with the growth of production and distribution. Criminal groups and drug traffickers in Mexico underwent organizational changes in the 1980s.

In 2006, when former President Felipe Calderon initiated a campaign to combat cartels using military force, The Mexican government formally declared war on criminal organizations. With a focus on enhancing public safety, President Enrique Peña Nieto modified the strategy of the Calderon administration in 2012, redirecting efforts from violent confrontations to enhancing the capacity of law enforcement.

From 2017 to 2020, a journalist was killed approximately once a week. Since then, the rate of murders has only slightly decreased, with a peak of 33,341 homicides recorded in 2018, due to the rapid escalation of violence. In 2017, a mass grave was discovered in Veracruz State, containing the remains of over 250 victims of violence related to criminal activities. Additionally, the number of drug-related killings had risen by 22 percent, resulting in more than twenty thousand deaths by 2016. Despite initial reductions in homicides following Peña Nieto’s reforms, Mexico continued to grapple with corruption and violence associated with crime. The arrest, subsequent re-arrest, and extradition of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman created a power vacuum within the Sinaloa Cartel, leading to increased violence as rival factions vied for control over new territories and influence.

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In 2019, after winning the election and assuming office, AMLO announced the creation of a new hybrid military and civilian police force (known as the National Guard) to fight drug cartels and stem migration to Guatemala. As part of his campaign trail promises to revolutionize the fight against cartels, AMLO suggested new sentencing guidelines for drug traffickers and the legalization of marijuana, as well as poverty alleviation programs. Recognizing that the use of military force had only increased the level of crime-related violence in Mexico, AMLO committed to reverting to a police-led civilian force and acknowledged the widespread accusations of human rights violations committed by the military.

The anti-corruption reforms have struggled, and the number of attacks on journalists reached a record high in Mexico’s 2021 midterm elections, with the country still reporting over thirty thousand crime-related deaths per year. However, homicide rates have slightly decreased, although AMLO’s tactics to curb violence have mostly been unsuccessful.

In 2021, the Biden administration worked broadly with Framework Bicentennial to replace the draft and rejected its militarized approach. The agreement remained in place until AMLO, the Mexican government, improved cooperation on law and security issues to enhance Mexico-U.S. Relations. In 2007, the Calderon government and the George W. Bush administration launched the Merida Initiative to undermine organizations that threaten the legitimacy and strength of the Mexican government, as well as harm civilian populations in both countries. Additionally, the Mexican cartels represent the greatest drug-related threat, supplying high quantities of Fentanyl, methamphetamines, marijuana, and heroin, which are also smuggled across the southern border into the United States and contribute to the increasing number of drug overdoses. According to the DEA, this poses a significant challenge to drug enforcement in the United States.

The government seems to be considering doubling down on its approach to combat smuggling to the busiest airport in Mexico City by giving control to the navy, announcing it in June. Nonetheless, rights groups say that the military’s policing has eroded the treatment of civilians who face extrajudicial killings, rape, and arbitrary detention. Despite the Supreme Court ruling in April 2023 that the military must remain under civilian control, the government also promised to bring the National Guard under the command of the army until 2028. Mexico’s Congress passed a reform measure that allows the military to carry out domestic law enforcement as a temporary measure, intended to bring the Guard under civilian control. However, despite initially advocating for a less securitized approach to reducing violence and drug trafficking, AMLO’s expanded role of the military in policing has been criticized.

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The control of their expanded and consolidated cartels, armed with heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and heavy weaponry, each battling with drones and

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