Mexican Cartel Implementing US policy

Mexican Cartel Implementing US policy

Robert Bolivar, December 2016

I will be reflecting on how the Mexican cartel plays into the US problem regarding economic downfall and political policies that plan to fix the problems we are currently suffering from as a nation. To first understand the severity of this ongoing issue, we must first understand what exactly the cartel is, and what they stand for. The Mexican cartel, obviously based in Mexico, the border region to the southern United States, is a sort of amplified gang. The cartel is mainly made up of males and their infrastructure represents what is similar to an organized crime way of operating. The organization is similar to the old Italian Mafioso style of organized crime, with regards to the structure they follow. There’s the men (cartel lords) who sit on top who control everything and hold all the power and decide all the dirty moves, positions then trickle down to the men at the bottom of the food chain who do all the dirty work. As a whole, every person connected with the Mexican cartel affects us here in the United States in many ways. Guns, money, drugs, and most importantly people are constantly pouring over the Mexican border into the United States illegally. Some might say that this is because we have a weak border defense and we are not doing enough to guard our homeland, but like every argument there are two sides to the story. The cartel often finds alternate routes over the border than just going through it. They have specialized in building long and skimmed out tunnels that run underground for miles and miles that even the United States have no idea are there. (Back then the drains had gates along the channel between Nogales and Mexico that were made out of simple landing mat and the illegals would just break them open with no problem and make their way through. Among other things McCammack shares that that illegal tunneling may be increasing because Mexican drug cartels are finding it much more difficult to use traditional methods to get drugs into the United States.)[1]

To understand fully how the Mexican cartel affects us here at home, we must analyze it piece by piece. We must analyze how the illegal activities they take part in affects our economy and our policies here in the states. First, we can look at the gun trade that they partake in. The fact of the matter is, that guns are not going anywhere, whether we like it or not. The cartel uses that as leverage in a sense to justify what they do in their own minds. They constantly bring weapons, specifically large capacity firearms, across our borders that are now being used in our country against our own people. For example, about a year ago, a US affiliated Mexican cartel was caught trying to purchase a large amount of firearms from two men that had set up meetings with them multiple times. (Investigators determined that the suspects were actually looking to sell arms to large drug cartels based in Mexico that had operations in the United States, the Interior Ministry said, adding that U.S. drug enforcement authorities were notified) [2]. These guns end up in the hands of those who are not qualified to use them, lack proper permits to use them, and even those who are not legal citizens of the United States, which is a major requirement for owning a firearm. This illegal distribution of guns from Mexico to United States affects small town economic systems by taking money out of the pockets of gun dealerships in specific counties and cities. Guns are expensive to own, expensive to buy, and expensive to maintain, with the cartels distribution at a low price rate here in the United States, it takes money away from the people who legally sell firearms. Policy, especially with regards to the Second Amendment plays a major role in this too. The firearms end up in the hands of people who are not supposed to use them, whether it be a gang member or someone who intends to use it for more insidious purposes. These violent acts have caused a two-sided political argument that has been ongoing for what seems the past decade. On the conservative side, the Second Amendment is fought for, and considered a very important part of our constitution. They think the right to bear arms should be upheld and applied generously to all states. On the other side we have the more liberal way of thinking, which is more on the side of harsher allies being put in place and policies that would restrict gun ownership to certain people. Now that the election results have been finalized, the current Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, claims that he will fight for the second amendment and put a member of Congress on the senate who will be in favor of opposing it. The other candidate for President, Democrat Hillary Clinton, is not against guns per say, but she wants to put policies in place that would make it more difficult to purchase a firearm, which many people are opposed to but isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Either way, illegal firearm distribution is still taking place and both the US and Mexico need to come together in agreement on a policy that would increase defense against this organized crime. (The capacity of both Mexican and US authorities to stop guns at the border has been thrown into doubt by 2009 seizure estimates. With just 37,000 guns seized at the border in 2009, 85% of the illicit arms traffic evaded customs controls in both the United States and Mexico)[3].

The next thing we can analyze is the Mexican cartel’s involvement in drug smuggling that is constantly pouring into the United States. Illegal drugs are a major common factor for the cartel. All drugs play a part in this criminal activity, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, over-the-counter prescription drugs, and even meth are pushed across our borders to make profit here in the United States. (Central America has been central to this because of its role as a transit point for much of the drugs imported to the United States from Mexico, and the growing presence of Mexican cartels in the isthmus)[4]. One way illegal drug trafficking effects are economy here in the United States is when we look at it with regards to the criminal justice system. First, the Drug Enforcement Administration and drug units of statewide and local municipalities spend a significant amount of money trying to prevent drug trafficking and distribution within the states and communities they are based in. Although sometime affective, there’s no way to prevent all the drugs from being trafficked into our country. The amount of time and money that would have to be spent to do so is so large it almost seems insignificant. This is why the next presidential candidate will have to place implemental policies with regards to our southern border and ways to effectively deter the trafficking of drugs into the United States. Where the drugs are ending up is also an important element when analyzing the situation. The cartel brings the drugs into our country, and then the drugs proceed to end up in small communities, small towns, and in the hands of people who can’t handle them. We have a vast amount of people abusing these hard drugs and suffering from it in the long run. People overdose, people get caught with the drugs, and people sell drugs on a micro level. This affects our corrections system, with regards to the overflowing of offenders who are brought in on drug charges. It also affects our rehabilitation system because the cost to rehabilitate an offender who has abused drugs is very expensive nowadays. Are economy is suffering from this as well as the criminal justice system. We need a policy to be put in place to effectively deter these drugs from entering our country.

The mere numbers of people coming from Mexico via the cartel is also a problematic issue here in the states. In some cases, the cartel will kidnap a person, and then proceed to force them across the Mexican/US border for many reasons. (Killings, kidnappings and the selling of ‘security’ by drug cartels and other criminal organizations represent a risk that requires long-term strategies)[5]. One reason is sex trafficking. Another reason they kidnap someone and simply use them as a puppet to do their dirty work. Give that person the drugs, give that person the guns and ship them across the border hoping they don’t get caught, with no regards for their families, for their lives, and what will happen to them if they get caught trying to smuggle those things across our border. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is a strong believer that the Mexican cartel plays a role in our immigration issue as well. He has worked recently with a well-known Arizona Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Together, they have been working on implementing policies that could possibly decrease the amount of undocumented persons entering the United States. Most people think that he is strongly against immigration as a whole that is just not the case. (Issues in the Mexico-US bilateral relationship likely to emerge strongly during the campaign include the Mexican government’s offensive against drug cartels, the fate of Mexicans living illegally in the United States and, potentially, liberalisation of the energy sector)[6]. Immigration done right is a great thing to our country, but immigration done illegally without proper documentation hurts us all in the long run. It cost us money time and planning that could be put to more important things if this issue is to be dealt with in a proper manner.


[1] “McCammack, Jason. “WHAT LIES BENEATH.” Police 39, no. 10 (10, 2015): 58.

[2] “Spanish police arrest 2 men planning to sell arms to Mexican cartels.” EFE World News Service, 13 Dec. 2015. Global Issues in Context, Accessed 31 Oct. 2016.

[3]MEXICO: Cartel capabilities will increase. (2016, Sep 15). OxResearch Daily Brief Service Retrieved from

[4]CENTRAL AMERICA/US: Washington will toughen policy. (2016, Oct 21). OxResearch Daily Brief Service Retrieved from

[5]PROSPECTS Q4 2014: Latin america. (2014, Sep 12). OxResearch Daily Brief Service Retrieved from

[6]MEXICO/US: Parties will have different US agendas. (2012, Mar 16). OxResearch Daily Brief Service Retrieved from

Further Reading

Brown, Jessica Autumn. “Running on Fear: Immigration, Race and Crime Framings in Contemporary GOP Presidential Debate Discourse.” Critical Criminology 24.3 (2016): 315-31. ProQuest. Web. 4 Dec. 2016.

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