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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Mexico’s violent drug war abetted through the U.S.’s drug consumption

Armed men murdered a Mexican state legislative candidate, Jose Francisco Fuentes Esperon, his wife, and their two children on Sept. 5. The suspects are all members of a drug cartel, who were upset by recent members being arrested, according to The New York Times. Both Jose and his wife, Lilian Arguelles Beltran, were shot, while their two sons were suffocated.

Over the past couple of years, the drug cartels have gotten stronger, slowly taking over all illegal drug distribution to the United States. Because of this, the different cartels started to fight each other in order to gain more power.

President Felipe Calderon started to fight the drug cartels in 2007.

“He declared war against the cartels, but he wasn’t prepared for the size of the threat the cartels turned out to represent,” said Sergio Aguayo, a security expert at the Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City to Time magazine.

The truth about the Mexican drug war is that they (drug cartels) do not distinguish between men, women, or children, and over 11,000 people have died since 2006 because of it.

The main drugs the cartels transport to the United States are marijuana and cocaine, which are two drugs used on Guilford’s campus.

“Most of the drugs that students use on campus are ‘blood drugs.’ They have a violent history, and people may have died because of them,” said Laura Herman, a senior who studied abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico last year.

The drug cartels have also started recruiting soldiers to make their cartels stronger and more dangerous. Young men join the Mexican army, go through training, and once they are done, cartels will come and offer them more money to be a part of their gang.

The main government role in the war is fighting against the cartels, but there are those who succumb to pressure and bribes and end up helping them instead.

Because of this corruption, former President Vicente Fox attacked the cartels by going straight for those in power and arresting the bosses, reports BBC News.

The government under Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s current president, launched an offensive against the entire structure of the cartels in 2008, reports BBC News.

Under Calderon, the government is seizing weapons to stop the violence.

“We have seized more than 20,000 from those criminal groups known to have used violence in their activities,” said Facundo Rosas, under secretary for police strategy and intelligence to BBC Mundo.

Mexico is looking for a lifeline, and they are looking towards the United States. Some Mexicans claim that the United States buys all their drugs then abandons Mexico.

“Obama needs to work on stopping all the American drug users. That is where the problem is,” Antonio Santiano, a man who had to close down his business due to the war, said to Newsweek.

“All the drugs are cut and packaged in Mexico, but not many kids openly do drugs there,” said Kevin Thomas, a senior who studied abroad in Guadalajara last year. “Most drugs are sent straight up through the border, and Guilford is a lot closer to the border then people think. A lot of the drugs could come straight here.”

Obama has already pledged to step up his game and help stop guns and drug money from going to Mexico, as well as provide aid to help fight the cartels.

The issue of the drug war has always been there, but for a long time it has been on the back burner of U.S. news. But now, the subject is creeping closer to home each day.

“The truth is, Mexico would not be at the center of cartel activity, or be experiencing this level of violence, were the U.S. not the largest consumer of illicit drugs and the main supplier of weapons to cartels,” Tony Garza, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico said to Time.

$30 billion worth of narcotics have been sent to the United States through Mexico in the past year, reports Time Magazine.

“Without drug use in the United States, there would be no drug war in Mexico. Mexico is just a tunnel that sends all the drugs straight to the United States,” said Thomas.

Guilford may seem unaffected by the drug war, but the truth is, everyone in America plays a part in it.

Since $3 billion are being sent to Mexico each year for drugs, the United States can no longer leave this issue alone.

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