Violence in Mexico

The violence in Mexico is the worst it’s been in decades. Drug trafficking, assaults, theft and homicides are all up. Set in motion 20 years ago, two major events which appeared as victories, have had very negative impacts on Mexico. The first was Colombia’s defeat of its major drug cartel which caused the Mexico drug trade to flourish. The second was Mexico’s transition into a multiparty democracy in 2000, leaving Mexico unable to address the transitioning drug problem. These events have only resulted in a series of crises of violence. Last year there were more than 20,000 homicides, exceeding the previous high record of violence from 2011.


The transition from a single-party system that controlled local officials through corruption to a multiparty democracy left corrupt mayors and judges without governmental corruptors. This opened a power vacuum that was claimed by drug lords and cartels. With increasing drug related deaths and growing power of drug enterprises, Mexico cracked down and resorted to military force. This marked the beginning of a drug war that has killed tens of thousands of people. Security analysts even found that since the change in political climate, the organization of crime works in Mexico have shifted: Drug trafficking now requires resources and infrastructure that the new groups lack which results in more kidnapping, theft and extortion, overall causing a spike predatory crimes. Now innocent citizens in Mexico are targets.  

Mexico is now facing the consequences of corruption, weak accountability, and weak institutions especially in poor and rural areas where criminal groups and youth gangs fill the streets. Despite the strengthening of police, a rise in effective prosecutors, and a shift to democracy, the underlying issue is not narcotic use or distribution. Instead, it is the corruption with community governments. Mexico’s foreign ministry assures “Drug trafficking is a shared problem that will end only by addressing its root causes,” only emphasizing the need for a solution, siding with law enforcement officials who claim there is just too much corruption in their criminal justice system.