Lines of cocaine cover Mexican pesos.

01 Oct How Cartels Affect Life in Mexico Part 1


Did you know that an American is literally over 1000 times more likely to get killed by a Mexican cartel than by a member of ISIS? Despite this fact, it seems that the media coverage that we dedicate to the violence beneath our southern border is slim, by comparison. With this in mind, remember that the violence perpetuated against the people of Mexico by these cartels is even worse. The sad truth is that drug abuse in the United States has a chilling effect that goes far beyond our own borders, as the drug trade is what fuels this institution of violence and despair. Here are some of the ways that cartels affect life in Mexico…

High levels of violence

Mexico has the highest rate of homicide in North America at 15.7 homicides out of every 100,000 citizens. This rate is 5 times that of the United States, and 3 times that of the war-torn country of Afghanistan. In 2015, the homicide rate increased an astonishing 7.5%, which shows that this violent trend is on the rise. This has put many in the country in an uneasy state, with 73% of Mexicans feeling unsure about their safety.

Many Mexicans leave the country

Although there are many factors behind the stream of immigration from Mexico to the United States, many Mexicans have been forced to migrate from their homes because of the danger that is presented in their home region. Younger Mexicans are often leaving the country for secondary education, as well, and many do not come back. This has created a trend of a decrease in high-skilled labor that Mexico will need to compete in the global marketplace.

Corruption hurts open commerce

The size and strength of the cartels has gotten so out of hand, that their influence has become prevalent in many layers of the Mexican government. Corruption has been a lasting issue in Mexico, which was considered a one-party system that functioned through clientelism for most of the 20th century. However, this issue has merged with the violence of cartels, which have been able to avoid showdowns with government forces in key areas because of their relationships with Mexican lawmakers. This sort of corruption makes it harder for commerce to flow between different regions of the country, which handicaps Mexico’s economic strength.

This series will continue in Part 2.

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