Deep Tech Thought 4: US-Latin American War on Drugs

“There’s also a story about Mexico which doesn’t have a page up yet. Apparently Mexico has had its most deadly year, ever, with violence on the rise. And a stunning figure — since the declaration of a “war on the cartels” by the government a decade ago, nearly 200,000 people in Mexico have dies in drug related violence” said Caulfield.  Drug cartels in Mexico and throughout Latin America have been a problem for years and will be a problem in years to come. This quote stood out to me because it reminded me of the US & Latin Americans political science course I took last semester. In this course we discussed the drug cartel problem and what the US could do in response in regards to foreign policy with Latin America. The problem with drug cartels is that there will always be another cartel or group on the rise for power. If for example, the US takes down a major drug cartel the cartel under it will only rise up to power. Drug cartels have been a problem for decades and people will always find a way to continue it underground. The drug cartel situation in Latin America is violent and has increased crime and murder rates in the region tremendously. The US has tried using the “kingpin strategy” in which you aim to take down the leader of the group and in effect the rest of the cartel/ group will diminish. After the Cold War ended in 1989 the United States was faced with a growing new war, the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs has been the most important post-Cold War issue in US-Latin American relations because it is a never ending problem in the United States. Since President Nixon declared a “War on Drugs” in 1971 it has been the United States national interest to reduce the illegal drug trade. Human drug trafficking has become a popular method of distributing drugs into the US with victims often being women and children. The drugs being trafficked into the US have remained fairly constant such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine as the leading drug demands. There will always be a demand for drugs in the United States and other countries which makes drug trafficking inevitable with drug cartels always on the rise to power also. The War on Drugs that began at the end of the Cold War has created a mass increase in United States spending in order to stop drug trafficking into the country as well. The United States Latin American War on Drugs is still a problem today and with the ongoing demand for drugs and continuous power of drug cartels this issue continues to be a national concern.

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