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date: 07 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The story of Mexico’s drug trafficking and today’s unprecedented violence cannot be told without mentioning the United States. This essay offers a historical analysis of the emergence, evolution, and growing power and influence of Mexican drug organizations exploiting the shadows and gaps of the relationship between the two countries. The groups are dubbed “cartels” though they no longer operate like cartels in the traditional sense. They have benefited from political and economic decisions as well as narcotics policy set by both countries in the last century. Even though simple geography accounts a great deal in the development of drug production and smuggling in Mexico, the Mexican political system, its type of governance, and US drug policies have also greatly contributed to the transformation of mom-and-pop gangs into the complex and brutal smuggling syndicates infamous around the globe today.

Keywords: Mexico, United States, cartels, violence, drug trafficking, drug policy

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