Posted by on May 12, 2017 1:00 am
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Categories: Afghanistan Business Central America Department of Homeland Security Economy headlines International Institute for Strategic Studies International relations Iraq Mexico Military history Politics Social Issues War War in Afghanistan

Rising death toll

Voronkova said the number of homicides rose in 22 of Mexico’s 32 states during 2016 and the rivalries between cartels increased in violence.

“It is noteworthy that the largest rises in fatalities were registered in states that were key battlegrounds for control between competing, increasingly fragmented cartels,” she said.

“The violence grew worse as the cartels expanded the territorial reach of their campaigns, seeking to ‘cleanse’ areas of rivals in their efforts to secure a monopoly on drug-trafficking routes and other criminal assets.”

Mexican drug cartels take in between $19 billion and $29 billion annually from US drug sales, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Rivalries between the cartels wreak havoc on the lives of civilians who have nothing to do with narcotics. Bystanders, people who refused to join cartels, migrants, journalists and government officials have all been killed.

Not on news agenda

Jacob Parakilas, assistant head of the US and the Americas Programme at London-based think tank Chatham House, said part of the reason for the relative lack of attention paid to Mexico in the international media is “it’s not a war in the political sense of the word. The participants largely don’t have a political objective. They’re not trying to create a breakaway state. It doesn’t come with the same visuals. There are no air strikes.

“Also this has been going on since the beginning of the modern drug trade in the Americas. It’s not news in that sense. And Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist. They are intentionally targeted in Mexico, which puts a dampener on the ability to report on this.”

Drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is facing trial in New York.

There have, however, been significant arrests in relation to the Mexican drug trade in recent times.

Damaso Lopez Nunez, a high-ranking leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, was arrested on May 2 in Mexico City and could face charges in the US, authorities said.

His arrest follows January’s extradition of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is accused of running the Sinaloa cartel — one of the world’s largest drug-trafficking organizations.

He awaits trial in New York on 17 counts accusing him of running a criminal enterprise responsible for importing and distributing massive amounts of narcotics and conspiring to murder rivals.

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