Mexican Drug War
Part of a series on the
|History of Mexico|
The Mexican Drug War (also known as the Mexican War on Drugs; Spanish: guerra contra el narcotráfico en México) is an ongoing, asymmetric low intensity conflict between the Mexican Government and various drug trafficking syndicates. Since 2006, when the Mexican military began to intervene, the government's principal goal has been to reduce drug-related violence. The Mexican government has asserted that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on preventing drug trafficking and demand, which is left to U.S. functionaries.
Although Mexican drug trafficking organizations have existed for several decades, their influence increased after the demise of the Colombian Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market and in 2007 controlled 90% of the cocaine entering the United States. Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.
Federal law enforcement has been reorganized at least five times since 1982 in various attempts to control corruption and reduce cartel violence. During that same time period there have been at least four elite Special Forces created as new corruption-free soldiers who could do battle with Mexico's endemic bribery system. Analysts estimate that wholesale earnings from illicit drug sales range from $13.6 to $49.4 billion annually.
The U.S. Congress passed legislation in late June 2008 to provide Mexico with US$1.6 billion for the Mérida Initiative to provide Mexico with law enforcement training and equipment, as well as technical advice to strengthen the national justice systems. By the end of Felipe Calderón's administration (December 1, 2006 – November 30, 2012), the official death toll of the Mexican Drug War was at least 60,000. Estimates set the death toll above 120,000 killed by 2013, not including 27,000 missing.
- 1 Background
- 2 Mexican cartels
- 3 Cartel propaganda
- 4 Paramilitaries
- 5 Firearms
- 6 Operations
- 7 Effects in Mexico
- 8 Effects internationally
- 9 Controversies
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 External links
Due to its location, Mexico has long been used as a staging and transshipment point for narcotics and contraband between Latin America and U.S. markets. Mexican bootleggers supplied alcohol to the United States gangsters throughout the duration of the Prohibition in the United States, and the onset of the illegal drug trade with the U.S. began when the prohibition came to an end in 1933. Towards the end of the 1960s, Mexican narcotic smugglers started to smuggle drugs on a major scale.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, Colombia's Pablo Escobar was the main exporter of cocaine and dealt with organized criminal networks all over the world. When enforcement efforts intensified in South Florida and the Caribbean, the Colombian organizations formed partnerships with the Mexico-based traffickers to transport cocaine by land through Mexico into the United States.
This was easily accomplished because Mexico had long been a major source of heroin and cannabis, and drug traffickers from Mexico had already established an infrastructure that stood ready to serve the Colombia-based traffickers. By the mid-1980s, the organizations from Mexico were well-established and reliable transporters of Colombian cocaine. At first, the Mexican gangs were paid in cash for their transportation services, but in the late 1980s, the Mexican transport organizations and the Colombian drug traffickers settled on a payment-in-product arrangement.
Transporters from Mexico usually were given 35% to 50% of each cocaine shipment. This arrangement meant that organizations from Mexico became involved in the distribution, as well as the transportation of cocaine, and became formidable traffickers in their own right. In recent years, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Gulf Cartel have taken over trafficking cocaine from Colombia to the worldwide markets.
The balance of power between the various Mexican cartels continually shifts as new organizations emerge and older ones weaken and collapse. A disruption in the system, such as the arrests or deaths of cartel leaders, generates bloodshed as rivals move in to exploit the power vacuum. Leadership vacuums are sometimes created by law enforcement successes against a particular cartel, so cartels often will attempt to pit law enforcement against one another, either by bribing Mexican officials to take action against a rival or by leaking intelligence about a rival's operations to the Mexican or U.S. government's, Drug Enforcement Administration.
While many factors have contributed to the escalating violence, security analysts in Mexico City trace the origins of the rising scourge to the unraveling of a longtime implicit arrangement between narcotics traffickers and governments controlled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP), which began to lose its grip on political power in the late 1980s.
The fighting between rival drug cartels began in earnest after the 1989 arrest of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, who ran the cocaine business in Mexico. There was a lull in the fighting during the late 1990s but the violence has steadily worsened since 2000.
The centrist PRI party ruled Mexico for around 70 years until 2000. During this time, drug cartels expanded their power and corruption, and anti-drug operations focused mainly on destroying marijuana and opium crops in mountainous regions. There were no large-scale high-profile military operations against their core structures in urban areas until the 2000 Mexican election, when the right-wing PAN party gained the presidency and started a crackdown on cartels in their own turf.
Presidency of Vicente Fox
In the year 2000 Vicente Fox, from the right-wing PAN party, became the first Mexican president not to be from the PRI party (that ruled Mexico for 70 years), his presidency passed with relative peace, having a crime index not too different to previous administrations, and the Mexican public opinion was mainly optimistic with the regime change, with Mexico even showing a general decline in homicide rates from 2000 to 2007. Being one of Fox's worst administration criticism its management of the peasant unrest in San Salvador Atenco.
During this time, the Mexican criminal underworld was not widely known, as it later became with president Calderon and his War on Drugs. Key components of the upcoming conflict started to occur, like the Sinaloa Cartel attacks and advance on the Gulf Cartel's main turf in Tamaulipas.
It is estimated that on the first 8 months of 2005 (between January and August) about 110 people died in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas as a result of the fighting between the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels. The same year, there was another surge in violence in the state of Michoacán as the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel established itself, after splintering from its former allies, the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas.
Presidency of Felipe Calderón
On December 11, 2006, the newly elected President Felipe Calderón, from the right wing PAN party, dispatched 6,500 Mexican Army soldiers to Michoacán, his home state, to end drug violence there. This action is regarded as the first major retaliation made against the cartel violence, and is generally viewed as the starting point of the Mexican Drug War between the government and the drug cartels. As time passed, Calderón continued to escalate his anti-drug campaign, in which there are now about 45,000 troops involved along with state and federal police forces.
The government was relatively successful in detaining drug lords; however, drug-related violence spiked high in contested area along the US border such as Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, and Matamoros. Some analysts, like US Ambassador in Mexico Carlos Pascual, argued that this rise in violence was a direct result of Felipe Calderón's military measures. Since Calderón launched his military strategy against organized crime, there was an alarming increase in violent deaths related to organized crime, more than 15,000 people died in suspected drug cartel attacks since it was launched at the end of 2006." More than 5,000 people were murdered in Mexico in 2008, followed by 9600 murders in 2009, 2010 was violent, with over 15,000 homicides across the country.
By the end of Calderón's presidency his administration statistics claimed that, during his 6 year term, 50,000 drug related homicides occurred, however later revelations showed that more than 120,000 murders happened as result of the his militaristic anti-drug policy.
Presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto
In 2012, newly elected president Enrique Peña Nieto, from the centrist PRI party, emphasized that he did not support the involvement of armed American agents in Mexico, being only interested in allowing the US to continue with their military training of Mexican forces in counter-insurgency tactics. Peña stated that he planned to deescalate the conflict, focusing in lowering criminal violence rates, as opposed to the previous policy of a attacking drug-trafficking organizations by arresting or killing the most-wanted drug lords and intercepting their drug shipments.
However in the first 14 months of his administration, between December 2012 and January 2014, 23,640 people died in the conflict.
In 2013 Mexico saw the rise of the controversial Grupos de Autodefensa Comunitaria (self-defence groups) in southern Mexico, para-military groups led by land-owners, ranchers and other rural businessmen that took up arms against the criminal groups that wanted to impose dominance in their towns, entering a new phase in the Mexican war on drugs. However this strategy, allegedly proposed by General Óscar Naranjo (Peña's security advisor from Colombia), crumbled when autodefenzas started to have internal organization struggles and disagreements with the government, being finally infiltrated by criminal elements, that deprived the government forces the ability to distinguish between armed-civilian convoys and drug-cartel convoys, forcing Peña's administration to distance from them.
Peña's handling of the 2014 Iguala mass murder of activist students by the hand of corrupt government oficials (coluded with a drug cartel) and the 2015 escape of drug lord "El Chapo" Guzmán from the Altiplano maximum security prison sparked international criticism.
A great part of Peña Nieto's strategy consisted in making the Mexican Interior Ministry the solely responsible for public security and the creation of a national military level police force called the National Gendarmerie. In December 2017, the Law of Internal Security was passed by legislation but was met with criticism, especially from the National Human Rights Commission, accusing it gave the President a blank check.
Presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), the President from the Centre-left National Regeneration Movement party, took office on December 1, 2018. One of his campaign promises was a controversial "strategy for peace", that is to give amnesty to all Mexicans involved in drug production and trafficking as a way to stop the drug trade and the resulting turf violence. His proposed amnesty is still ill-defined. His aides explained that the plan was not to pardon real criminals, like drug cartel members, but to prevent other people from following that path, especially low-income and young people that may end up in jail for drug possession. President López-Obrador points out that the past approaches failed because they were based on misunderstanding the core problem. According to him, the underlying issue is Mexico's great social disparities which previous governments' economic policies did not reduce. He promised not to use arms to suppress the people and announced to free political prisoners. His approach is to pay more attention to the victims of violent crime and wants to revisit two previously taken strategies.
Drug sources and use
Mexico is a major drug transit and producing country. It is the main foreign supplier of cannabis and an important entry point of South American cocaine and Asian methamphetamines to the United States. It is believed that almost half the cartels' revenues come from cannabis. Cocaine, heroin, and increasingly methamphetamine are also traded.
The U.S. State Department estimates that 90 percent of cocaine entering the United States is produced in Colombia (followed by Bolivia and Peru) and that the main transit route is through Mexico. Drug cartels in Mexico control approximately 70% of the foreign narcotics flow into the United States.
Although Mexico accounts for only a small share of worldwide heroin production, it supplies a large share of the heroin distributed in the United States.
Since 2003 Mexican cartels have used the dense, isolated portions of U.S. federal and state parks and forests to grow marijuana under the canopy of thick trees. Billions of dollars’ worth of marijuana has been produced annually on US soil. “In 2006, federal and state authorities seized over 550,000 marijuana plants worth an estimated 1 billion dollars in Kentucky’s remote Appalachian counties” Cartels profited from marijuana growing operations from Arkansas to Hawaii.
The prevalence of illicit drug use in Mexico is still low compared to the United States; however, with the increased role of Mexico in the trafficking and production of illicit drugs, the availability of drugs has slowly increased locally since the 1980s. In the decades before this period, consumption was not generalized – reportedly occurring mainly among persons of high socioeconomic status, intellectuals and artists.
As the United States of America is the world's largest consumer of cocaine, as well as of other illegal drugs, their demand is what motivates the drug business, and the main goal of Mexican cartels is to introduce narcotics into the US.
This has led to a surplus of cocaine which has resulted in local Mexican dealers attempting to offload extra narcotics along trafficking routes, especially in border areas popular among low income North American tourists.
Drug shipments are often delayed in Mexican border towns before delivery to the US, which has forced drug traffickers to increase prices to account for transportation costs of products across international borders, making it a more profitable business for the drug lords, and has likely contributed to the increased rates of local drug consumption.
With increased cocaine use, there has been a parallel rise in demand for drug user treatment in Mexico.
One of the main factors driving the Mexican Drug War is the willingness of mainly lower-class people to earn easy money joining criminal organizations, and the failure of the government to provide the legal means for the creation of well paid jobs. From 2004 to 2008 the portion of the population who received less than half of the median income rose from 17% to 21% and the proportion of population living in extreme or moderate poverty rose from 35 to 46% (52 million persons) between 2006 and 2010.
Among the OECD countries, Mexico has the second highest degree of economic disparity between the extremely poor and extremely rich. The bottom ten percent in the income hierarchy disposes of 1.36% of the country's resources, whereas the upper ten percent dispose of almost 36%. OECD also notes that Mexico's budgeted expenses for poverty alleviation and social development is only about a third of the OECD average.
In 2012 it was estimated that Mexican cartels employed over 450,000 people directly and a further 3.2 million people's livelihoods depended on various parts of the drug trade. In cities such as Ciudad Juárez, up to 60% of the economy depended on illegitimate money making.
Ineffective educational system
Illiteracy and lack of education have been present in Mexico for much of its history. In 1940, 58% of all Mexicans over the age of six were illiterate; in 1960, 38% were illiterate. The 1960 national census found that as to all Mexicans over the age of five, 43.7% had not completed one year of school, 50.7% had completed six years or less of school, and only the remaining 5.6% had continued their education beyond six years of school.
More recently, researchers from the World Economic Forum have noted that despite Mexico's relatively high investment of 5.3% of its GDP in education as of 2009 (31st out of 134 economies), the nation's primary education system is ranked 116th, thereby suggesting "that the problem is not how much but rather how resources are invested". The WEF further explained: "The powerful teachers union, the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), the largest labor union in Latin America, has been in large part responsible for blocking reforms that would increase the quality of spending and help ensure equal access to education. Poor teacher performance and learning outcomes are associated with the SNTE-dominated, centralized collective bargaining for many work rules[.]" The result of the high levels of poverty, lack of well paid jobs, government corruption, and the systemic failure of Mexico's schools has been the appearance of los ninis, an underclass of several million dropouts who ni trabajan ni estudian (neither work nor study), of whom many ended up as combatants on behalf of the cartels.
However, teachers unions argue that they oppose being tested and graded on their students' performance with universally standard exams that do not take into account the socio-economic differences between middle class urban schools and under-equipped poor rural schools, which has an important effect on the students performance. Also, teachers argue that the legislations are ambiguous, only focus on the teachers, without touching the Education Ministry, and will allow more abuses and more political corruption.
The birth of most Mexican drug cartels is traced to former Mexican Judicial Federal Police agent Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo ("The Godfather"), who founded the Guadalajara Cartel in 1980 and controlled most of the illegal drug trade in Mexico and the trafficking corridors across the Mexico–U.S. border along with Juan García Ábrego throughout the 1980s. He started off by smuggling marijuana and opium into the U.S., and was the first Mexican drug chief to link up with Colombia's cocaine cartels in the 1980s. Through his connections, Félix Gallardo became the person at the forefront of the Medellín Cartel, which was run by Pablo Escobar. This was easily accomplished because Félix Gallardo had already established a marijuana trafficking infrastructure that stood ready to serve the Colombia-based cocaine traffickers.
There were no cartels at that time in Mexico.:41 Félix Gallardo was the lord of Mexican drug smugglers. He oversaw all operations; there was just him, his cronies, and the politicians who sold him protection. However, the Guadalajara Cartel suffered a major blow in 1985 when the group's co-founder Rafael Caro Quintero was captured, and later convicted, for the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena. Félix Gallardo afterwards kept a low profile and in 1987 he moved with his family to Guadalajara. According to Peter Dale Scott, the Guadalajara Cartel prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS), under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro.
Félix Gallardo "The Godfather" was arrested on April 8, 1989. He then decided to divide up the trade he controlled as it would be more efficient and less likely to be brought down in one law enforcement swoop.:47 In a way, he was privatizing the Mexican drug business while sending it back underground, to be run by bosses who were less well known or not yet known by the DEA. Gallardo sent his lawyer to convene the nation's top drug traffickers at a house in the resort of Acapulco where he designated the plazas or territories.
The Tijuana route would go to his nephews the Arellano Felix brothers. The Ciudad Juárez route would go to the Carrillo Fuentes family. Miguel Caro Quintero would run the Sonora corridor. Meanwhile, Joaquín Guzmán Loera and Ismael Zambada García would take over Pacific coast operations, becoming the Sinaloa Cartel. Guzmán and Zambada brought veteran Héctor Luis Palma Salazar back into the fold. The control of the Matamoros, Tamaulipas corridor—then becoming the Gulf Cartel—would be left undisturbed to its founder Juan García Ábrego, who was not a party to the 1989 pact.
Félix Gallardo still planned to oversee national operations, as he maintained important connections, but he would no longer control all details of the business. When he was transferred to a high-security prison in 1993, he lost any remaining control over the other drug lords.
In 1999, Gulf Cartel's leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, hired a group of 37 corrupt former elite military soldiers to work for him. These former Airmobile Special Forces Group (GAFE), and Amphibian Group of Special Forces (GANFE) soldiers became known as Los Zetas and began operating as a private army for the Gulf Cartel. During the early 2000s the Zetas were instrumental in the Gulf Cartel's domination of the drug trade in much of Mexico.
After the 2007 arrest and extradition of Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, the Zetas seized the opportunity to strike out on their own. Under the leadership of Heriberto Lazcano, the Zetas, numbering about 300, gradually set up their own independent drug, arms and human-trafficking networks. In 2008, Los Zetas made a deal with ex-Sinaloa cartel commanders, the Beltrán-Leyva brothers and since then, became rivals of their former employer/partner, the Gulf Cartel.
In early 2010 the Zetas made public their split from the Gulf Cartel and began a bloody war with Gulf Cartel over control of northeast Mexico's drug trade routes. This war has resulted in the deaths of thousands of cartel members and suspected members. Furthermore, due to alliance structures, the Gulf Cartel-Los Zetas conflict drew in other cartels, namely the Sinaloa Cartel which fought the Zetas in 2010 and 2011.
The Zetas involved themselves in more than drug trafficking and have also been connected to human trafficking, pipeline trafficked oil theft, extortion, and trading unlicensed CDs. Their criminal network is said to reach far from Mexico including into Central America, the U.S. and Europe.
The Sinaloa Cartel began to contest the Gulf Cartel's domination of the coveted southwest Texas corridor following the arrest of Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cárdenas in March 2003. The "Federation" was the result of a 2006 accord between several groups located in the Pacific state of Sinaloa. The cartel was led by Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, who was Mexico's most-wanted drug trafficker with an estimated net worth of U.S. $1 billion made him the 1140th richest man in the world and the 55th most powerful, according to his Forbes magazine profile. He was arrested and escaped in July 2015, and re-arrested in January 2016. In February 2010, new alliances were formed against Los Zetas and Beltrán-Leyva Cartel.
The Sinaloa Cartel fought the Juárez Cartel in a long and bloody battle for control over drug trafficking routes in and around the northern city of Ciudad Juárez. The battle eventually resulted in defeat for the Juárez Cartel but not before taking the lives of between 5,000 and 12,000 people. During the war for the turf in Ciudad Juárez the Sinaloa Cartel used several gangs (e.g. Los Mexicles, the Artistas Asesinos and Gente Nueva) to attack the Juárez Cartel. The Juárez Cartel similarly used gangs such as La Línea and the Barrio Azteca to fight the Sinaloa Cartel.
As of May 2010, numerous reports by Mexican and U.S. media stated that Sinaloa had infiltrated the Mexican federal government and military, and colluded with it to destroy the other cartels. The Colima, Sonora and Milenio Cartels are now branches of the Sinaloa Cartel.
The Gulf Cartel (Cartel del Golfo), based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, has been one of Mexico's two dominant cartels in recent years. In the late 1990s, it hired a private mercenary army (an enforcer group now called Los Zetas), which in 2006 stepped up as a partner but, in February 2010, their partnership was dissolved and both groups engaged in widespread violence across several border cities of Tamaulipas state, turning several border towns into "ghost towns".
The Gulf Cartel (CDG) was strong at the beginning of 2011, holding off several Zetas incursions into its territory. However, as the year progressed, internal divisions led to intra-cartel battles in Matamoros and Reynosa, Tamaulipas state. The infighting resulted in several arrests and deaths in Mexico and in the United States. The CDG has since broken apart, and it appears that one faction, known as Los Metros, has overpowered its rival Los Rojos faction and is now asserting its control over CDG operations.
The infighting has weakened the CDG, but the group seems to have maintained control of its primary plazas, or smuggling corridors, into the United States. The Mexican federal government has made notable successes in capturing the leadership of the Gulf Cartel. Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, his brothers Antonio Cárdenas Guillén, Mario Cárdenas Guillén, and Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sánchez have all been captured and incarcerated during Felipe Calderón's administration.
La Familia Cartel
La Familia Michoacana was a major Mexican drug cartel based in Michoacán between at least 2006 and 2011. It was formerly allied to the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, but split off and became an independent organization.
In 2009–10, a counter-narcotics offensive by Mexican and U.S. government agencies produced the arrest of at least 345 suspected La Familia members in the U.S., and the incorrectly presumed death of one of the cartel's founders, Nazario Moreno González, on December 9, 2010. The cartel then divided into the Knights Templar Cartel and a José de Jesús Méndez Vargas-led faction, which kept the name La Familia. Following the cartel's fragmentation in late 2010 and early 2011, the La Familia Cartel under Méndez Vargas fought the Knights Templar Cartel but on June 21, 2011 Méndez Vargas was arrested by Mexican authorities and in mid-2011 the attorney general in Mexico (PGR) stated that La Familia Cartel had been "exterminated", leaving only the splinter group, the Knights Templar Cartel.
The Tijuana Cartel, also known as the Arellano Félix Organization, was once among Mexico's most powerful. It is based in Tijuana, one of the most strategically important border towns in Mexico, and continues to export drugs even after being weakened by an internal war in 2009. Due to infighting, arrests and the deaths of some of its top members, the Tijuana Cartel is a fraction of what it was in the 1990s and early 2000s, when it was considered one of the most potent and violent criminal organizations in Mexico by the police. After the arrest or assassination of various members of the Arellano Félix clan, the cartel is currently headed by Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano, a nephew of the Arellano Félix brothers.
The Knights Templar drug cartel (Spanish: Caballeros Templarios) was created in Michoacán in March 2011 after the death of the charismatic leader of La Familia Michoacana cartel, Nazario Moreno González. The Cartel is headed by Enrique Plancarte Solís and Servando Gómez Martínez who formed the Knights Templar due to differences with José de Jesús Méndez Vargas, who had assumed leadership of La Familia Michoacana.
After the emergence of the Knights Templar, sizable battles flared up during the spring and summer months between the Knights Templar and La Familia. The organization has grown from a splinter group to a dominant force over La Familia, and at the end of 2011, following the arrest of José de Jesús "El Chango" Méndez Vargas, leader of La Familia, the cartel appeared to have taken over the bulk of La Familia's operations in Mexico and the U.S. In 2011 the Knights Templar appeared to have aligned with the Sinaloa Federation in an effort to root out the remnants of La Familia and to prevent Los Zetas from gaining a more substantial foothold in the Michoacán region of central Mexico.
Alliances or agreements between drug cartels have been shown to be fragile, tense and temporary. Mexican drug cartels have increased their co-operation with U.S. street and prison gangs to expand their distribution networks within the U.S. On March 31, 2014, Enrique Plancarte Solís, a high-ranking leader in the cartel, was killed by the Mexican Navy.
On 6 September 2016, A Mexican police helicopter was shot down by a gang, killing four people. The police were conducting an operation against criminal groups and drug cartels in Apatzingán, including the Knights Templar Cartel, a suspect.
The Beltrán-Leyva Cartel was a Mexican drug cartel and organized crime syndicate founded by the four Beltrán Leyva brothers: Marcos Arturo, Carlos, Alfredo and Héctor. In 2004 and 2005, Arturo Beltrán Leyva led powerful groups of assassins to fight for trade routes in northeastern Mexico for the Sinaloa Cartel. Through the use of corruption or intimidation, the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel was able to infiltrate Mexico's political, judicial and police institutions to feed classified information about anti-drug operations, and even infiltrated the Interpol office in Mexico.
Following the December 2009 death of the cartel's leader Arturo Beltrán Leyva by Mexican Marines the cartel entered into an internal power struggle between Arturo's brother, Héctor Beltrán Leyva, and Arturo's top enforcer Edgar Valdez Villarreal. Meanwhile, the cartel continued to dissolve with factions such as the South Pacific Cartel, La Mano Con Ojos, Independent Cartel of Acapulco, and La Barredora forming and the latter two cartels starting yet another intra-Beltrán Leyva Cartel conflict.
The Juárez Cartel controls one of the primary transportation routes for billions of dollars' worth of illegal drug shipments annually entering the United States from Mexico. Since 2007, the Juárez Cartel has been locked in a vicious battle with its former partner, the Sinaloa Cartel, for control of Ciudad Juárez. La Línea is a group of Mexican drug traffickers and corrupt Juárez and Chihuahua state police officers who work as the armed wing of the Juárez Cartel. Vicente Carrillo Fuentes headed the Juárez Cartel until his arrest in 2014.
Since 2011, the Juárez Cartel continues to weaken; however, holds presence in the three main points of entry into El Paso, Texas. The Juárez Cartel is only a shadow of the organization it was a decade ago, and its weakness and inability to effectively fight against Sinaloa's advances in Juarez contributed to the lower death toll in Juarez in 2011.
On September 1, 2013, Mexican authorities arrested the alleged Juárez Cartel leader Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, alias Betty la Fea (Ugly Betty) in the western state of Nayarit without any resistance. On October 9, 2014 Mexican forces captured Vicente Carrillo Fuentes in Torreón, Coahuila.
Cartels have been engaged in religious propaganda and psychological operations to influence their rivals and those within their area of influence. They use banners or "narcomantas" to threaten their rivals. Some cartels hand out pamphlets and leaflets to conduct public relation campaigns. Many cartels have been able to control the information environment by threatening journalists, bloggers, and others who speak out against them. They have elaborate recruitment strategies targeting young adults to join their cartel groups. They have successfully branded the word "narco", and the word has become part of Mexican culture. There is music, television shows, literature, beverages, food, and architecture that all have been branded "narco".
Paramilitary groups work alongside cartels to provide protection. This protection began with a focus on maintaining the drug trade; however, paramilitary groups now secure other valuable industries such as oil and mining. It has been suggested that the rise in paramilitary groups coincides with a loss of security within the government. These paramilitary groups came about in a number of ways. First, waves of elite armed forces and government security experts have left the government to join the side of the cartels, responding to large bribes and an opportunity for wealth they may not have received in government positions. One such paramilitary group, the Zetas, employed military personnel to create one of the largest groups in Mexico. Some of the elite armed forces members who join paramilitaries are trained in the School of the Americas. These paramilitaries have sprung out of deregulation of the Mexican army, which has been slowly replaced by private security firms. Paramilitaries, including the Zetas, have now entered uncharted territories. Branching out of just protecting drug cartels, paramilitary groups have entered many other financially profitable industries, such as oil, gas, kidnapping, and counterfeiting electronics. There has been a complete and total loss of control by the government and the only response has been to increase army presence, notably an army whose officials are often on the drug cartels payroll. The United States has stepped in to offer support in the “War on Drugs” through funding, training and military support, and transforming the Mexican judicial system to parallel the American system.
Smuggling of firearms
Mexicans have a constitutional right to own firearms, but legal purchase from the single Mexican gun shop in Mexico City is extremely difficult. Firearms that make their way to Mexico come from the American civilian market. Most grenades and rocket-launchers are smuggled through Guatemalan borders, as leftovers from past central-American conflicts. However some grenades are also smuggled from the U.S. to Mexico  or stolen from the Mexican military.
The most common weapons used by the cartels are the AR-15, M16, M4, AK-47, and AKM assault rifles. Handguns are very diverse, but the FN Five-seven (dubbed Matapolicías or Cop-killer by criminals) is a popular choice due to its armor-piercing capability. Grenade launchers are known to have been used against Mexican security forces, H&K G36s and M4 carbines with M203 grenade launchers have been confiscated.
Some researchers have asserted that most weapons and arms trafficked into Mexico come from gun dealers in the United States. There is also strong evidence for this conclusion, indicating that many of the traceable weapons come from the failed American government Operation "Fast and Furious", and there is a geographic coincidence between the supposed American origin of the firearms and the places where these weapons are seized: Mainly in the northern Mexican states  Most grenades and rocket-launchers are smuggled through Guatemalan borders from Central America. However some grenades are also smuggled from the US to Mexico  or stolen from the Mexican military. DHS officials have stated that the statistic is misleading: out of approximately 30,000 weapons seized in drug cases in Mexico in 2004–2008, 7,200 appeared to be of U.S. origin, approximately 4,000 were found in ATF manufacturer and importer records, and 87 percent of those—3,480—originated in the United States.
In an effort to control smuggling of firearms, the U.S. government is assisting Mexico with technology, equipment and training. Project Gunrunner was one such efforts between the U.S. and Mexico to collaborate in tracing Mexican guns which were manufactured in or imported legally to the U.S.
In 2008, it was falsely reported that ninety percent of arms either captured in Mexico or interdicted were from the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and others have dispelled these claims, pointing that the Mexican sample submitted for ATF tracing is the fraction of weapons seized that appear to have been made in the U.S. or imported into the U.S.
In 2015, Official reports of the U.S. government and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives (ATF) revealed that over the last years, Mexican cartels improved their firearm power, and that 70% of their weapons come from the U.S. Many of those guns were manufactured in Romania and Bulgaria, and then imported into the U.S. The Mexican cartels acquire those firearms mainly in the southern states of Texas, Arizona and California. After the United States, the top five countries of origin of firearms seized from Mexico were Spain, China, Italy, Germany and Romania. These five countries represent 17% of firearms smuggled into Mexico 
ATF Project Gunrunner has stated that the official objective is to stop the sale and export of guns from the United States into Mexico in order to deny Mexican drug cartels the firearms considered "tools of the trade". However, in February 2011, it brought about a scandal when the project was accused of accomplishing the opposite by ATF permitting and facilitating "straw purchase" firearm sales to traffickers, and allowing the guns to "walk" and be transported to Mexico. Allegedly, the ATF allowed to complete the transactions to expose the supply chain and gather intelligence. It has been established that this operation violated long-established ATF policies and practices and that it is not a recognized investigative technique. Several of the guns sold under the Project Gunrunner were recovered from crime scenes in Arizona, and at crime scenes throughout Mexico, resulting in considerable controversy.
One notable incident was the "Black Swan operation" where Joaquín Guzmán Loera was finally captured. The ATF confirmed that one of the weapons the Mexican Navy seized from Guzmán's gunmen was one of the many weapons that were "lost" during the Project Gunrunner 
Many weapons from Project Gunrunner were found in a secret compartment from the "safe house" of José Antonio Marrufo "El Jaguar", one of Guzmán's most sanguinary lieutenants. He is accused of many killings in Ciudad Juárez, including the notorious massacre of 18 patients of the reahabilitation center "El Aliviane". It is believed that Marrufo armed his gunmen with weapons purchased in the United States.
Although violence between drug cartels had been occurring long before the war began, the government held a generally passive stance regarding cartel violence in the 1990s and early 2000s. That changed on December 11, 2006, when newly elected President Felipe Calderón sent 6,500 federal troops to the state of Michoacán to end drug violence there (Operation Michoacán). This action is regarded as the first major operation against organized crime, and became the starting point of the war between the government and the drug cartels. Calderón escalated his anti-drug campaign, in which there are now about 45,000 troops involved in addition to state and federal police forces. In 2010 Calderón said that the cartels seek "to replace the government" and "are trying to impose a monopoly by force of arms, and are even trying to impose their own laws."
As of 2011, Mexico's military captured 11,544 people who were believed to have been involved with the cartels and organized crime. In the year prior, 28,000 individuals were arrested on drug-related charges. The decrease in eradication and drug seizures, as shown in statistics calculated by federal authorities, poorly reflects Calderón's security agenda. Since the war began, over forty thousand people have been killed as a result of cartel violence. During Calderón's presidential term, the murder rate of Mexico has increased dramatically.
Although Calderón set out to end the violent warfare between rival cartel leaders, critics argue that he inadvertently made the problem worse. The methods that Calderón adopted involved confronting the cartels directly. These aggressive methods have resulted in public killings and torture from both the cartels and the country's own government forces, which aids in perpetuating the fear and apprehension that the citizens of Mexico have regarding the war on drugs and its negative stigma. As cartel leaders are being removed from their positions, either in the form of arrest or death, power struggles for leadership in the cartels have become more intense, resulting in enhanced violence within the cartels themselves.
Calderón's forces concentrate on taking down cartel members that have a high ranking in the cartel in an attempt to take down the whole organization. The resulting struggle to fill the recently vacated position is one that threatens the existence of many lives in the cartel. Typically, many junior-level cartel members then fight amongst one another, creating more and more chaos. The drug cartels are more aggressive and forceful now than they were in the past and at this point, the cartels hold much of the power in Mexico. Calderón relies heavily on the military to defend and fight against cartel activity. Calderón's military forces have yet to yield significant results in dealing with the violent cartels due in part to the fact that many of the law enforcement officials working for the Mexican government are suspected of being corrupt. There is suspicion that cartels have corrupted and infiltrated the military at a high level, influencing many generals and officers. Mexico's National Human Rights Commission has received nearly 5,800 complaints regarding military abuse since the beginning of the drug war in 2006. Additionally, the National Human Rights Commission has completed nearly 90 in-depth reports since 2007, addressing the many human rights violations towards civilians that have occurred while the military officers were actively participating in law enforcement activities.
Violence in May 2012 in which nearly 50 bodies were found on a local highway between the Mexico–United States border and Monterrey has led to the arrests of 4 high-ranking Mexican military officials. These officials were suspected of being on the cartel payrolls and alerting the cartels in advance of military action against them. Such actions demonstrate that Calderón's significant military offensive will continue to reveal mixed results until the military itself is rid of the corrupting influences of the cartels whom they supposedly aim to persecute.[neutrality is disputed]
In April 2008, General Sergio Aponte, the man in charge of the anti-drug campaign in the state of Baja California, made a number of allegations of corruption against the police forces in the region. Among his allegations, Aponte stated that he believed Baja California's anti-kidnapping squad was actually a kidnapping team working in conjunction with organized crime, and that bribed police units were being used as bodyguards for drug traffickers.
These accusations sent shock waves through state government. Many of the more than 50 accused officials quit or fled. The progress against drug cartels in Mexico has been hindered by bribery, intimidation, and corruption; four months later the General was relieved of his command.
In March 2009, President Calderón called in an additional 5,000 Mexican Army troops to Ciudad Juárez. The United States Department of Homeland Security has also said that it is considering using state National Guard troops to help the U.S. Border Patrol counter the threat of drug violence in Mexico from spilling over the border into the US. The governors of Arizona and Texas have encouraged the federal government to use additional National Guard troops from their states to help those already there supporting state law enforcement efforts against drug trafficking.
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, Mexican cartels are the predominant smugglers and wholesale distributors of South American cocaine and Mexico-produced cannabis, methamphetamine and heroin. Mexico's cartels have existed for some time, but have become increasingly powerful in recent years with the demise of the Medellín and Cali cartels in Colombia. The Mexican cartels are expanding their control over the distribution of these drugs in areas controlled by Colombian and Dominican criminal groups, and it is now believed they control most of the illegal drugs coming into the U.S.
No longer constrained to being mere intermediaries for Colombian producers, Mexican cartels are now powerful organized-crime syndicates that dominate the drug trade in the Americas.
Mexican cartels control large swaths of Mexican territory and dozens of municipalities, and they exercise increasing influence in Mexican electoral politics. The cartels are waging violent turf battles over control of key smuggling corridors from Matamoros to San Diego. Mexican cartels employ hitmen and groups of enforcers, known as sicarios. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that the Mexican drug cartels operating today along the border are far more sophisticated and dangerous than any other organized criminal group in U.S. law enforcement history. The cartels use grenade launchers, automatic weapons, body armor, Kevlar helmets, and sometimes unmanned aerial vehicles. Some groups have also been known to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Casualty numbers have escalated significantly over time. According to a Stratfor report, the number of drug-related deaths in 2006 and 2007 (2,119 and 2,275) more than doubled to 5,207 in 2008. The number further increased substantially over the next two years, from 6,598 in 2009 to over 11,000 in 2010. According to data of the Mexican government, the death numbers are even higher: 9,616 in 2009, 15,273 in 2010, coming to a total of 47,515 killings since their military operations against drug cartels began in 2006, as stated in the government's report of January 2012.
On 7 October 2012, the Mexican Navy responded to a civilian complaint reporting the presence of armed gunmen in Sabinas, Coahuila. Upon the navy's arrival, the gunmen threw grenades at the patrol from a moving vehicle, triggering a shootout that left Lazcano and another gunman dead and one marine slightly wounded. The vehicle was found to contain a grenade launcher, 12 grenades, possibly a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and two rifles, according to the navy. The Navy managed to confirm his death through fingerprint verification and photographs of his corpse before handing the body to the local authorities. Lazcano is the most powerful cartel leader to be killed since the start of Mexico's Drug War in 2006, according to Reuters.
This death came just hours after the navy arrested a high-ranking Zeta member in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Salvador Alfonso Martínez Escobedo.
The apparent death of Lazcano may benefit three parties: the Mexican Navy, who scored a significant blow to organized crime with the death of Lazcano; Miguel Treviño Morales, who rose as the "uncontested" leader of Los Zetas; and Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and the main rival of Los Zetas. El Chapo is perhaps the biggest winner of the three, since his primary goal is to take over the smuggling routes in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, the headquarters of Treviño Morales. If the body hadn't been stolen, it would also be a symbolic victory for Felipe Calderón, who can say that his administration took down one of the founders and top leaders of Los Zetas and consequently boost the morale of the Mexican military.
Analysts say that Lazcano's death does not signify the end of Los Zetas. As seen in other instances when top cartel leaders are taken out, fragmenting within the organizations occur, causing short-term violence. Los Zetas have a line of succession when leaders are arrested or killed, but the problem is that most of these replacements are younger, less-experienced members who are likely to resort to violence to maintain their reputation.
Torres Félix, one of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel was killed in a gunbattle with the Mexican Army in the community of Oso Viejo in Culiacán, Sinaloa early in the morning on 13 October 2012. His body was sent to the forensic center and was guarded by military-men in order to prevent his henchmen from snatching the body.
After the shootout, the military confiscated several stashes of weapons, ammunition, and other materials.
Effects in Mexico
200,000 people died in the conflict by June 2017, while another 30,000 were missing. 83,191 were killed during Felipe Calderon's administration between December 2006 and October 2012, while 23,640 died in the first 14 months of Enrique Peña Nieto's administration between December 2012 and January 2014. By the start of 2011, 1,000 children had been killed. 58 reporters also died by the start of 2010. 511 American civilians were killed in Mexico between 2006 and 2012.
|Period||Number of killed|
The Mexican attorney general's office has claimed that 9 of 10 victims of the Mexican Drug War are members of organized-crime groups, although this figure has been questioned by other sources. Deaths among military and police personnel are an estimated 7% of the total. The states that suffer from the conflict most are Baja California, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León and Sinaloa. President Calderón's government is currently fighting the traffickers, especially in his home state of Michoacán, but also including operations in the states of Jalisco and Guerrero, and in 2009 drug-related violence increased considerably in Sonora.
By January 2007, these various operations had extended to the states of Guerrero as well as the so-called "Golden Triangle States" of Chihuahua, Durango, and Sinaloa. In the following February the states of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas were included as well.
Seizures and arrests have jumped since Calderón took office in December 2006, and Mexico has extradited more than 100 people wanted in the U.S.
On July 10, 2008, the Mexican government announced plans to nearly double the size of its Federal Police force to reduce the role of the military in combating drug trafficking. The plan, known as the Comprehensive Strategy Against Drug Trafficking, also involves purging local police forces of corrupt officers. Elements of the plan have already been set in motion, including a massive police recruiting and training effort intended to reduce the country's dependence in the drug war on the military.
On July 16, 2008, the Mexican Navy intercepted a 10-meter long narco-submarine travelling about 200 kilometers off the southwest of Oaxaca; in a raid, Special Forces rappelled from a helicopter onto the deck of the submarine and arrested four smugglers before they could scuttle their vessel. The vessel was found to be loaded with 5.8 tons of cocaine and was towed to Huatulco, Oaxaca, by a Mexican Navy patrol boat.
One escalation in this conflict is the traffickers' use of new means to claim their territory and spread fear. Cartel members have broadcast executions on YouTube and on other video sharing sites or shock sites, since the footage is sometimes so graphic that YouTube will not host the video. The cartels have also hung banners on streets stating their demands and/or warnings.
The 2008 Morelia grenade attacks took place on September 15, 2008, when two hand grenades were thrown onto a crowded plaza, killing ten people and injuring more than 100. Some see these efforts as intended to sap the morale of government agents assigned to crack down on the cartels; others see them as an effort to let citizens know who is winning the war. At least one dozen Mexican norteño musicians have been murdered. Most of the victims performed what are known as narcocorridos, popular folk songs that tell the stories of the Mexican drug trade—and celebrate its leaders as folk heroes.
The extreme violence is jeopardizing foreign investment in Mexico, and the Finance Minister, Agustín Carstens, said that the deteriorating security alone is reducing gross domestic product annually by 1% in Mexico, Latin America's second-largest economy.
Teachers in the Acapulco region were "extorted, kidnapped and intimidated" by cartels, including death threats demanding money. They went on strike in 2011.
Mexican cartels advance their operations, in part, by corrupting or intimidating law enforcement officials. Mexican municipal, state, and federal government officials, along with the police forces, often work together with the cartels in an organized network of corruption. A Pax Mafioso, is a specific example of corruption which guarantees a politician votes and a following in exchange for turning a 'blind eye' towards a particular cartel.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) reports that although the central government of Mexico has made concerted efforts to reduce corruption in recent years, it remains a serious problem. Some agents of the Federal Investigations Agency (AFI) are believed to work as enforcers for various cartels, and the Attorney General (PGR) reported in December 2005 that nearly 1,500 of AFI's 7,000 agents were under investigation for suspected criminal activity and 457 were facing charges.
In recent years, the federal government conducted purges and prosecution of police forces in Nuevo Laredo, Michoacán, Baja California and Mexico City. The anti-cartel operations begun by President Calderón in December 2006 includes ballistic checks of police weapons in places where there is concern that police are also working for the cartels. In June 2007, President Calderón purged 284 federal police commanders from all 31 states and the Federal District.
Under the 'Cleanup Operation' performed in 2008, several agents and high-ranking officials have been arrested and charged with selling information or protection to drug cartels; some high-profile arrests were: Victor Gerardo Garay Cadena, (chief of the Federal Police), Noé Ramírez Mandujano (ex-chief of the Organized Crime Division (SEIDO)), José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos (ex-chief of the Organized Crime Division (SEIDO)), and Ricardo Gutiérrez Vargas who is the ex-director of Mexico's Interpol office. In January 2009, Rodolfo de la Guardia García, ex-director of Mexico's Interpol office, was arrested. Julio César Godoy Toscano, who was just elected July 5, 2009 to the lower house of Congress, is charged with being a top-ranking member of La Familia Michoacana drug cartel and of protecting this cartel. He is now a fugitive.
In May 2010 an NPR report collected allegations from dozens of sources, including US and Mexican media, Mexican police officials, politicians, academics, and others, that Sinaloa Cartel had infiltrated and corrupted the Mexican federal government and the Mexican military by bribery and other means. According to a report by the U.S. Army Intelligence section in Leavenworth, over a 6-year period, of the 250,000 soldiers in the Mexican Army, 150,000 deserted and went into the drug industry.
The 2010 NPR report also stated that Sinaloa was colluding with the government to destroy other cartels and protect itself and its leader, 'Chapo'. Mexican officials denied any corruption in the government's treatment of drug cartels. Cartels had previously been reported as difficult to prosecute "because members of the cartels have infiltrated and corrupted the law enforcement organizations that are supposed to prosecute them, such as the Office of the Attorney General."
Impact on human rights
The drug control policies Mexico has adopted to prevent drug trafficking and to eliminate the power of the drug cartels have adversely affected the human rights situation in the country. These policies have given the responsibilities for civilian drug control to the military, which has the power to not only carry out anti-drug and public security operations but also enact policy. According to the United States Department of State, the police and the military in Mexico were accused of committing serious human rights violations as they carried out government efforts to combat drug cartels.
Some groups are especially vulnerable to human rights abuses collateral to drug law enforcement. Specifically in northern border states that have seen elevated levels of drug-related violence, human rights violations of injection drug users (IDUs) and sex workers by law enforcement personnel include physical and sexual violence, extortion, and targeting for accessing or possession of injection equipment or practicing sex work, although these activities are legal. Such targeting is especially deleterious because members of these marginalized communities often lack the resources and social or political capital to vindicate their rights.
Immense power in the executive branch and corruption in the legislative and judiciary branches also contribute to the worsening of Mexico's human rights situation, leading to such problems as police forces violating basic human rights through torture and threats, the autonomy of the military and its consequences and the ineffectiveness of the judiciary in upholding and preserving basic human rights. Some of the forms of human rights violations in recent years presented by human rights organizations include illegal arrests, secret and prolonged detention, torture, rape, extrajudicial execution, and fabrication of evidence.
Drug policy fails to target high-level traffickers. In the 1970s, as part of the international Operation Condor, the Mexican government deployed 10,000 soldiers and police to a poverty-stricken region in northern Mexico plagued by drug production and leftist insurgency. Hundreds of peasants were arrested, tortured, and jailed, but no major drug traffickers were captured.
The emergence of internal federal agencies that are often unregulated and unaccountable also contributes to the occurrence of human rights violations.[according to whom?] The Federal Investigations Agency (Agencia Federal de Investigación-AFI) of Mexico had been involved with numerous human rights violation cases involving torture and corruption. In one case, detainee Guillermo Velez Mendoza died while in the custody of AFI agents. The AFI agent implicated in his death was arrested but he escaped after being released on bail.
Similarly, nearly all AFI agents evaded punishment and arrest due to the corrupt executive and judiciary system and the supremacy of these agencies. The Attorney General's Office reported in December 2005 that one-fifth of its officers were under investigation for criminal activity, and that nearly 1,500 of AFI's 7,000 agents were under investigation for suspected criminal activity and 457 were facing charges. The AFI was finally declared a failure and was disbanded in 2009.
Ethnic prejudices have also emerged in the drug war, and poor and helpless indigenous communities have been targeted by the police, military, drug traffickers and the justice system. According to the National Human Rights Commission (Mexico) (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos-CNDH), nearly one-third of the indigenous prisoners in Mexico in 2001 were in prison for federal crimes, which are mostly drug-related.
Another major concern is the lack of implementation of the Leahy Law in U.S. and the consequences of that in worsening the human rights situation in Mexico. Under this U.S. law, no member or unit of a foreign security force that is credibly alleged to have committed a human rights violation may receive U.S. security training. It is alleged[by whom?] that the U.S., by training the military and police force in Mexico, is in violation of the Leahy Law. In this case, the U.S. embassy officials in Mexico in charge of human rights and drug control programs are blamed with aiding and abetting these violations. In December 1997, a group of heavily armed Mexican special forces soldiers kidnapped twenty young men in Ocotlan, Jalisco, brutally torturing them and killing one. Six of the implicated officers had received U.S. training as part of the Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE) training program.
Impact on public health
As a result of "spillover" along the US-bound drug trafficking routes and more stringent border enforcement, Mexico's northern border states have seen increased levels of drug consumption and abuse, including elevated rates of drug injection 10 to 15 times the national average. These rates are accompanied by mounting rates of HIV and STIs among injection drug users (IDUs) and sex workers, reaching a 5.5% prevalence in cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, which also report STI rates of 64% and 83%, respectively. Violence and extortion of IDUs and sex workers directly and indirectly elevate the levels of risk behavior and poor health outcomes among members of these groups. Marginalization of these vulnerable groups by way of physical and sexual violence and extortion by police threatens the cross-over of infection from high-prevalence groups to the general population. In particular, decreased access to public health services, such as syringe exchange programs, and confiscation of syringes, even in view of syringe access and possession being legal, can precipitate a cascade of health harms. Geographic diffusion of epidemics from the northern border states elsewhere is also possible with the rotation of police and military personnel stationed in drug conflict areas with high infection prevalence.
Journalists and the media
The increase in violence related with organized crime has significantly deteriorated the conditions in which local journalism is practiced. In the first years of the 21st century, Mexico was considered the most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism, according to groups like the National Human Rights Commission, Reporters Without Borders, and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Between 2000 and 2012, several dozen journalists, including Miguel Ángel López Velasco, Luis Carlos Santiago, and Valentín Valdés Espinosa, were murdered there for covering narco-related news.
Offices of Televisa and of local newspapers have been bombed. The cartels have also threatened to kill news reporters in the U.S. who have done coverage on the drug violence. Some media networks simply stopped reporting on drug crimes, while others have been infiltrated and corrupted by drug cartels. In 2011, Notiver journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco and his wife and son were murdered in their home.
About 74 percent of the journalists killed since 1992 in Mexico have been reporters for print newspapers, followed in number by Internet media and radio at about 11 percent each. Television journalism only includes 4 percent of the deaths. These numbers are not proportional to the audience size of the different mediums; most Mexican households have a television, a large majority have a radio, but only a small number have the internet, and the circulation numbers for Mexican newspapers are relatively low.
Since harassment neutralized many of the traditional media outlets, anonymous blogs like Blog del Narco took on the role of reporting on events related to the drug war. The drug cartels responded by murdering bloggers and social media users. Twitter users have been tortured and killed for posting and denouncing information of the drug cartels' activities. In September 2011, user NenaDLaredo of the website Nuevo Laredo Envivo was murdered allegedly by the Zetas.
In May 2012 several journalist murders occurred in Veracruz. Regina Martinez of Proceso was murdered in Xalapa. A few days later, three Veracruz photojournalists were tortured and killed and their dismembered bodies were dumped in a canal. They had worked for various news outlets, including Notiver, Diario AZ, and TV Azteca. Human rights groups condemned the murders and demanded the authorities investigate the crimes.
Murders of politicians
Since the start of the Mexican Drug War in 2006, the drug trafficking organizations have slaughtered their rivals, killed policemen, and now increasingly targeted politicians – especially local leaders. Most of the places where these politicians have been killed are areas plagued by drug-related violence. Part of the strategy used by the criminal groups behind the killings of local figures is the weakening of the local governments. For example, María Santos Gorrostieta Salazar, the former mayor of a town in western Mexico, who had survived three earlier assassination attempts and the murder of her husband, was abducted and beaten to death in November 2012. Extreme violence puts politicians at the mercy of the mafias, thus allowing the cartels to take control of the fundamental government structures and expand their criminal agendas.
In addition, because mayors usually appoint local police chiefs, they are seen by the cartels as key assets in their criminal activities to control the police forces in their areas of influence. The cartels also seek to control the local governments to win government contracts and concessions; these "public works" help them ingrain themselves in the community and gain the loyalty and respect of the communities in which they operate. Politicians are usually targeted for three reasons: (1) Political figures who are honest pose a direct threat to organized crime, and are consequently killed by the cartels; (2) Politicians make arrangements to protect a certain cartel and are killed by a rival cartel; and (3) a cartel simply kills politicians to heat up the turf of the rival cartel that operates in the area.
Massacres and exploitation of migrants
The cartels engage in kidnapping, ransom, murder, robbery, and extortion of migrants traveling from Central America through Mexico on their way to El Norte (the United States and Canada). Sometimes the cartels force the migrants to join their organization and work for them. Mass graves have been also discovered in Mexico containing bodies of migrants. In 2011, 177 bodies were discovered in a mass grave in Tamaulipas, the same area where the bodies of 72 migrants were discovered in 2010. In a case in San Fernando, Mexico, most of the dead had "died of blunt force trauma to the head."
The cartels have also infiltrated the Mexican government's immigration agencies, and attacked and threatened immigration officers. The National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH) said that 11,000 migrants had been kidnapped in 6 months in 2010 by drug cartels.
There are documented links between the drug cartels and human trafficking for forced labor, forced prostitution, and rape. A wife of a narco described a system in which young girls became prostitutes and then were forced to work in drug factories. Circa 2011, Los Zetas reportedly began to move into the prostitution business (including the prostitution of children) after previously being only 'suppliers' of women to already existing networks.
The U.S. State Department says that the practice of forced labor in Mexico is larger in extent than forced prostitution. Mexican journalists like Lydia Cacho have been threatened, beaten, raped, and forced into exile for reporting on these facts.
Improved cooperation of Mexico with the U.S. led to the recent arrests of 755 Sinaloa cartel suspects in U.S. cities and towns, but the U.S. market is being eclipsed by booming demand for cocaine in Europe, where users now pay twice the going U.S. rate. U.S. Attorney General announced September 17, 2008 that an international drug interdiction operation, Project Reckoning, involving law enforcement in the United States, Italy, Canada, Mexico and Guatemala had netted more than 500 organized crime members involved in the cocaine trade. The announcement highlighted the Italian-Mexican cocaine connection.
In December 2011 the government of Spain remarked that Mexican cartels have multiplied their operations in that country, becoming the main entry point of cocaine into Europe.
In 2012 it was reported that Mexican drug cartels had joined forces with the Sicilian Mafia, when Italian officials unearthed information that Palermo’s black market, along with other Italian ports, was being used by Mexico's drug cartels as a conduit to bring drugs to the European market, in which they had been trafficking drugs, particularly cocaine, throughout the Atlantic Ocean for over 10 years to Europe.
The Mexican Army crackdown has driven some cartels to seek a safer location for their operations across the border in Guatemala, attracted by corruption, weak policing and its position on the overland smuggling route. The smugglers pick up drugs from small planes that land at private airstrips hidden in the Guatemalan jungle. The cargo is then moved up through Mexico to the U.S. border. Guatemala has also arrested dozens of drug suspects and torched huge cannabis and poppy fields. The U.S. government sent speedboats and night-vision goggles under a regional drug aid package.
In February 2009, Los Zetas threatened to kill the president of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom. On March 1, 2010, Guatemala's chief of national police and the country's top anti-drugs official was arrested over alleged links to drug trafficking. A report from the Brookings Institution warns that, without proactive, timely efforts, the violence will spread throughout the Central American region.
According to the United States government, Los Zetas control 75% of Guatemala through violence, political corruption and infiltration in the country's institutions. Sources mentioned that Los Zetas gained ground in Guatemala after they killed several high-profile members and the supreme leader of Los Leones, an organized crime group from Guatemala.
At least nine Mexican and Colombian drug cartels have established bases in 11 West African nations. They are reportedly working closely with local criminal gangs to carve out a staging area for access to the lucrative European market. The Colombian and Mexican cartels have discovered that it is much easier to smuggle large loads into West Africa and then break that up into smaller shipments to Europe – mostly Spain, the United Kingdom and France. Higher demand for cocaine in Western Europe in addition to North American interdiction campaigns has led to dramatically increased trafficking in the region: nearly 50% of all non-U.S. bound cocaine, or about 13% of all global flows, is now smuggled through West Africa.
The Mexican Army has severely curtailed the ability of the Mexican drug cartels to move cocaine inside the U.S. and Canada, prompting an upsurge in gang violence in Vancouver, where the cocaine price has increased from $23,300 to almost $39,000 per kilo as both the U.S. and Canadian drug markets are experiencing prolonged shortages of cocaine. As evidence of this pressure, the U.S. government says the amount of cocaine seized on U.S. soil dropped by 41 percent between early 2007 and mid-2008. Since 2009 Vancouver, British Columbia became the main Mexican drug cartels' center of operations in Canada.
The U.S. Justice Department considers the Mexican drug cartels to be the "greatest organized crime threat to the United States." During the first 18 months of Calderón's presidency, the Mexican government has spent about US$7 billion in the war against drugs. In seeking partnership from the United States, Mexican officials point out that the illicit drug trade is a shared problem in need of a shared solution, and remark that most of the financing for the Mexican traffickers comes from American drug consumers. On March 25, 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that "[America's] insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade", and that "the United States bears shared responsibility for the drug-fueled violence sweeping Mexico."
U.S. State Department officials knew that Mexican ex-president Felipe Calderón's willingness to work with the United States was unprecedented on issues of security, crime and drugs, so the U.S. Congress passed legislation in late June 2008 to provide Mexico and Central American countries with US$1.6 billion for the Mérida Initiative, a three-year international assistance plan. The Mérida Initiative provides Mexico and Central American countries with law enforcement training and equipment, as well as technical advice to strengthen the national justice systems. The Mérida Initiative does not include cash or weapons.
Currently, the Mexican drug cartels already have a presence in most major U.S. cities. In 2009, the Justice Department reported that Mexican drug cartels distribute drugs in nearly 200 cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. Gang-related activity and violence has increased along the U.S. Southwest border region, as US-based gangs act as enforcers for Mexican drug cartels.
U.S. death toll and national security
U.S. authorities are reporting a spike in killings, kidnappings and home invasions connected to Mexico's cartels, and at least 19 Americans were killed in 2008. Another 92 Americans were killed between June 2009 and June 2010.
The U.S. Joint Forces Command noted in a December 2008 report that in terms of worst-case scenarios, Mexico bears some consideration for sudden collapse in the next two decades as the government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. The Joint Forces Command is concerned that this internal conflict will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state over the next several years, and therefore would demand an American response based on the implications for homeland security alone. After the JFC broached this sensitive issue in its 2008 report, several journalists and academics subsequently discussed in print the possibility that Mexico could become a failed state.
The Mexican government was rather irritated with the U.S. government for raising the prospect of Mexico becoming a failed state. In a February 2009 interview with the Associated Press, President Calderon said it was "absolutely false" to label his country a failed state. To smooth over relations with Mexico over this issue, Secretary Clinton personally visited Mexico City in March 2009, followed by a visit by President Obama a month later.
Meanwhile, in March 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that it was considering using the National Guard to counter the threat of drug violence in Mexico from spreading to the U.S. The governors of Arizona and Texas have asked the federal government to send additional National Guard troops to help those already there supporting local law enforcement efforts against drug trafficking. Calls for National Guard deployment on the border greatly increased after the 2010 murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, possibly at the hands of Mexican drug smugglers.
In March 2009, the Obama administration outlined plans to redeploy more than 500 federal agents to border posts and redirect $200 million to combat smuggling of illegal drugs, money and weapons. On May 25, 2010 President Obama authorized deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico to assist with border protection and enforcement activities, as well as help train additional Customs and Border Protection agents. However, as the Washington Office on Latin America has pointed out, in spite of fears that violence in Mexico would spill over the border into the United States, the U.S. southwest border region has remained calm and, in fact, is currently experiencing homicide rates lower than national averages.
Vicente Zambada Niebla, a member of the Sinaloa cartel and son of Ismael Zambada García, one of the top drug lords in Mexico, claimed after his arrest to his attorneys that he and other top Sinaloa cartel members had received immunity by U.S. agents and a virtual licence to smuggle cocaine over the United States border, in exchange for intelligence about rival cartels engaged in the Mexican Drug War.
In October 2013, two former federal agents and an ex-CIA contractor told an American television network that CIA operatives were involved in the kidnapping and murder of DEA covert agent Enrique Camarena, because he was a threat to the agency's drug operations in Mexico. According to the three men, the CIA was collaborating with drug traffickers moving cocaine and marijuana to the United States, and using its share of the profits to finance Nicaraguan Contra rebels attempting to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government. A CIA spokesman responded, calling it "ridiculous" to suggest that the Agency had anything to do with the murder of a US federal agent or the escape of his alleged killer.
According to former Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and César Gaviria of Colombia, the United States-led drug war is pushing Latin America into a downward spiral; Mr. Cardoso said in a conference that "the available evidence indicates that the war on drugs is a failed war". The panel of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy commission, headed by Cardoso, stated that the countries involved in this war should remove the "taboos" and re-examine the anti-drug programs. Latin American governments have followed the advice of the U.S. to combat the drug war, but the policies had little effect. The commission made some recommendations to United States President Barack Obama to consider new policies, such as decriminalization of marijuana and to treat drug use as a public health problem and not as a security problem. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs states it is time to seriously consider drug decriminalization and legalization, a policy initiative that would be in direct opposition to the interests of criminal gangs.
Despite the fact that Mexican drug cartels and their Colombian suppliers generate, launder and remove $18 billion to $39 billion from the United States each year, the U.S. and Mexican governments have been criticized for their unwillingness or slow response to confront the various cartels' financial operations, including money laundering.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has identified the need to increase financial investigations relating to the movement of illegal drug funds to Mexico. The DEA states that attacking the financial infrastructure of drug cartels has to play a key role in any viable drug enforcement strategy. The U.S. DEA has noted that the U.S. and Mexican financial services industry continues to be a facilitator for drug money movement.
Following suit, in August 2010 President Felipe Calderón proposed sweeping new measures to crack down on the cash smuggling and money laundering. Calderón proposes a ban on cash purchases of real estate and of certain luxury goods that cost more than 100,000 pesos (about US$8,104.) His package would also require more businesses to report large transactions, such as real estate, jewelry and purchases of armor plating. In June 2010, Calderón "announced strict limits on the amount in U.S. dollars that can be deposited or exchanged in banks", but the proposed restrictions to financial institutions are facing tough opposition in the Mexican legislature.
In 2011, Wachovia, at one time a major U.S. bank, was implicated in laundering money for Mexican drug lords. In a settlement, Wachovia paid federal authorities $110 million in forfeiture. A US Senate report from the permanent subcommittee for investigations revealed in July 2012 that HSBC – one of Europe's biggest banks- moved $7 billion in bulk cash from Mexico to the US, most of it suspected to assist Mexican drug lords and US drug cartels in moving money to the US. While money laundering problems at HSBC have been flagged by regulators for nearly a decade, the bank continued to avoid compliance. On December 12, 2012, HSBC settled for a $1.93 billion fine.
RAND studies released in the mid-1990s found that using drug user treatment to reduce drug consumption in the United States is seven times more cost effective than law enforcement efforts alone, and it could potentially cut consumption by a third.
In FY2011, the Obama Administration requests approximately $5.6 billion to support demand reduction. This includes a 13% increase for prevention and almost a 4% increase for treatment. The overall FY 2011 counter-drug request for supply reduction and domestic law enforcement is $15.5 billion with $521.1 million in new funding.
- Narcoculture in Mexico
- 2011 Mexican protests
- 2011–12 in the Mexican Drug War
- Borderland Beat
- Blog del Narco
- Drug liberalization
- Mérida Initiative
- Naval operations of the Mexican Drug War
- Timeline of the Mexican Drug War
- Uppsala Conflict Data Program
- War on Drugs
- "Policías comunitarios retiran bloqueo carretero en Guerrero tras 23 horas". Mexico.cnn.com. 2013-08-28. Archived from the original on 2013-11-12.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- [dead link]
- "Cachiros". Insightcrime.org. InSight Crime. 2014-01-21. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- Buggs. "Borderland Beat: Tijuana Cartel". Borderlandbeat.com. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- "El narco en México recurre a violencia sin precedentes: ONU". EL INFORMADOR. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Los Zetas and MS-13 team up in Central America. Borderland Beat. Retrieved on 2014-03-08.
- Proceso Magazine (in spanish) («‘Los Zetas’ reclutan y entrenan a pandilleros de la Mara Salvatrucha»)
- "These maps show how Mexican cartels dominate the U.S. drug market". Businessinsider.com.
- "Here are the powerful Mexican drug cartels that operate in the U.S." Businessinsider.com.
- "El Salvador Fears Ties Between Cartels, Gangs". Npr.org.
- "Mexican drug cartels reach into tiny Belize". The Washington Post.
- "'El Chapo' recaptured after jail break". BBC News. 2016-01-09. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- "Four Gunmen Die in Clash with Mexican Troops". Latin American Herald Tribune. March 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- Romo, Rafael (9 February 2011). "Mexico sees hope among drug violence". CNN. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
- Washington, The (2009-03-03). "EXCLUSIVE: 100,000 foot soldiers in Mexican cartels". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "Mexico Federal Troops and police rush into Juarez to try and retake the city". Americanchronicle.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "U.S. Says Threat of Mexican Drug Cartels Approaching 'Crisis Proportions'". Foxnews.com. 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- Muedano, Marcos (23 November 2012). "El sexenio deja 395 militares muertos y 137 desaparecidos". El Universal. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
- "W.M. Consulting: Knowledge is Security". Police Reform. 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
- "México cuenta más muertos por la "violencia extrema"" (in Spanish). BBC Mundo. January 12, 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- "Oficial: más de 22 mil 700 muertos por violencia". El Universal (in Spanish). April 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
- Ruiz, José Luis (10 January 2011). "Guerra al narco asfixia penales". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 2011-01-10.
- "Mexico's monthly murder rate reaches 20-year high". The Guardian. 21 June 2017.
- "Desplazados, tragedia silenciosa en México". El Economista. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- 'Mexico's war on drugs is one big lie' | The Observer
- Geoffrey Ramsey (2011-08-11). "U.S. Special Forces Trained Mexican Troops in Colorado". insightcrime.org. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Lehmuth, Erica L.; Etter, Gregg W. (2011-11-15). "The Mexican Drug Wars: Organized Crime, Narco-Terrorism, Insurgency or Asymmetric Warfare?". allacademic.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "ANUNCIO SOBRE LA OPERACIÓN CONJUNTA MICHOACÁN". Presidencia de la Republica, Mexico. 11 Dec 2006.
- "Calderón: Estamos luchando en contra de los criminales". TeleSur TV. Aug 30, 2011.
- "Poiré defiende estrategia del Gobierno Federal en lucha antinarco; entrevista AlJazeera". Al Jazeera. Aug 18, 2011.
- "Sugiere Sarukhán que Calderón no busca reducir tráfico de drogas". SDP Noticias. 2011-05-17. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014.
- Beittel, June S. (22 July 2015). "Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "Mexico's Drug War". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Cook, Colleen W. (16 October 2007). Mexico's Drug Cartels (PDF). CRS Report for Congress. Congressional Research Service. p. 7. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- Vulliamy, Ed. Amexica: War Along the Borderline. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.
- Carl, Traci (November 3, 2009). "Progress in Mexico drug war is drenched in blood". INSI. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
- "High U.S. cocaine cost shows drug war working: Mexico". Reuters. September 14, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- Seelke, Clare Ribando (29 January 2013). Mexico and the 112th Congress (PDF). Congressional Research Service. pp. 2, 13, 14. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- Longmire, Sylvia. Cartel: The Coming Invasion Of Mexico’s Drug Wars. 2011. ‘Revamping Mexico’s Police Forces’ p. 120. Palgrave McMillan ISBN 978-0-230-11137-0
- Fantz, Ashley (January 20, 2012). "The Mexico drug war: Bodies for billions". CNN News. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
- "Mexican drug gangs 'spread to every region of US'". BBC News. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Miroff, Nick; Booth, William (26 November 2011). "Mexico's drug war is at a stalemate as Calderon's presidency ends". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 1 December 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Booth, William (30 November 2012). "Mexico's crime wave has left about 25,000 missing, government documents show". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 1 December 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Counting Mexico's drug victims is a murky business National Catholic Reporter, by Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, Mar. 1, 2014
- DEA History (PDF). US DEA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "Mexico, U.S., Italy: The Cocaine Connection". Stratfor Intelligence. September 18, 2008. Archived from the original on November 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- Burton, Fred (May 2, 2007). "Mexico: The Price of Peace in the Cartel Wars". Stratfor Global Intelligence. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- Bussey, Jana (September 15, 2008). "Drug lords rose to power when Mexicans ousted old government". McClatchy Newspapers.
- "Analysis: Mexico's drug wars continue". BBC News. 2002-03-12.
- List of countries by intentional homicide rate. Wikipedia.
- Marshall, Claire (2005-08-14). "Gang wars plague Mexican drugs hub". BBC News.
- "Mexican government sends 6,500 to state scarred by drug violence". International Herald Tribune. December 11, 2002.
- Jorge Ramos & Ricardo Gómez (November 27, 2008). "Urge sanear sistema de justicia: gobierno". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved March 1, 2009.
- AFP: US ambassador warns of more Mexico violence: reports Archived January 31, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Más de 5.000 asesinatos en México en lo que va de año - 20081203". archive.is. January 1, 2013. Archived from the original on January 1, 2013.
- Charles Bowden on "Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields" Archived September 12, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
- Noticias, Univision. "Calderón, marcado por la narcoviolencia". Univision (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-12-06.
- Borbolla, Manuel Hernández (23 November 2017). "Peña y Calderón suman 234 mil muertos y 2017 es oficialmente el año más violento en la historia reciente de México". Huff Post. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- Los primeros 23 mil 640 muertos de Enrique Peña Nieto Marzo 17, 2014, Zeta Tijuana Archived March 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- Heineman, Matthew. Cartel Land. Netflix video. Directed by Matthew Heineman. 2015. A&E Indie Films
- "México pide expulsión del general Óscar Naranjo por apoyo a autodefensas". Eluniversal.com.co. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Kryt, Jeremy. "Meet the Warlord of the Viagras, Mexico's Hardest Cartel Yet". The Daily Beast, 3, Dec. 2017. https://www.thedailybeast.com/meet-the-warlord-of-the-viagras-mexicos-hardest-cartel-yet
- "Iguala y los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos: la más grave crisis del gobierno mexicano". Telemundo. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Neuman, William; Archibold, Randal C.; Ahmed, Azam (13 July 2015). "Mexico Prison Break by 'El Chapo' Is a Blow to President Peña Nieto". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "PRI y sus aliados buscan aprobar la #LeyDeSeguridadInterior. La @CNDH ya ha dicho que viola los derechos humanos y favorece el uso discrecional de las fuerzas armadas". Twitter. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "Más poder al Presidente y a las Fuerzas Armadas: las entrañas de la Ley de Seguridad Interior - Aristegui Noticias". Aristeguinoticias.com. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "Mexican National Human Rights Commission Likely to Take Legal Action Against Security Law". The Wire. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "teleSUR English". Telesurenglish.net. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Reuters. "Mexico's president signs controversial internal-security law but says the supreme court will make the final decision". Business Insider. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Amnesty for drug dealers? This Mexico presidential candidate is pushing for forgiveness. David Agren, USA Today. 3 May 2018.
- Alej, Arturo Pansza/ La Prensa y; Suárez, ro. "Coordinadores de AMLO aclaran: amnistía no será para capos del narcotráfico". El Sol del Centro. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Virginia Mercado (20 November 2018). "Restart needed". D+C, development and cooperation. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- "US anti-drug campaign 'failing'". BBC News. 2004-08-06. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Carrasco, Jorge (2008-10-29). "Mexico, the DEA, and the Case of Zhenli Ye Gon". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- "Cash From Marijuana Fuels Mexico's Drug War". NPR. 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "How a Mexican Drug Cartel Makes Its Billions". The New York Times. 2012-06-15.
- "US anti-drug campaign 'failing'". BBC News. 2004-08-06.
- "A Look at Major Drug-Producing Countries". Newsvine. Associated Press. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
- Creechan, James. "An overview of drug cartels in Mexico" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, Nov 01, 2006 . 2009-05-24  Archived November 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Cook, Colleen W. (16 October 2007). Mexico's Drug Cartels (PDF). CRS Report for Congress. Congressional Research Service. p. 2. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- Longmire, Sylvia. Cartel: The Coming Invasion Of Mexico’s Drug Wars. 2011. ‘Mexican Cartels Infiltrating US Parks And Forests’ p. 162. Palgrave McMillan ISBN 978-0-230-11137-0
- Brouwer, Kimberly C; Patricia Case; Rebeca Ramos; Carlos Magis-Rodríguez; Jesus Bucardo; Thomas L Patterson; Steffanie A. Strathdee (2006). "Trends in production, trafficking, and consumption of methamphetamine and cocaine in Mexico". Substance Use & Misuse. 41 (5): 707–727. doi:10.1080/10826080500411478. ISSN 1082-6084. PMC 2757051. PMID 16603456.
- "The World Factbook". CIA. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- "U.S. Leads the World in Illegal Drug Use". CBS News. 2008-07-01.
- Cocaine History and Statistics. Erik MacLaren, PhD, Drug Abuse.com.
- "Violence and crime in Mexico at the crossroads of misgovernance, poverty and inequality". World Bank blog. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
- "Page not found". Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
-  Archived October 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- "OECD iLibrary: Statistics / Society at a Glance / 2011 / Income inequality". oecd-ilibrary.org. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Chew Sanchez, Martha (2014). "Paramilitarism and State -Terrorism in Mexico as a Case Study of Shrinking Functions of the Neoliberal State". Perspectives on Global Development and Technology.
- Bowden, C (2011). Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields. First Nation Books.
- Francisco Alba, The Population of Mexico: Trends, Issues, and Policies (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1982), 52.
- Ricardo Hausmann; Emilio Lozoya Austin & Irene Mia (2009). The Mexico Competitiveness Report 2009 (PDF). World Economic Forum. p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-01.
- Longmire, Sylvia (2011). Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars. Macmillan. pp. 103–104.
- "Maestros mexicanos mantienen sus protestas contra la promulgada reforma educativa". Terra.
- "Reforma educativa pega a maestras rurales – Cimac Noticias". Cimanoticias.com.mx. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- DEMOS, Desarrollo de Medios, S.A. de C.V. (2015-08-29). "La Jornada: No es capricho el rechazo a la reforma educativa, afirman docentes y directores". Jornada.unam.mx. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- "En fotos: la pobreza de las escuelas rurales en México". BBC Mundo. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Luis Felipe Lomelí. "Calidad educativa en las comunidades rurales de México". SinEmbargo OPINIÓN. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- María Elena Ramos. "EDUCACIÓN, ENTRE REFORMA AMBIGUA Y UN SNTE DÉBIL". SinEmbargo MX. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- "4 datos macabros del primer mapa salarial de maestros en México". Sopitas.com. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- DEMOS, Desarrollo de Medios, S.A. de C.V. (2013-05-25). "La Jornada: Revira la CNTE: la explicación a la propuesta, ambigua y contradictoria". Jornada.unam.mx. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Rosas, Alejajalisco no. "Los negocios en el sector educativo en Puebla". Pueblaonline.com.mx. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Denham, Sergio Cárdenas (November 2012). "La corrupción en sistemas educativos: una revisión de prácticas, causas, efectos y recomendaciones – Cárdenas Denham – Revista Electrónica de Investigación Educativa". Revista Electrónica de Investigación Educativa. 14 (2). Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Tim Padgett and Elaine Shannon (2001-06-11). "The Border Monsters". Time. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- Beith, Malcolm (2010). The Last Narco. New York: Grove Press. pp. 40–55. ISBN 978-0-8021-1952-0.
- Tobar, Hector (2003-06-27). "Drug Lord Convicted in Camarena's 1985 Murder : Narcotics: He draws a prison term of 40 years. A Mexican judge sentences his 'enforcer' and 23 others in the U.S. drug agent's killing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Nash, Jay Robert (1993). World Encyclopedia of Organized Crime. De Capo Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-306-80535-6.
- Peter Dale Scott (2000), "Washington and the politics of drugs", Variant, 2(11)
- Rohter, Larry (1989-04-16). "In Mexico, Drug Roots Run Deep". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- How Mexico’s Underworld Became Violent. Patrick Corcoran, InSight Crime. 31 March 2013.
- "Police Reform in Mexico: Informal Politics and the Challenge of Institutional Change". By Daniel Sabet. Stanford University Press, May 2, 2012 - Political Science - 296 pages. ISBN 0804782067.
- "The Politics of Drug Violence: Criminals, Cops and Politicians in Colombia and Mexico". By Angelica Duran-Martinez. Oxford University Press, Dec 13, 2017 - Political Science - 320 pages.
- "Dos carteles dominan la guerra de las drogas en México :: El Informador" (in Spanish). Informador.com.mx. 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Drug Wars in Tamaulipas: Cartels vs. Zetas vs. the Military". Center for Latin American and Border Studies. March 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- Stone, Hannah (March 29, 2011). "Mexico Media Pact Marks PR Battle in Drug War". Insightcrime.org. Archived November 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Leader of Mexico's Zetas cartel captured in city near Texas border". Fox News. 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- "Mexican drug lord makes Forbes' billionaire list". CNN. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- Catherine E. Shoichet, Ed Payne and Don Melvin, CNN (12 July 2015). "Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman escapes". CNN. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- Anthony Harrup & Dudley Althaus (12 July 2015). "Mexican Drug Lord 'El Chapo' Guzmán Escapes From Prison". WSJ. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "'Mission accomplished': Mexican President says 'El Chapo' caught". 9 January 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- Mexico's Drug War: A Rigged Fight?, John Burnett and Marisa Peñaloza, npr.org, 2010-05-18, with Bruce Livesey. Also with Robert Benincasa and Stephanie d'Otreppe. accessed 2010-05-18
- "Mexico Seems To Favor Sinaloa Cartel In Drug War", John Burnett, Marisa Peñaloza and Robert Benincasa, May 19, 2010, accessed May 27, 2010
- Grayson, George W. (August 2007). "Mexico and the Drug Cartels". Foreign Policy Research Institute. Archived from the original on July 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
- Hernández, Jaime (March 4, 2010). "EU: alarma guerra 'Zetas'-El Golfo". El Universal (in Spanish). Mexico City. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- Video: Narco deja pueblos fantasma en Tamaulipas (March 4, 2010). Archived July 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Geopolitical intelligence, economic, political, and military strategic forecasting". Stratfor. 2012-01-24. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Mexico offers $2m for drug lords". BBC News. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Mexican cartel leader Nazario "El Chayo" Moreno reported dead – again". CNN. 2014-03-11.
- Vega, Aurora (7 August 2011). "Surgen cuatro grupos del narco en 2011; El Chapo es el capo más poderoso". Excelsior (in Spanish). Retrieved 2011-08-07.
- "Mexico police raid 'La Familia drug cartel', killing 11". BBC News. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- Heffernan-Tabor, Kelly (29 May 2011). "Mexican Authorities Arrest 46 Suspected Drug Gang Members". WFMY News 2. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- "Benjamin Arellano Felix, Mexican Drug Cartel Kingpin, Pleads Guilty In U.S. Federal Court". Huffington Post. 2012-01-04.
- "InSide: Who Controls Tijuana?". Insightcrime.org. 2011-05-03. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- Tinoco, Miguel García (20 July 2011). "Criminales del Medievo; hallan túnicas de Caballeros Templarios". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- "Mexican cartel renames itself 'Knights Templar'". The Monitor. 11 July 2011. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- Grillo, Ioan (2011-06-23). "Mexico Drug War: Knights Templar Gang Usurps La Familia". Time. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "New Cartel Announces Takeover from Familia Michoacana". 2011-03-14.
- "Smuggling". wickenburg-az.com. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "Free Article for Non-Members". Stratfor. 2010-05-17. Archived from the original on November 13, 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Salazar, Juan Ignacio. "Criminals down police helicopter in Mexico, four dead". Yahoo.com. Yahoo. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- "Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO)". Insight Crime. 2013-08-02. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Garza, Antonio O. (May 30, 2008). "President Bush Designates Beltran Leyva and his Organization Under Kingpin Act". Embassy of the U.S. in Mexico. Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Old cartels with new names. Excelsior Author: Jorge Fernández Menéndez. (April 12, 2010)
- "A Touch of Luck and Awareness". US Embassy Diplomatic Cables from WikiLeaks. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Mauricio Fernández Garza y su pacto con los Beltrán Leyva Archived January 28, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
- Schiller, Dane (May 13, 2009). "DEA: Bribes taint late Mexican drug czar Story". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Stevenson, Mark (January 25, 2009). "Mexican top cops linked to cartel". The Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-03.[dead link]
- "Mexican Army Slammed for Drug War Torture". Newser. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- Goddard, Jacqui (October 28, 2008). "Interpol agent passed information to Beltrán-Leyva cartel in Mexico". The Times. London. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Matan a jefe de plaza de los Beltran Leyva Diario de Morelos (December 23, 2011)
- Cae “El Marranero”, jefe de los Beltrán Leyva en Guerrero Proceso (16 October 2011)
- "Narcotics Rewards Program: Hector Beltran-Leyva". U.S. Department of State. 2009. Archived from the original on May 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- "Billions in 'Blood Money' Fuel Bloodshed In Juarez, Mexico". ABC News. 2009-04-10. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Mexican officials warn Americans to stay away". La.indymedia.org. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Asesinan a Vicente Castillo, sobrino del capo mexicano Amado Carrillo". Mexico.cnn.com. 2011-09-23. Archived from the original on 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "The Late Drug Lord "Amado Carrillo Fuentes", alias "The Lord of Skies" Nephew "Francisco Vicente Castillo Carrillo" Killed! (Pictures)". Borderland Beat. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Stratfor an authority on strategic and tactical intelligence issues". Stratfor.com. 2012-01-24. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "Mexico arrests 'Ugly Betty,' alleged leader of New Juarez Cartel". CNN.com. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- "Mexico Security Memo: Mitigating the Threat of Affiliate Groups". Stratfor. 8 February 2012. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- Chew Sánchez, M. I. (2014). "Paramilitarism and State-Terrorism in Mexico as a Case Study of Shrinking Functions of the Neoliberal State". Perspectives on Global Development & Technology.
- Chew Sánchez, Martha (2011). "Paramilitarism and State – Terrorism in Mexico as a Case Study of Shrinking Functions of the Neoliberal State". Perspectives on Global Development & Technology.
- Thompson, Barnard (2010-05-21). "An Inside Look at Mexican Guns and Arms Trafficking". Mexidata.info. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
The inhabitants of the United Mexican States have the right to have arms in their domicile for their protection and legitimate defense
- "At Mexico's Lone Gun Shop, Army Oversees Sales". NPR. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "American citizen in Mexican custody on arms-trafficking". CNN. 2011-09-06. Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
- "American citizen in Mexican custody". Borderland Beat. 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
- "Mexican Cartels Get Heavy Weapons from Central America, U.S. Cables Say", Latin American Herald Tribune, La Jornada, and Wikileaks.
- Reuters Editorial (6 September 2011). "U.S. man nabbed for smuggling grenade parts to Mexico cartel". Reuters. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- "State Police Arsenal Raided in Chihuahua City". Borderland Beat. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- ""Matapolicías", arma preferida de la delincuencia". Eleconomista.com.mx. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Castillo, Eduardo; Michelle Roberts (May 7, 2009). "Mexico's weapons cache stymies tracing". The San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
- "Tráfico de armas, problema complejo y multifactorial: Sedena". Elfinanciero.com.mx. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
- "Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Homeland Security" (PDF). Report to Congressional Requesters: Firearms Trafficking: U.S. Efforts to Combat Arms Trafficking to Mexico Face Planning and Coordination Challenges. United States Government Accountability Office. June 2009. p. 77. GAO-09-709. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Stewart, Scott (February 10, 2011). "Mexico's Gun Supply and the 90 Percent Myth". Stratfor Global Intelligence. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- Goodman, Colby; Marco, Michel (September 2010). "U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico: New Data and Insights Illuminate Key Trends and Challenges" (PDF). Working Paper Series on U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 26, 2011.
- U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) – Evaluation and Inspections Division (November 2010). "Review by the Office Inspector General (OIG) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) implementation of Project Gunrunner" (PDF). United States of America: U.S. Department of Justice: 1.
- "Mexican drug cartels reinforce their fire power". El Universal. 2016-01-24. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- "Project Gunrunner". BATFE. 2011-02-17. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- Sharyl, Attkisson (23 February 2011). "Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF". CBS News. CBS News. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
- Hugh Holub (23 February 2011). "Inside ATF…an ugly picture …how many dead bodies are out there as a result of Project Gunrunner?". The Tucson Citizen. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- Ahlers, Mike M. (26 July 2011). "ATF officials admit mistakes in Operation Fast and Furious gun program". CNN. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- Gliha, Lori (2011-07-01). "Weapons linked to controversial ATF strategy found in Valley crimes". KNXV-TV, ABC15.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
- "Fast and Furious Investigation" (PDF). BATFE. U.S. Department of Justice. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
- Attkisson, Sharyl (2011-02-23). "Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF". CBS News. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- "CCRKBA to Holder on ATF Scandal: 'Investigate and Fire, or Resign'". PR Newswire. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- Attkisson, Sharyl (2011-03-08). "Documents point to ATF "gun running" since 2008". CBS News. Retrieved 2011-03-09.
- "Arma en guarida de 'El Chapo' sí es de Rápido y Furioso: EU". Milenio. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
- "'El Chapo' quería Ciudad Juárez". El Universal. 2016-05-10. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
- Grillo, Ioan (December 11, 2006). "Mexico cracks down on violence". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Associated Press. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
- "Mexican cartels move beyond drugs, seek domination". MSNBC News. Associated Press. August 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- "4 De Diciembre De 2011 – Lomas De Sotelo, D.F." SEDENA Mexican National Defense Department. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- Corcoran, Patrick (2011-10-24). "Release of Mexico Murder Stats Reveals Shifting Landscape". InSight. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- Lee, Roger. "The Mexican Drug War (2006–Present)". The History Guy. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "World Report 2012: Mexico". Human Rights Watch. 2012-01-22. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- Wilkinson, Tracy (13 May 2012). "Dozens of Bodies, Many Mutilated, Dumped in Mexico". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Mexican general makes explosive accusations". Los Angeles Times. April 23, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Marosi, Richard (August 9, 2008). "Anti-drug general ousted". Los Angeles Times.
- "Seventeen killed in Mexico drug battle". Reuters. 2008-04-26.
- "US plans to combat Mexico drugs". BBC News. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Webster, Michael (June 15, 2008). "Mexican Drug Cartels Forming Alliances with American Street Gangs". The Right Side News. Archived from the original on July 31, 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- The United States is undermining its own security Statesman.com, October 25, 2008[dead link]
- "Mexican Cartels and the Fallout From Phoenix". Stratfor. Archived from the original on 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Mexican Drug cartels terror reaches Alabama". Californiachronicle.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Los Zetas: the Ruthless Army Spawned by a Mexican Drug Cartel". Fpri.org. Archived from the original on 2012-08-05. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Mexican Drug War News: DEA Reveals Cartels Use Drones To Transport Drugs From Mexico Into US". Latin Times. 10 July 2014.
- "Mexico and the Cartel Wars in 2010". Stratfor. Archived from the original on 2017-10-12. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Siddique, Haroon (2011-01-13). "Mexico drug wars have killed 35,000 people in four years". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- Cave, Damien (2012-01-11). "Mexico Updates Death Toll in Drug War to 47,515, but Critics Dispute the Data". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Zetas boss Heriberto Lazcano's death confirmed". The Guardian. Mexico City. 9 October 2012. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- "Mexico says Zetas cartel boss killed". Al Jazeera. 9 October 2012. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Grant, Will (9 October 2012). "Mexico: Body of Zetas drug cartel leader Lazcano stolen". BBC News. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Gaynor, Tim (9 October 2012). "Mexico says kills top Zetas drug lord but body snatched". Reuters. Mexico City. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Kreider, Randy; Schone, Mark (9 October 2012). "Death of Zetas Leader Confirmed, But Body Now Missing". ABC News. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Longmire, Sylvia (9 October 2012). "Mexican Navy Believes It Killed Ruthless Gang Kingpin". Mexico's drug war. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Washington Valdez, Diana (10 October 2012). "Chapo" Guzmán emerges as the big winner after Zetas leader's death". El Paso Times. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Ejército abate a Manuel Torres Félix, "El Ondeado", presunto líder del cártel de Sinaloa". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 13 October 2012. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Valdez, Cynthia (13 October 2012). "Asesinan en Sinaloa a presunto lugarteniente de "El Chapo". Milenio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "Mexican army kills Sinaloa cartel leader". Fox News. 13 October 2012. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "Abaten a Manuel Torres Félix del cártel de Sinaloa". La Crónica de Hoy (in Spanish). 13 October 2012. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "83 mil muertos del narco en sexenio de Calderón: Semanario Zeta". Animal Político. 2012-11-27. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Geremia, Valeria; Juan Martín Pérez García (January 2011). "Informe Alternativo Sobre El Protocolo Facultativo de la Convenion Sobre Los Derechos Del Nino" (PDF). Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México: 25.
- "En menos de 5 años han muerto más de mil niños a manos del narco". Excelsior (in Spanish). 19 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- "Alarmante, situación de periodistas en México". El Universal (in Spanish). January 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
- "More Americans Murdered In Mexico Than In Any Other Country In The World". Fox News Latino. May 20, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- El Universal Oficial: más de 22 mil 700 muertos por violencia
- Pérez, Jorge Ramos (13 January 2011). "La lucha anticrimen deja 34 mil muertes en 4 años". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 2011-01-13.
- Castillo, Mariano (January 11, 2011). "2011 drug violence kills nearly 13,000 in Mexico, new figures show". CNN. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- "El Presidente de las 83 mil ejecuciones | ZETA | Libre Como el Viento". Zetatijuana.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "23,000 Killed During Mexico's Drug Wars in 2016, Making It Second Deadliest Conflict in the World". 9 May 2017.
- "Mexico murder rate soars as more than 25,000 people killed in 2017".
- Llana, Sara Miller (August 16, 2009). "Briefing: How Mexico is waging war on drug cartels". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- Carlesen, Laura (February 10, 2012). "The Drug War's Invisible Victims". Borderland Beat. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Selee, Andrew; David Shirk; Eric Olson (March 28, 2010). "Five myths about Mexico's drug war". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
- Roig-Franzia, Manuel (2008-07-11). "Mexico Plan Adds Police To Take On Drug Cartels". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Secretaría de Marina – Noticias 18 de julio del 2008". Semar.gob.mx. 2010-07-27. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Reuters -Mexico captures submarine loaded with drugs". Canada.com. 2008-07-17. Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "The Narco Submarine". Vivirlatino.com. 2008-07-17. Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "Mexican navy seizes cocaine sub". BBC News. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Drug cartels using submarines to smuggle cocaine". Ctv.ca. 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Roig-Franzia, Manuel (April 9, 2007). "Mexican Drug Cartels Leave a Bloody Trail on YouTube". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- Ellingwood, Ken (June 11, 2008). "Macabre drug cartel messages in Mexico". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- Lacey, Mark (September 24, 2008). "Grenade Attack in Mexico Breaks From Deadly Script". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- "Mexico: Trouble in Culiacán". Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. 2009. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- Gould, Jens E. (October 20, 2008). "Mexico's Drug War Veers Toward Terrorism Amid Anger Over U.S". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on November 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Beaubien, Jason (28 September 2011). "Education Is Latest Casualty In Mexico's Drug War". NPR. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- Goddard, Jacqui (October 28, 2008). "Interpol agent passed information to Beltrán-Leyva cartel in Mexico". The Times. London. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- Lacey, Marc (November 1, 2008). "In Mexico, Sorting Out Good Guys From Bad". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- Lawson, Guy (March 4, 2009). "The Making of a Narco State" (PDF). Rolling Stone. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2010. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
- Video-report on high-profile arrests. Archived 2009-01-29 at the Wayback Machine. January 15, 2009. Spanish.
- "Encarcelan al ex comisionado de PFP Gerardo Garay Cadena". La Cronica de Hoy (in Spanish). 11 December 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- González, María de la Luz (January 16, 2009). "Ordenan arrestar a ex mandos de Interpol". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- "2 Mexican politicians sought; drug cartel link alleged". CNN. July 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "Charles Bowden on the Mexican drug war". Uprisingradio.org. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Zamora Jimenez, Arturo (2003). "Criminal justice and the law in Mexico". Crime, Law and Social Change. 40 (1): 33–36. doi:10.1023/A:1024981601093. ISSN 0925-4994.
- U.S. State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, "Mexico," Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2002, 31 March 2003.
- Beletsky, L; Martinez, G; Gaines, T; Nguyen, L; Lozada, R; Rangel, G; Vera, A; McCauley, HL; Sorensen, A; Strathdee, SA (May 2012). "Mexico's northern border conflict: collateral damage to health and human rights of vulnerable groups". Rev Panam Salud Publica. 31 (5): 403–10. PMC 3660986. PMID 22767041.
- Pollini, Robin A.; Lozada, Remedios; Gallardo, Manuel; Rosen, Perth; Vera, Alicia; Macias, Armando; Palinkas, Lawrence A.; Strathdee, Steffanie A. (19 March 2010). "Barriers to Pharmacy-Based Syringe Purchase Among Injection Drug Users in Tijuana, Mexico: A Mixed Methods Study". AIDS and Behavior. 14 (3): 679–687. doi:10.1007/s10461-010-9674-3. ISSN 1090-7165. PMC 2865643. PMID 20300820. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Pollini, Robin A.; Brouwer, Kimberly C.; Lozada, Remedios M.; Ramos, Rebeca; Cruz, Michelle F.; Magis-Rodriguez, Carlos; Case, Patricia; Burris, Scott; Pu, Minya; Frost, Simon D. W.; Palinkas, Lawrence A.; Miller, Cari; Strathdee, Steffanie A. (January 2008). "Syringe possession arrests are associated with receptive syringe sharing in two Mexico-US border cities". Addiction. 103 (1): 101–108. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02051.x. ISSN 0965-2140. PMC 2214830. PMID 18028520. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Larie Freeman, Troubling Patterns: The Mexican Military and the War on Drugs (Washington, D.C.: Latin America Working Group, September 2002).
- Human Rights Watch, Military Injustice: Mexico's Failure to Punish Army Abuses (New York: Human Rights Watch, December 2001).
- Reuters, "Peasants in Rural Mexico Claim Army Brutality," 17 November 2003.
- Luis Astorga, Drug Trafficking in Mexico: A First General Assessment, Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Discussion Paper 36 (Paris:UNESCO,1999).
- Government of Mexico, Recomendación 12/2002 a la Procuraduria General de la Republica sobre el caso del homicidio del señor Guillermo Velez Mendoza (Mexico City: National Human Rights Commission, 14 May 2002).
- "Crime-torn Mexican 'FBI' Investigates 1,500 Agents," Reuters, December 4, 2005; Tim Gaynor and Monica Medel, "Drug Gangs Corrupt Mexico's Elite 'FBI,'" Reuters, December 6, 2005; and, Laurie Freeman, State of Siege: Drug-Related Violence and Corruption in Mexico, Washington Office on Latin America, June 2006.
- "Surge la Policía Federal Ministerial (May 30, 2009)". Eluniversal.com.mx. 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Government of Mexico, Estadisticas judiciales en Materia Penal, Cuaderno No. 10 (Mexico City: Instituto nacional de Estadistica, Geografia, e Informatica, 2003), Chart 2.6.2, p. 478.
- La Jornada, "Admite el Pentagono que Adiestro a 6 Militares Mexicanos Violadores de Derechos Humanos," 28 June 1998.
- Verza, Maria. "Mexico's 'invisible' wounds of gang violence". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Bucardo, Jesus; Brouwer, Kimberly C.; Magis-Rodríguez, Carlos; Ramos, Rebeca; Fraga, Miguel; Perez, Saida G.; Patterson, Thomas L.; Strathdee, Steffanie A. (1 September 2005). "Historical trends in the production and consumption of illicit drugs in Mexico: Implications for the prevention of blood borne infections". Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 79 (3): 281–293. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2005.02.003. ISSN 0376-8716. PMC 2196212. PMID 16102372. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Ramos, Rebeca; Ferreira-Pinto, João B.; Brouwer, Kimberly C.; Ramos, Maria Elena; Lozada, Remedios M.; Firestone-Cruz, Michelle; Strathdee, Steffanie A. (December 2009). "A tale of two cities:Social and Environmental Influences Shaping Risk Factors and Protective Behaviors in two Mexico-US Border Cities". Health & Place. 15 (4): 999–1005. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.04.004. ISSN 1353-8292. PMC 2735581. PMID 19464228. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Blankenship, KM; Koester, S (2002). "Criminal law, policing policy, and HIV risk in female street sex workers and injection drug users". The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics : A Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. 30 (4): 548–559. PMID 12561263.
- Werb, Daniel; Wood, Evan; Small, Will; Strathdee, Steffanie; Li, Kathy; Montaner, Julio; Kerr, Thomas (August 2008). "Effects of police confiscation of illicit drugs and syringes among injection drug users in Vancouver". The International Journal on Drug Policy. 19 (4): 332–338. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.08.004. ISSN 0955-3959. PMC 2529170. PMID 17900888.
- Liu, Hongjie; Grusky, Oscar; Li, Xiaojing; Ma, Erjian (February 2006). "Drug Users: A Potentially Important Bridge Population in the Transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Including AIDS, in China". Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 33 (2): 111–117. doi:10.1097/01.olq.0000199762.28231.ee. ISSN 0148-5717. PMID 16432483. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Beletsky, Leo; Lozada, Remedios; Gaines, Tommi; Abramovitz, Daniela; Staines, Hugo; Vera, Alicia; Rangel, Gudelia; Arredondo, Jaime; Strathdee, Steffanie A. (18 July 2012). "Syringe Confiscation as an HIV Risk Factor: The Public Health Implications of Arbitrary Policing in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico". Journal of Urban Health : Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. 90 (2): 284–298. doi:10.1007/s11524-012-9741-3. ISSN 1099-3460. PMC 3675719. PMID 22806453.
- Myer, Landon; Strathdee, Steffanie A.; Lozada, Remedios; Martinez, Gustavo; Vera, Alicia; Rusch, Melanie; Nguyen, Lucie; Pollini, Robin A.; Uribe-Salas, Felipe; Beletsky, Leo; Patterson, Thomas L. (25 April 2011). "Social and Structural Factors Associated with HIV Infection among Female Sex Workers Who Inject Drugs in the Mexico-US Border Region". PLoS ONE. 6 (4): e19048. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019048. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3081836. PMID 21541349.
- Hayashi, Kanna; Ti, Lianping; Buxton, Jane A.; Kaplan, Karyn; Suwannawong, Paisan; Kerr, Thomas (25 June 2013). "The Effect of Exposures to Policing on Syringe Sharing Among People Who Inject Drugs in Bangkok, Thailand". AIDS and Behavior. 17 (8): 2615–2623. doi:10.1007/s10461-013-0543-8. ISSN 1090-7165. PMID 23797832.
- Rodelo, Frida V. (2009). "Journalism in violent environments: the case of journalists in Culiacan, Sinaloa". Comunicación y Sociedad (12): 101–118.
- "Periodista asesinada en Tamaulipas denunciaba anónimamente al narcotráfico". CNN Mexico. 27 September 2011. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011.
- "México es considerado como el país más peligroso para los periodistas". TeleSUR. 3 May 2011. Archived from the original on September 17, 2014.
- Mexico journalists tortured and killed by drug cartels, Jo Tuckman, The Guardian, Friday 4 May 2012
- ""Narcos" atacan estación de Televisa". BBC Mundo. 7 January 2009.
- "Mexican Drug Cartel Threatens to Kill Texas News Reporters". CNN. July 16, 2007.
- "Periodistas mexicanos trabajan para el narco, acusa diario de EU". La Policiaca. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- Córdoba, José de; Casey, Nicholas (August 20, 2010). "Violence in Mexico Takes Rising Toll on Press". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Journalist, 2 family members murdered in Mexico Archived 2012-06-16 at the Wayback Machine., EFE from foxnews.com
- "Journalists Killed in Mexico – Committee to Protect Journalists". Cpj.org. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Mexico Press, Media, TV, Radio, Newspapers – television, circulation, stations, papers, number, print, freedom, online". Pressreference.com. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "ACCESS ABC: eCirc for US Newspapers". Abcas3.accessabc.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía". INEGI. Archived from the original on 2012-05-28. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- Tuckman, Jo. "Mexico’s drug war — told in tweets and whispers." Dawn. Tuesday September 28, 2010. Retrieved on February 15, 2010.
- "Bodies hanging from bridge in Mexico are warning to social media users". CNN. September 14, 2011. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012.
- Woman murdered over social media anti-drug lord advocacy September 27, 2011 by Sylvie Barak, TG Daily (Velum Media / DD&M Inc)
- Three Photographers Found Dead in Mexico May 3, 2011 by Karla Zabludovsky, New York Times
- Mexican Crime Reporters Risk Becoming The Story, by John Burnett, NPR, May 9, 2012
- Beaubien, Jason (11 October 2010). "Mayors Are New Targets In Mexico's Deadly Drug War". NPR. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- McKittrick, David (28 November 2012). "Doctor Maria Santos Gorrostieta: Politician murdered for her fight against drug cartels". The Independent. Archived from the original on 29 November 2012.
- Ramsey, Geoffrey (14 January 2011). "3rd Mexican Mayor Killed in 2 Weeks as Cartels Increasingly Target Politicians". InSight Crime. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Luhnow, David; Casey, Nicholas (29 June 2010). "Killing Escalates Mexico Drug War". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Wilkinson, Tracy (April 15, 2011). "Body count from mass graves in Mexico rises to 145". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "Mexico Drug War Fast Facts". CNN. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Miroff, Nick; William Booth (24 April 2011). "Mass graves in Mexico reveal new levels of savagery". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- Crossing Continents: Murder, migration and Mexico, Linda Pressly BBC, August 2011
- More than 11,000 migrants abducted in Mexico, BBC, 23 February 2011
- Saner, Emine (31 August 2012). "Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho: 'I don't scare easily'". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- O'Connor, Anne-Marie (27 July 2011). "Mexican cartels move into human trafficking". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Trafficking in Persons Report 2010". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Anabitarte, Ana (30 December 2010). "Crece en España mafia mexicana". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- "Mexican Drug Cartels Join Forces with Italian Mafia to Supply Cocaine to Europe". Fox News Latino. June 21, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "Mexican drug gang menace spreads in Guatemala". Uk.reuters.com. 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Miglierini, Julian (2 March 2010). "Guatemala police chief arrested over 'cocaine link'". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-03-03.
- McDermott, Jeremy (2009-03-02). "Mexican cartel threatens Guatemala President". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Casas-Zamora, Kevin. "'Guatemalastan': How to Prevent a Failed State in our Midst". Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- Leggiere, Phil (May 25, 2009). "Guatemala on the brink?". Homeland Security Insight nd Analysis. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- "El cártel mexicano de Los Zetas controla el 75% de Guatemala". Infobae. 2010-12-24. Archived from the original on 2012-05-30.
- "Los Zetas controlan seis regiones en Guatemala". El Salvador Noticias. 25 December 2010.
- Brice, Arthur (2009-09-21). "Latin American drug cartels find home in West Africa". CNN. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
- Felbab-Brown, Vanda. "The West African Drug Trade in the Context of the Region's Illicit Economies and Poor Governance" Archived 2011-03-28 at the Wayback Machine., The Brookings Institution, 14 October 2010.
- "Carteles Mexicanos se Disputan Canada". El Universal (in Spanish). 6 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
- "Testimony of Secretary Janet Napolitano before Senate (March 25, 2009)". Dhs.gov. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Merida Initiative Will Help Battle Drug Trafficking". Newsblaze.com. 2008-07-01. Archived from the original on March 18, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Americans finance Mexican traffickers". Worldblog.msnbc.msn.com. Archived from the original on December 27, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Drugs, Guns and a Reality Check", The Washington Post. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
- "Mexican Cartels: Drug organizations extending reach farthen into U.S". Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on September 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- "Border violence threatens Americans". The Washington Times. April 1, 2010.
- "Mexican cartels plague Atlanta". USATODAY.com. March 9, 2009
- "FBI — 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends. Fbi.gov.
- "American Death toll". Americanchronicle.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Mexican Drug Violence Spills Over Into US". Huffingtonpost.com. 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Officials: 92 Americans killed by homicide in Mexico in last year | killed, hartley, shot – Island Breeze". 26.11184;-97.168126: spislandbreeze.com. 2010-11-02. Archived from the original on April 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- United States Joint Forces Command, ed. (December 2008). "The Joint Operating Environment" (PDF). Challenges and implications for the future Joint Force (PDF)
|url=(help). Norfolk, VA: The Joint Operating Environment. pp. 38, 40. Retrieved 2009-03-03.[dead link]
- White, Jonathan R. (2011). Terrorism & Homeland Security (7th ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 98–100.
- Walker, Samuel (2010). Sense and Nonsense about Crime, Drugs, and Communities (7th ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 313–314.
- Grayson, George W. (2010). Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?. Transaction Publishers. p. 4.
- Gibler, John (2011). To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from Inside the Drug War. City Lights Books. p. 190.
- David Rieff, "The Struggle for Mexico", The New Republic, 17 March 2011.
- Anonymous, "Felipe Calderón denies Mexico is a failed state", The Telegraph, 26 February 2009.
- "Lawmakers Demand Administration Deploy National Guard, Border Patrol After Killing". Fox News. March 30, 2010. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- Derek Jordan (May 4, 2010). "Dever says nothing new in investigation". Sierra Vista Herald. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Obama Mexico border plan not enough-US senator". Reuters. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Obama Authorizes Deployment of More National Guard Troops Along Border. ABC News. May 25, 2010.
- Isacson, Adam. "Is Arizona suffering "increased crime and drugs" because of the border?". Border Fact Check. Washington Office on Latin America.
- "New Study Separates Rhetoric from Reality on U.S.-Mexico Border". Washington Office on Latin America. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- "Court Pleadings Point to CIA Role in Alleged "Cartel" Immunity Deal | the narcosphere". Narcosphere.narconews.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
- "Top Drug Trafficker Claims U.S. Government Made Agreement to Protect Sinaloa Cartel". Public Intelligence. 2011-08-01. Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
- ""Te CIA helped kill DEA agent Enrique 'Kiki' Camarena," say witnesses". El País (Spain) (in Spanish). 15 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- De Cordoba, Jose (February 12, 2009). "Latin American Panel Calls U.S. Drug War a Failure". The Wall Street Journal.
- Goodman, Joshua (2009-02-11). "Cardoso, Gaviria, Zedillo Urge Obama to Decriminalize Marijuana". Bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Birns, Larry; Michael Ramirez (April 1, 2009). "Time to Debate a Change in Washington's Failed Latin American Drug Policies". The Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- Booth, William (August 26, 2010). "Mexico targets money laundering with plan to limit cash transactions". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- González, Samuel (October 26, 2010). "Los dilemas con el narcotráfico". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- Ellingwood, Ken (August 26, 2010). "Calderon proposes steps against money laundering". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- "DEA – Money Laundering". The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. 2010. Archived from the original on October 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- Office of the Spokesman (March 23, 2010). "United States-Mexico Partnership: Anti-Arms Trafficking and Anti-Money Laundering". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- Smith, Michael (Jun 29, 2010). "Banks Financing Mexico Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs Ed Vulliamy, The Observer, 3 April 20, 2011, guardian.co.uk
- How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs. 2 April 2011
- "HSBC Exposed U.S. Financial System to Money Laundering, Drug, Terrorist Financing Risks". United States Senate, The Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations. July 17, 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "HSBC Exposed U.S. Financial System to Money Laundering, Drug, Terrorist Financing Risks (press release)". United States Senate, The Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations. July 16, 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- Hamilton, Jesse; David Voreacos (17 July 2012). "HSBC Executive Resigns at Senate Money Laundering Hearing". Business Week. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "UPDATE 6-Senators doubtful as HSBC touts money-laundering fixes". Reuters. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "HSBC in return for "no admission of wrongdoing or guilt"". Reuters. December 11, 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- Miller, Stephanie (April 7, 2009). "A Regional Strategy for Drug Wars in the Americas". Center for American Progress. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- "A Regional Strategy for Drug Wars in the Americas". Center for American Progress. March 2010. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
- Vulliamy, Ed, Amexica: War Along the Borderline, Bodley Head, 2010. ISBN 978-1-84792-128-4
- Grillo, Ioan (2012). El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels (2nd ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4088-2433-7.
- Gutierrez Aire, Jose, "Blood, Death, Drugs & Sex in Old Mexico," CreateSpace, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4775-9227-4
- The Last Narco, book about the current phase of the drug war by journalist Malcolm Beith.
- Hernández, Anabel, Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers, Verso, 2013. ISBN 978-1781680735
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mexican Drug War.|
- Map of Mexican Drug War violence
- Bowers, Charles (2009). "The Mexican Kidnapping Industry". An academic paper examining both the emergence of kidnapping as a drug war spillover, and statewide variance in Mexico's kidnapping statutes.
- The Mexican Zetas and Other Private Armies – written by the Strategic Studies Institute.
- Mexico page on InSight Crime. Ongoing reporting on Mexico's drug war and involved cartels.
- "Full Coverage Mexico Under Siege". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- The Atlantic: Mexico's Drug War
- George Grayson, "Mexico's Elite Must Commit to Fighting Drug Cartels", Foreign Policy Association Headline Series.
- Juarez, City of Death, City of Hope
- Cocaine Incorporated June 15, 2012