Friday, October 11, 2013

Death and Drugs on the Border: Demand and Illegal Immigration in the United States (2005)




The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict among rival drug cartels fighting each other for regional control and against the Mexican government forces and civilian vigilante groups. Since 2006, when intervention with the Mexican military began, the government's principal goal has been to put down the drug-related violence. Additionally, the Mexican government has claimed that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on preventing drug trafficking, which is left to U.S. functionaries.

Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for several decades, they have become more powerful since 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, has led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.

Analysts estimate that wholesale earnings from illicit drug sales range from $13.6 billion to $49.4 billion annually.

By the end of Felipe Calderón's administration (2006--2012), the official death toll of the Mexican Drug War was at least 60,000,[40] although unconfirmed accounts set the homicide rate above 100,000 victims, given the large number of people who have disappeared.[41]

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".[278] 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 President Barack Obama to consider new policies, such as decriminalization of cannabis (marijuana) and to treat drug use as a public health problem and not as a security problem.[279] The Council on Hemispheric Affairs states it is time to seriously consider drug decriminalization and legalization,[280] a policy initiative that would be in direct opposition to the interests of criminal gangs.

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.[293]
In FY2011, the Obama Administration requests approximately $5.6 billion to support demand reduction. This includes a 13% increase for prevention and a nearly 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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_...
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