Mexico Drug War Photo Essay

However, some critics say Calderon’s decapitation strategy created dozens of smaller, more violent drug gangs.

The government registered 120,000 homicides over the course of Calderon’s term, nearly twice as many as occurred during his predecessor’s time in office.

DTOs created a “network of corruption that ensured distribution rights, market access, and even official government protection for drug traffickers in exchange for lucrative bribes,” wrote David Shirk, director of the Justice in Mexico program at the University of San Diego, in a 2011 CFR report.

The PRI’s unbroken reign finally ended in 2000 with the election of President Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (PAN).

A leader in a Mexican drug cartel was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison for his role in a massive drug money-laundering scheme with the Juarez cartel. Alvarez-Tostado was indicted in 1998 with more than 100 other people and three major Mexican banks. His capture was part of a Los Angeles-based investigation — Operation Casablanca — into drug-money laundering by Mexican banks that was launched in 1995.

Juan Jose Alvarez-Tostado Galvan, also known as “El Compadre,” pleaded guilty in January to transporting cocaine and other narcotics to the U. Federal prosecutors said he managed the collection, laundering and distribution of at least million and more than a ton of cocaine.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) are the largest foreign suppliers [PDF] of heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine to the United States, according to the U. Mexican cartels are also leading manufacturers of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more potent than heroin. The cartels that pose the most significant threat to the United States, according to a 2018 DEA report [PDF], are: Formerly led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Sinaloa Cartel is one of Mexico’s oldest and most influential cartels.

With strongholds along Mexico’s Pacific coast, it has a larger international footprint than any of its Mexican rivals.

Once in the United States, traffickers deliver drugs to smaller local groups and street gangs—mainly comprised of Mexican nationals or U. citizens of Mexican descent—who manage retail-level distribution in cities throughout the country. President Calderon declared war on the cartels shortly after taking office. assistance, the Mexican military captured or killed twenty-five of the top thirty-seven drug kingpins in Mexico.

Over the course of his six-year term, he deployed tens of thousands of military personnel to supplement and, in many cases, replace local police forces. The militarized crackdown was a centerpiece of Calderon’s tenure.

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