Anabel Hernandez, a leading Mexican journalist with deep knowledge of the drug war, claimed back in 2015 that government corruption and back alley deals with the DEA carry a heavy load of responsibility for facilitating and encouraging the war.
For years we’ve been told that cartel violence south of the border is out of control and that the government is doing all they can to stop the terror. As it turns out, the heart of the drug war is not what we think. Hernandez focused on the largest and strongest cartel, the Sinaloa cartel, headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Government corruption from 2000-2012 (spanning the tenure of two corrupt presidents) allowed Chapo Guzman to attain the power he reached.
The drug war was/is largely a sham, cooked up to distract people from seeing that the government was really helping Guzman and the Sinaloa cartel. How could anyone assume you’re supporting a cartel when, to the public, it looks like you’re fighting the cartel with all you’ve got?
Guzman was assumed by the world at large to be a criminal mastermind. The media explained away the ineptitude of countermeasures on the back of Guzman’s supposed genius. Maybe he is brilliant, but he could not have reached the level he did without help from a government that protected and assisted their goals, presumably for money, power, or fear.
The current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, once graced Time magazine’s cover and was touted as Mexico’s savior. A closer look reveals that, statistically, little has changed concerning drug violence. It’s a ruse sold by Nieto, a mirage dancing on the sand. Somehow, he sold a story to the global media that Mexico was rebounding wonderfully thanks to his sweeping reforms. Truthfully, he just got the media to look the other way.
Consider that the United States gives a sizable chunk of money to the Mexican government under the auspices of aiding the drug war, and you can’t help but wonder what our own government truly hopes to achieve. There is some evidence that suggests the DEA brokered deals with the Sinaloa cartel wherein they promised full immunity to Sinaloa members in exchange for details on members of their rival cartels.
Effectively, the United States made the Sinaloa cartel stronger both by promising legal immunity and by decimating their competition. Also, starting in 2007, the United States has given supplies and money to train and outfit the Mexican armed forces, which are known to be infiltrated by cartel insiders, thus making the cartels even more powerful.
Mexico’s drug war is not unique to Mexico, but it is, perhaps, the most well known. Our own government (and tax dollars) have gone into funding and protecting the very cartels we’ve been told are profiting from the bag of cannabis you bought. The more I learn, the more I question everything.