President Donald Trump declared war on the Mexican drug cartels when he campaigned on the promise to build an impregnable wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. President Trump claims that the border wall will keep the “bad hombres” out of the U.S, and says that the border wall will stem the flood of narcotics that the Mexican cartels exports into the country. There can be no doubt that the Mexican drug wars have been vicious.
According to National Interest, the Mexican drug wars have cost over 100,000 lives since 2006. Over 30,000 people have also joined the list of “the disappeared,” with many of those likely to have been casualties of the battle between Mexican cartels. Drug violence in Mexico reduced when Enrique Peña Nieto became Mexico’s president. Sadly, the downward trend did not last, and 2017 has seen a spike in drug related violence.
According to Business Insider almost 6,000 people have been victims of Mexico’s drug war in the first three-months of 2017. The spike in drug related violence is believed to be the result of a power struggle within the Mexican drug cartels. The arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in January 2016, left a vacuum at the head of the feared Sinaloa Cartel.
El Chapo’s sons are described as part of a “new generation” of drugs lords, who are fighting for control of the Mexican drug cartels. This new generation have been fighting for control of the Sinaloa Cartel, and it is El Chapo’s former right-hand man, Dámaso López “El Licenciado” Núñez who stands in their way. As reported by L.A. Times, Nunez was arrested earlier this week, and seems set to join El Chapo in a U.S. jail.
His arrest clears the way for the new generation to take control of the Sinaloa Cartel. The trouble is that the transition of power within the Sinaloa Cartel is unlikely to go smoothly, and it is likely to lead to an escalation of the Mexican drug wars. Small wonder then that President Trump will be hoping that a border wall will prevent the Mexican Drug war spilling over into the United States?
Can President Trump’s Border Wall Stop The Mexican Drug War Coming To The U.S.?
President Trump insists that his border wall will help to curtail the Mexican cartels U.S. activities. Of course, President Trump faces some major obstacles if it is to be a success. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is how that wall will be funded. Just last week Trump was forced to back down on taxpayer funding for the border wall, in order to avoid a government shut-down had congress been unable to pass his budget.
The “law of unintended consequences” dictates that government policies always have unintended and unanticipated effects. According to the New York Times, Donald Trump’s promise of a border wall have already had an unintended effect on the Mexican drug cartels, and that effect is apparently proving to be a boom for the cartels. In fact, the cartels are thanking Trump for boosting their profits.
Mexican drugs smuggler “Flaco” has been smuggling drugs and people into the U.S. for three decades. Asked if he thought that Trump’s border wall would defeat the cartels, Flaco said that Trump’s policies merely make smuggling more profitable for the Mexican drugs cartels.
“This is never going to stop, neither the narco trafficking nor the illegals. There will be more tunnels. More holes. If it doesn’t go over, it will go under.
“As the prices went up, the mafia, which is the Sinaloa cartel, took over everything here, drugs and people smuggling.”
If Flaco is to be believed, the border wall will serve only to push up the price of illegal narcotics. That makes drug smuggling even more lucrative for the Mexican drug cartels. With a struggle for control at the top of the cartels, it seems that the Mexican drug wars are far from over. The new generation of drug lords believe that they are above the law, untouchable, and they have shown that they are very happy to kill anyone who stands in their way.
Of course, it’s impossible to say what effect a border wall will have on the Mexican drug wars, but where there are huge profits to be made, and where men are prepared to kill to protect those profits, it is clear that the Mexican drug wars won’t end anytime soon.
[Featured Image by Jorge Barrera/AP]