Mexico has had a troubled past with drugs, with nearly 60,000 deaths as a result of drug violence in the past 6 years. This number climbs every day, making both the government and the people of Mexico keen to stop this number from growing.
The past few months have seen a large rise in the number of drug-related violent incidents in Mexico: violence has become such a widespread and pertinent problem that the government has had to implement severe measures to prevent its spread.
The most significant of these recent measures is the deployment of 3,000 soldiers, marines, and police into the cities of Mexico in order to curb the ever-growing violence stemming from the drug trade that unfortunately makes up an estimated 3-4% of Mexico’s GDP. Perhaps the most worrying statistic is the number of people employed by the drug trade, estimated to number at least half a million people. All of this adds up to one fact: the drug industry has a firm grip on the Mexican nation.
Whilst Mexico City has avoided the brunt of the violence so far, there have been several recent disturbances in the city. There are growing concerns that this rise in violent incidents is moving closer to the capital, after a number of violent incidents on the outskirts of the city taking place this January.
In light of these incidents, recently elected President Enrique Pena Nieto has implemented checkpoints and other measures to curb this violence, which have been well received by some residents who hope they will work to limit the spread of the violence in the capital.
However, some locals think that this is too little, too late and in southern Mexico, citizens of Ayulta have decided that they can’t wait for a government to implement measures helping to stop the spread of violence. By forming a vigilante group against drug-related violence and crimes in their area, local residents hope to bring peace to their neighborhoods, which is something they claim the government has failed to do.
The two drug cartels that seem to be the source of the increasing violence within Mexico City itself are the rival gang’s La Familia Michoacana and the Guerreros Unidos. They are supposedly responsible for an incident that occurred this January, for which several members of La Familia Michoacana have been arrested.
This particular arrest was concerning the discovery of several dismembered bodies in plastic bags in areas across the city. Described by the authorities as an isolated incident, local residents hope that violence such as this does not become a regular occurrence.
Despite these reassurances, violent drug-related incidences have already seen a significant increase in January of this year alone, new measures such as checkpoints and an increased police presence only seem to have a limited effect on this widespread and intelligent industry that seems to escape the reach of the law in many areas of Mexico.
However, with a government dedicated to decreasing drug influence and its subsequent violence, citizens of Mexico can hopefully look forward to a less violent future for their country.