1. The Death TollYou’ve probably gathered throughout the list that cartels are linked to an incredible amount of violence, and you may be wondering how many people have been killed by Cartels or in the War on Drugs. Sadly, the true number of deaths linked to cartels is too staggering to be determined. For example, there are turf wars in the city where the coco plants are grown, then the cartels in Mexico have turf wars, and the they ship the drugs to the United States, where it is sold by gangs, who also have turf wars. During all these battles, innocent victims are killed. Then there are times when cartels simply target civilians to use as mules or to intimidate them. So it’s really impossible to tell how many death toll cause by the cartels.
What is known is that since the shift of power to Mexican cartels, there has been an incredible increase in homicides in the country. Between 2007 and 2014, 164,345 civilians were murdered in Mexico. While not all of them were cartel related, police and government authorities are sure Cartels are responsible for a significant portion of the murders.
Just for some perspective on how many civilian killings that is, in that same time span, 21,415 civilians were killed in Afghanistan and 81,636 were killed in Iraq. Those are war torn countries and Mexico is the United States’ neighbor.
2. The DEA and The Sinaloa Cartel’s ArrangementHowever, the Iran-Contra affair doesn’t appear to be the only incident that an American government agency has let drugs into the country. According to an investigation by El Universal which uses both court documents and interviews, in the 1990s, the heads of the biggest cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, repeatedly met with agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and they brokered a deal that the DEA would not interfere with the cartel’s drug smuggling activities, or actively pursue the drug lords, in exchange for information about the cartel’s rivals. This deal lasted from at least 2000 to 2012, and during that time DEA agents and the heads of the Sinaloa cartel met at least 50 times. However, what is not known is if the deal continued on after 2012.
One other thing we want to note is that, unlike cities like New York and Los Angeles which has seen an decrease in murders over the last 20 years, Chicago murder rates are rising. At the end of October 2016, 603 people were the victim of a homicide. That is more than two murders a day. Well, about 80 percent of the illegal drugs in Chicago come from the Sinaloa cartel. While Chicago’s violence is a complex issue, illegal drugs are definitely a contributing factor.