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Articles on Drug cartels

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Mexico’s militarized war on drugs – and, often, drug users – has killed at least 150,000 people over the past 15 years. Jair Cabrera Torres/picture alliance via Getty Images

Mexico moves to legalize cannabis use, a modest step toward de-escalating drug war

Mexico would not fully legalize cannabis; its new regulation plan makes recreational use legal. However modest, that would be a symbolic milestone for a country immersed in a long, deadly drug war.
The first group of asylum-seekers allowed to cross from a migrant camp in Mexico into the United States following Biden’s repeal of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy arrives to Brownsville, Texas, Feb. 25, 2021. John Moore/Getty Images

Biden ends policy forcing asylum-seekers to ‘remain in Mexico’ – but for 41,247 migrants, it’s too late

Luck and tenacity paid off for some 15,000 migrants who may now pursue their asylum cases in the US But nearly 42,000 cases filed from Mexico under a Trump-era rule were already rejected.
In this July 2020 photo, a woman is comforted in her home during a wake for her son who was killed along with at least 26 others in an attack by drug cartels on a drug rehabilitation centre where he was being treated in Irapuato, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Trump and Biden ignore how the war on drugs fuels violence in Latin America

The American public should understand that the United States has played a critical role in creating and fuelling violence in Latin America via its unsuccessful war on drugs.
A marijuana trafficker practicing his aim in the Guajira, epicenter of Colombia’s first drug boom, in 1979. Romano Cagnoni/Getty Images

Marijuana fueled Colombian drug trade before cocaine was king

Step aside, Pablo Escobar. New research shows it was poor farmers who helped turn Colombia into the world’s largest drug producer when they started growing and exporting pot in the 1970s.
More than 35,000 people were killed in Mexico in 2019, the deadliest year on record. Violence has spiked as a result of the government’s ongoing assault on drug cartels. Leonardo Emiliozzi Ph / Shutterstock

Inside Mexico’s war on drugs: Conversations with ‘el narco’

A researcher who fled crime-beset Mexico returns to interview the drug cartels behind so much of the violence, asking 33 ‘narcos’ everything about their lives, from birth to their latest murder.
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador with the families of the 43 students who went missing in 2014 in Guerrero state. He has ordered a truth commission to investigate the unsolved disappearance. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Mexico is bleeding. Can its new president stop the violence?

President López Obrador campaigned on some outside-the-box ideas to ‘pacify’ Mexico after 12 years of extreme violence. But so far his government has emphasized traditional law-and-order policies.
The MS-13 gang operates in Central America, Mexico and the U.S. But so far its efforts to get into the drug business have failed. Jose Cabezas/Reuters

MS-13 is a street gang, not a drug cartel – and the difference matters

Trump justice officials portray the Salvadoran gang MS-13 as a powerful drug cartel staffed with criminal undocumented immigrants. That’s a dangerous mistake if you actually want to prevent violence.

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