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Causes Of Mexican Drug Cartels Alliance With The Mexican Government


Drug cartels remain one of the prominent issues in Mexico, exhibiting the power of drug alliances. Drug trafficking cartels existed in Mexico for over a decade, representing their strength and power. Mexican president Felipe Calderon exhibited his concerns against the drug war and launched the counternarcotics campaign in 2006. Drug cartels were engaged in massive killings of civilians, politicians, and students. The United States also supported the Mexican government in taking effective measures for the elimination of drug cartels through funding and the provision of intelligent resources. In 2010, deployed 45,000 troops. Mexican governments in every era failed to eliminate the dirty drug business from the country. The use of illicit drugs among Mexican males increased by 15.8%, and among women increased by 4.8% in 2016. Drug dealing resulted in the killings of 1400 people in October, while the rate of homicides also doubled (Partlow, 2016).

Drug cartels held enormous power in Mexico and were involved in supplying different types of drugs throughout the world. Mexican drug dealers are the largest exporters of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine to the United States. These cartels are also involved in smuggling marijuana to different regions of the world. Due to the increase in the power of drug cartels, they formed alliances and engaged in battles against each other for territories (Lee & Renwick, 2017). Sinaloa represents one of the most dominant drug cartels operating in the country due to its strongholds across the Mexican Pacific coast. Jalisco is the second influential cartel engaged in terrorist activities as part of drug dealing. The strong presence of these drug cartels threatens the peace and the country, leading to instability. Political corruption strengthens the position of the drug cartels, minimizing the possibility of their evacuation. Drug cartels bribe susceptible public officers and authorities for the near-free reign of criminal activities, including drug trafficking. Corruption has deeper roots in the politics of Mexico, prevailing at the state level that promotes drug dealing and related activities (Burnett, Penaloza, & Benincasa, 2010).


The existence of corruption at the state level creates a perfect environment of survival for the drug cartels in Mexico. Alliances and strongholds of drug cartels with the Mexican government raise the influential power of the drug criminals, thus eliminating the possibility of their eradication. The fact that public authorities and officials receive bribes from drug dealers allows them to conduct criminal activities. The argument claims that the Mexican political system represents a narco-state due to the open corruption giving sufficient power to the drug cartels that strengthen their base in the country. The argument formulates the research question: why do drug lords hold much power in Mexico? Why can’t the government, specifically public officials, be able to stop drug cartels?


The central argument addresses the involvement of the Mexican state in corruption that weakens the position of the state and gives excessive power to the criminals. Engagement of public authorities and police in bribes and receiving illicit funds strengthen the position of the drug dealers. Drug cartels survived in the Mexican region for centuries due to the internal flaws of the political systems. The ineffective state and corrupt officers resulted in the massive power of the drug lords. Corruption and drug cartels’ alliances with government authorities affect the capabilities of the state to remove drug businesses. The argument claims that without the government’s support, drug cartels would not have prevailed for so long in Mexico (Burnett, Penaloza, & Benincasa, 2010).

Partlow (2017) provides supporting evidence for the argument, thus confirming the involvement of the Mexican state in corruption and the strong bonds of drug dealers with state officials. Drug trafficking and trade are prevalent in Mexico as drug cartels have strongholds with political figures with different terror ties. Police officers also accept bribes and allow drug dealers to conduct criminal activities. Drug consumption in Mexico increased every year, reflected in a 15.8% increase in 2016. The production of poppy tripled between the years 2013 and 2016, reflecting the dominance of drug cartels. Americans ceased 54,400 pounds of drugs carried by Mexicans in customs in 2017 (Partlow, 2016).

Cordero (2012) identifies drug trafficking as organized crime in Mexico due to the increased support from politicians and the state. Drug trafficking groups like Sinaloa and Jalisco expanded their presence in the region and operated freely. Drug cartels freely engage themselves in the trade of common drugs, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. Through political support, the groups can regulate their drug activities using concealed transportation roots and distribution cells. Organized crime players involve public officials and police officers also, thus minimizing the chances of eradicating drug cartels. Breaking Mexican cartels involves massive challenges for the country as corruption remains deeply rooted in the political systems. Eliminating the existence of influential carters depends on ending corruption in the region. The argument provided by Cordero claims that the elimination of drug cartels from Mexico remains unattainable under prevailing conditions of political corruption and strong alliances of drug dealers with influential authorities. The presence of corruption among local communities further weakens the position of law and enforcement. Strong bonds of drug dealers with police officers also manipulate the settings, thus adding to the strength of drug lords (Cordero, 2013).

Lee and Renwick (2017) support the central argument by recognizing the existence of political corruption in Mexico. Cartels earn enormous profits from the drug trade that allow them to bribe judges, police, officials, and other influential personnel, thus neutralizing the government’s opposition. Mexican history displays the negative role of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP) in exploiting politics through the seventy-one-party-rules DTO’s creation of systematic corruption. Government officials provided market access and distribution rights to the drug lords, which strengthened their position and resulted in an expansion of cartels (Lee & Renwick, 2017). Burnett, Penaloza, and Benincasa (2010) reveal the connections of political systems with drug cartels. Mexican government favored Sinaloa Carter, which was reflected in the freedom enjoyed by the Carter for years. The authors identify Mexico as a narco-state due to its involvement in corrupt activities. The source strengthens the claims of the argument as it highlights the weakened state of government. Counternarcotic attempts of the Mexican state also exhibit loopholes as the authorities targeted specific cartels only, leaving the stronger cartels untouched. The Mexican government targeted small carters as it did not touch the biggest drug carrier, Sinaloa. Facts also reveal that Sinaloa managed to escape from judicial prosecutions due to its ties with the judicial personnel (Burnett, Penaloza, & Benincasa, 2010).


The argumentative analysis provides answers to the research questions. The drug lords in Mexico hold much power due to their connections with influential authorities, including government officials, police officers, and judges. Several factors contribute to their enhanced powers, such as the generation of enormous profits from drug activities and using them to bribe government officers. The analysis also leads to the solution to the second question regarding the inability of the state to eliminate drug cartels. The main reason for the state’s failure to eradicate drug cartels from Mexico throughout history remains the prevalence of systematic corruption. Evidence suggests the alliance between government agencies and drug cartels. Many influential people in Mexico are part of the drug businesses, thus providing a safer and free operating environment for drug dealers. Corruption is apparent in the state’s provision of safe distribution and operating rights.


Burnett, J., Penaloza, M., & Benincasa, R. (2010). Mexico Seems To Favor Sinaloa Cartel In Drug War. Retrieved 03 05, 2018, from

Cordero, C. F. (2013). Breaking the Mexican Cartels: A Key Homeland Security Challenge for the Next Four Years. UMKC L. Rev, 81, 289-312.

Lee, B., & Renwick, D. (2017). Mexico’s Drug War. Retrieved 03 05, 2018, from

Partlow, J. (2016). Mexico’s Drug Trade Hits Home. Retrieved 03 05, 2018, from



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