Illicit drug trafficking from Mexico dates back more than 100 years to opium smuggling and reflects the continuing willingness of Mexican traffickers to supply narcotics desired by U.S. users despite the horrible costs of violence in Mexico’s current drug war. Although the drugs trafficked have fluctuated based on external and internal factors, particularly U.S. enforcement imperatives— cocaine and methamphetamines are now the most heavily trafficked, followed by marijuana and heroin—what has not changed in the last 100 years is the insatiable appetite of U.S. residents for illicit drugs and the persistence of Mexican traffickers to meet that demand regardless of drug interdiction strategies at the border and inland. The chapter concludes that the current drug war in Mexico waged with U.S. blessing and financial support is a colossal misstep that has plunged Mexico into the depths of violence and despair, and demands the United States accept responsibility for its role in prompting narcotics trafficking and the violence that ensues.
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