The violence along the Mexico border with the United States has been increasing at an alarming rate since 2008. It has just been reduced in the last couple of weeks in areas where thousands of military and police are concentrated but this is not a long term solution. You can read my Mexico travel warnings here with additional information along with contacts for embassies and consulates.
In this piece, I will provide some additional information by the numbers:
90% percent of the cocaine in the United States goes through Mexico.
The drug cartels make 10 billion dollars in profits from the United State buying their drugs. If you were them, would you give this up easily? Probably not. It would be nice if we could find a way to tax this and get some revenue from it instead of just losses. Unfortunately, it is human nature to create it's own problems and wind up in vicious cycles. US citizens buy the drugs that in turn creates a violent mess. It would be better if the drug cartels would kidnap their own customers and solve two problems at once but that isn't likely.
2,000 weapons a day are crossing the border from the US to Mexico. Those same weapons are then, reportedly but controversially, used in at least 95% of the killings, perhaps against US citizens. We build a product and then it is smuggled across the border to be used against us or the Mexico authorities. It appears we on the US side need to do a better job of slowing this down. If you are pro gun and say it doesn't matter, ask yourself why you are paying more for ammunition if and when you can actually find it on a shelf. It is affecting us. The sheer volume of guns and bullets going off near the border increases the price you will pay for guns and ammo in Texas or Michigan or wherever.
Over six thousand people were killed by the drug cartels in 2008 and that number is on a far faster pace in the first few months of 2009.
How many people died in just one town just across the border from El Paso, Texas. And that town is Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
The death total just across the border from San Diego, California is nearing the thousand mark in Tijuana. The parties and drinks aren't so cheap if you pay with your life.
The number of people kidnapped by the drug cartels in Phoenix, Arizona within the United States. Unfortunately it's not the end customers using the drugs. Phoenix is a funnel for bad elements from Mexico. San Diego has seen a decline since the border wall was going up. Traffic will continue to move to wherever it is easier to cross. Each time I have driven more remote highways in southern Arizona, I have seen people running across the road far ahead of me. It happens all the time.
1 out of 35,000
This is the number of US residents that fatally overdose on drugs that could have and are likely to have come from Mexico.
1 out of 19,369
The number of Mexicans that die in this drug war.