Crime has been an important part of society since the beginning of our times. Thievery, delinquency and murder are common words in our language due in part to the overwhelming growth in world’s population and increasing differences between social classes. Then, as a new company, crime became “organized”. Groups ofpeople dedicated to help each other in order to accomplish out-of-the-law wealth. Organized crime exists in almost every country and of course Mexico is no exception. Drug cartels, Zetas and small criminal groups from South America have found their way to the Mexico-United States border and created a war zone which not only affects people living in the area but also those who benefit fromNAFTA(North America Free Trade Agreement). The economic impact of organized crime among the countries can no longer be ignored.
Drug cartels are huge, criminal organizations dedicated mostly to the distribution of illegal drugs. Over the years their activities have increased to extortion, smuggling weapons from the United States and Central American countries. Afterwards they discovered what would betheir biggest business: selling illegal drugs to the people in the United States and Canada. This newly found opportunity made most cartels move most of their resources to the border. Groups such as Cartel del Golfo, Cartel de Sinaloa and Cartel del Milenio established their operations center in cities around the border while only a few stayed in the southern part of the country such as La FamiliaMichoacana.
With so many groups in the same area it was only natural for them to start fighting each other in order to get the most out of the business. The Cartel del Golfo was the first to start its own militia to fight and defend themselves from other cartels. They hired ex-military personal to become their armed force. Some of these people were trained by the United States and Israel Army byrequest of the Mexican government to fight the drug cartels but were seduced by the promise of personal wealth which offered the drug lords. This group was known as the Zetas.
The Zetas quickly became a frightening menace over the border and allowed the cartel to gain more control over the transit of drugs to the United States. While the other cartels also started their own militia, none couldmatch the efficiency and cruelty with which the Zetas worked. However, the Zetas wanted more power, so they separated from the Cartel del Golfo to start their own criminal organization. Their objective was not the distribution of illegal drugs but instead they extortionate most businessmen in the area. People were forced to pay a fee (which often varied from a few hundred to thousand dollarsaccording to the size of the business) just to avoid terrorism acts against their business and relatives.
The violence in the border increased. Drug cartels formed alliances to prevent the Zetas from gaining more power and started a war which resulted in many civilian casualties. Zetas counterattacked and cities like Ciudad Juárez, Reynosa, Altamira and Nuevo Laredo have been highly affected by thisconflict; people disappeared or were murdered, presumably by these groups. It remained that way for many years until both groups reached a “balance” and divided the territory for each faction.
In 2006 Felipe Calderón Hinojosa was elected President of Mexico and almost immediately started a war against drug cartels and Zetas. Military presence in the border became something natural and violence roseup dramatically; even worse, it spread to cities which were previously considered out of scope like Monterrey, Hermosillo and Tampico. The battle against the government soon turned into terrorism. Armed commandos attacked civilians, decapitated heads where drop outside police stations and firefights spread to the entire frontier area.
It is clear that this war has slowed the economic rise of...