Mexican gangs eventually shifted from being couriers for Colombian DTOs to being wholesalers. A 2014 RAND Corporation study prepared for the White House found that Americans spent more than 0 billion [PDF] in 2010 on illicit drugs, roughly the same amount they spent in 2000. Traffickers hide or disguise drugs in passenger vehicles and tractor trailers and, to a lesser extent, on buses and cargo trains.
Mexican traffickers transport drugs across land trails or through underground tunnels that traverse the border.
In recent years, cartels have also used drones to transport contraband.
warehouse and posed as freelance money launderers seeking assignments from Mexican drug dealers and bankers. The 1998 indictment alleged Alvarez-Tostado collected more than $40 million from narcotics sales in the U. and transferred the money into Mexican bank accounts on behalf of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, reputed chief of the Juarez cartel until his death in 1997 during plastic surgery.
Mexican authorities have been waging a war against drug trafficking organizations for more than a decade, but with limited success. Mexican heroin production increased by 37 percent between 20 alone.
Homicides declined in the first years of Pena Nieto’s presidency.
But 2015 saw an uptick, and by the end of his term, homicide levels had risen to the highest level in modern Mexican history.
According to the DEA, the “rapid expansion of its drug trafficking activities is characterized by the organization’s willingness to engage in violent confrontations” with authorities and other cartels.
Originally a paramilitary group for the Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas was singled out in 2007 by the DEA as the country’s most “technologically advanced, sophisticated, and violent” group.
Once in the United States, traffickers deliver drugs to smaller local groups and street gangs—mainly comprised of Mexican nationals or U. citizens of Mexican descent—who manage retail-level distribution in cities throughout the country. President Calderon declared war on the cartels shortly after taking office. assistance, the Mexican military captured or killed twenty-five of the top thirty-seven drug kingpins in Mexico.
Over the course of his six-year term, he deployed tens of thousands of military personnel to supplement and, in many cases, replace local police forces. The militarized crackdown was a centerpiece of Calderon’s tenure.