Capture of Drug Lord in Mexico Cartel War Only Shows That Work Still Needed to End Crisis

Jaime Herrera Herrera, a major Mexican drug cartel figure who helped expand the methamphetamine market, has finally been captured in Mexico, but is it time to rejoice? Celebration may be premature. Herrera is only one of many large players in the cartels in Mexico, and his capture may not be enough. Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also known as “El Chapo,” Héctor Beltrán Leyva, also known as “El General”, and Servando Gómez Martínez, also known as “El Profe”, are just a few of the most wanted drug lords still on the loose. More drastic collaborations between the United States and Mexico are needed to finally end the drug violence in Mexico. There needs to be a plan that centers itself on taking out corrupt government officials, like those in the police and military, so that the capture of the criminals can happen as efficiently as possible.

Mexico has been in a state of constant violence over the past few years, due primarily to the very cartels that Herrera worked with. The capture of Herrera is a huge success for Mexico but it just isn’t enough. With thousands dead, a nation in fear, and Americans consistently fueling the war with the continued purchase of drugs, there is no end in sight for the drug wars of Mexico. The real solution will not come until a serious move to action takes place to catch all the major cartel members, and to cut the drug abuse that continues between the United States and Mexico.

Mexico is not the same country it once was. Many tourists have chosen to discontinue their visits there for fear of being caught in between the corruption and violence. Tourism has gone down, there have been 47,000 deaths since 2006, and the media has basically lost all censorship. News reporters cannot openly discuss any tragedies caused by the cartels for fear that their reporters and editors will lose their own lives. People have had to resort to social media like Twitter to report possible violence, keep their anonymity, and save lives.

With these issues, shouldn’t there be a bigger call to action than what the United States has already done? The U.S. created the Merida Initiative, a plan where the U.S. and Mexico come together to end cartel activity, reform their justice system, and work on border relations, but this has solved very little. Since it’s implementation in 2008, there has actually been more violence than ever. The U.S. may not be in the best position economically to promise more involvement with Mexico, and is it really fair to ask the U.S. to get more immersed in yet another conflict? Mexico and the U.S. need to have a more serious talk about how they can collaborate together to finally solve this problem.

Herrera is just one of many significant cartel members. His capture just is not enough. With all the corruption that exists within the prisons, police departments, and government in Mexico, there is a good chance that Herrera will be on the loose again. “El Chapo” the current leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, managed to escape prison and continue with his reign with no repercussions. He is one of the most wanted men in Mexico, and there seems to be no hope for this danger to be terminated.

Corruption in Mexico continues to grow, but there seems to be little support to actually ending it. Mexican President Felipe Calderon promised to end the supremacy of the cartels at the beginning of his presidency. Since 2006, the beginning of his term, violence has only escalated. There is no time to celebrate over a small victory when the war is still clearly going on. 

When will the U.S. take action and help the neighboring nation? The drug war affects Border States. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California have all seen their share of violence in the border cities of Mexico. El Paso, Texas, is an excellent example of a city that has been impacted tremendously because of the current state of Mexico. The city of Juárez has been known as one of the murder capitals of the world. Fear permeates the very air in that city, and many of the people of that city have fled to El Paso to try and find a safe haven.

There will not be peace in Mexico until more drastic measures are taken to combat drug cartels on both sides of the border, and the drug wars between the cartels are finally over.

Photo Credit: Bee