Approximately nine United States citizens were murdered in Sonora, Mexico on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Sonora is a Mexican region that borders the South-Western U.S.
Gunmen, which were heavily armed, conducted a mass shooting in Culiacan, Mexico. Culiacan is the capital of the Sonora region, located on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
The criminals were battling with security forces after Mexican public authorities attempted to arrest Joaquin Guzman’s son. Meanwhile, Guzman, or El Chapo, is an incarcerated Mexican drug lord.
The gunshots sent residents of Culiacan, Mexico searching for safety from the carnage. In addition, NPR reported that the ammunition appeared to arise from machine guns, which were mounted on trucks, and sniper rifles.
The hired gunmen were in an armed conflict with the U.S. Army, police, and the National Guard. Moreover, vehicles that were lit ablaze were scattered throughout the streets.
Sonora Before the Mexican Drug War
CNN analyst Rafael Romo stated that he never witnessed violence such as the massacre in Sonora, Mexico when he grew up in the region, which was before the Mexican drug war began. Moreover, during his childhood, few people felt the need to lock their doors for safety purposes. Additionally, because most of the fatal car crashes in the western Mexican region were more common than homicides, the local police were considered to be traffic guards rather than police officers.
However, Romo later discovered that the false sense of safety in the northwestern Mexican region was inaccurate. In addition, the lack of violence was not caused by an absence of crime, but only the absence of conflict.
Many decades later Romo refocused his attention on the Mexican region as a journalist. Later on, he discovered that Northwest Mexico has been ruled by a transnational criminal organization, or what American law enforcement agencies referred to as TOC.
The supply of drugs in the U.S. grew in demand with the power of the Mexican TOCs. As time moved on massive shipments of illegal drugs began to move north, in return for cash and guns that moved southward to Mexico.
However, because the process was so slow and gradual it went largely unnoticed from the rest of the continent and globe. In conclusion, in December 2006, the then newly elected Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared a war on the Mexican drug trafficking organizations.
Calderon stated, in front of the Mexican military, that the war on drug cartels in Mexico was a war that his nation had to fight. Additionally, he said that all Mexicans had to fight and prevail over the transnational criminal organizations in the nation.
History of the Mexican Drug War: 1930 – 2015
1930: After the genesis of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), the use of illegal drugs, such as cannabis, came under great scrutiny. Additionally, the newly created federal organization was led by Harry J. Anslinger. It was part of the U.S. Federal Government’s attempts to outlaw all drugs for recreational purposes.
1937: The marijuana tax was passed. Although, on the surface, it was merely a tax passed on any possession or transaction of marijuana. Because of the act’s requirement to purchase a tax stamp on marijuana, it outlawed the substance for recreational, and medical, purposes.
1938-39: Lazaro Cardenas, who was the Mexican president, attempts to consolidate all narcotics under the Mexican government. In return, the U.S. reacts by imposing an embargo against all of the medicine that was coming from Mexico. Meanwhile, the Mexican state continued to exist under the guise of police, the military, and politicians.
Late 1960s: The use of all illegal drugs rises for recreational purposes in the U.S.
1969: The Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs is founded in the United States.
1971: Soldiers in Vietnam become addicted to heroin, which is an illegal and dangerous drug. Also, U.S. President Richard Nixion coins the phrase, “War on Drugs.”
1981 – 82: The rise of the Medline Colombian Drug Cartels, which are the precursor to the modern-day Drug Cartels in Mexico.
2006: Mexico becomes the second country to mobilize against the drug cartels after Colombia mobilized against the Colombian drug cartels.
2015: Mexican Drug Lord Guzman escapes from a maximum-security prison for a second time.
By John A. Federico
Newsweek: REPUBLICAN SENATOR SAYS U.S. ‘MAY HAVE TO TAKE MATTERS INTO OUR OWN HANDS’ REGARDING MEXICO DRUG CARTEL VIOLENCE
CNN: The Mormon massacre in Mexico hits home
NPR: Massive Gun Battle Erupts In Mexico Over Son Of Drug Kingpin ‘El Chapo’
Research Guides: Mexico’s Mass Disappearances and the Drug War (Ayotzinapa: The Missing 43 Students) : Drug War Timeline 1930-2015
Featured Image Courtesy of Phillip Capper’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License