Who is really “killing Americans,” The Cartels or American Addiction to Drugs?  

by Alex Gonzalez

Rainbow fentanyl—fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes—is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction.

Several Republicans are advocating for the use of military force in Mexico to combat Mexican drug cartels, in response to the rising number of deaths in the United States caused by fentanyl. They argue that the cartels are “killing Americans.” However, this proposal seems more like political theater than a serious policy objective, and fails to address the root causes of the issue. It also fails to acknowledge that Americans themselves play a significant role in the demand for illicit drugs.

Therefore, it is important to address this issue comprehensively by examining the factors that contribute to drug abuse and overdose, both in the U.S. and abroad. Moreover, it’s unlike that Mexico would allow any use of Military Force in inside its territory; it is clear that Republican just want spread political theater and avoid facing the real question of who is really “Killing Americans.”  

The United States has a significant drug addiction problem, with millions of Americans suffering from addiction to opioids, methamphetamine, cocaine, and other drugs. The demand for these drugs creates a lucrative market that is exploited by Mexican drug cartels.

Mexican drug cartels control the production and distribution of illegal drugs, including heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine, that are smuggled into the United States. The cartels are able to make huge profits from these drugs, which they use to fund their criminal activities, including violence and corruption.

The drug trade is estimated to generate tens of billions of dollars annually for Mexican drug cartels, and a significant portion of this money comes from the United States. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Mexican drug trafficking organizations generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of drugs in the United States.

In addition to the direct profits from drug sales, the cartels also benefit from money laundering, extortion, and other criminal activities that are fueled by the drug trade. These activities enable the cartels to expand their operations and increase their power and influence, further exacerbating the violence and instability in Mexico.

Overall, the demand for drugs in the United States is a major factor driving the drug trade and the violence associated with it, and Americans’ addiction to drugs plays a significant role in funding Mexican drug cartels.

How American guns smuggled to Mexico end up in the hand of the Cartels?

The smuggling of American guns to Mexico is a significant problem that has contributed to the violence and instability associated with Mexican drug cartels. There are several ways in which American guns end up in the hands of these cartels:

  1. Straw purchases: One common method is through “straw purchases,” in which someone who is legally able to purchase a gun in the United States buys the gun on behalf of someone who is not legally able to purchase it, such as a member of a cartel. These guns are then smuggled into Mexico.
  2. Gun shows and private sales: Another way guns are smuggled into Mexico is through gun shows or private sales. In many states, private sellers do not have to conduct background checks on buyers, making it easier for guns to be purchased by people who would not pass a background check.
  3. Corrupt gun dealers: Some gun dealers have been found to be complicit in gun smuggling to Mexico. These dealers may knowingly sell guns to straw buyers or falsify records to make it appear that guns have been sold to legal buyers.

It is estimated that over 200,000 guns are trafficked into Mexico from the U.S. each year. The U.S. gun industry has been arming Mexican drug cartels for as long as there have been Mexican drug cartels.

Once the guns are in Mexico, they are used by drug cartels to intimidate and kill rivals, as well as to carry out other criminal activities. The problem is compounded by the fact that Mexico has much stricter gun laws than the United States, making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain guns for self-defense.

According to 2021 U.S. Government Accountability Office Report:

Violent crime perpetrated by transnational criminal organizations (TCO)
continue to raise security concerns on both sides of the U.S.–Mexican
border. A 2020 Congressional Research Service report estimated that
more than 150,000 people had been killed in Mexico as a result of
organized crime since 2006.1 U.S.-sourced firearms trafficked into
Mexico—an estimated 200,000 each year, according to the Mexican
government—are contributing to this violence by facilitating the illicit drug

Overall, the smuggling of American guns to Mexico is a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted approach to address. This includes efforts to crack down on straw purchases, improve background check procedures, and target corrupt gun dealers. Additionally, efforts to reduce demand for illegal drugs in the United States can also help to reduce the flow of guns to Mexican drug cartels.


Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst, Founder of Latino Public Policy Foundation (LPPF), and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com or @AlexGonzTXCA


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.