With Market Forces Flowing, Mexico’s Cartels Consolidate

With Market Forces Flowing, Mexico’s Cartels Consolidate

Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez saw a decrease in killings last month, with 48 homicides, 40 of them related to the drug trade, down from more than 300 deaths in many months of 2010, when drug violence was at its peak.

While Mexican authorities point to their own efforts as the reason for the decline, the two experts who spoke with Trend Lines emphasized the consolidation of power in the drug cartels, with the Sinaloa drug trafficking cartel gaining control of smuggling routes and the local narcotics trade in Ciudad Juárez, and Los Zetas, the largest crime organization in Mexico, experiencing deep divisions.

“If it weren't for the drugs and the murder, this would just be a case of market forces working naturally,” said Sylvia Longmire, a former special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and author of “Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars.”

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