Mexican Drug War

Seeing as I have a wee bit of knowledge on the area, I thought it would be good to go in depth explaining where the conflict exists within Mexico and explaining where a lot of the intra conflict is occurring in terms of cartel locations and how they come into play with the creation of conflict. Firstly, Mexico as a whole has an extremely beneficial geographical location for the transport of goods within the black market between Latin America and USA markets. Many neighbouring countries can easily transport narcotics, weapons and other illegal contraband to access points in Mexico where cartels will pick up and transport to the USA for profit. A large cause and some may say the most prominent, of the intra conflict is a direct flow on effect of Mexico’s geographical location.

Drug packages, raw opium, drug dozens and weapons seized by police

Drug packages, raw opium, drug dozens and weapons seized by police

Looking a bit deeper, power positions have allowed certain cartels to maintain control of their location by putting them first in line to receive the black market items. This leads to an increase in income and reputation, which can result in more members and more incentive to defend their position, evidently worsening the conflict.


The two largest cartels, hold 2 spots that have the highest level of trafficking which backs up the point previously stated. The Sinaloa cartel owning a large portion of South Mexico has access to the entirety of imported contraband from China. The contraband from China enters Michoacán in South Mexico, an area held by The Sinaloa cartels allies ‘Templar Knights’. The Mexico peace index (2015) shows the city Michoacán as the lowest on the peace scale. This is due to constant fighting between cartels in this first drop off area, which includes heists, ambushes, police shootouts, all of which reflect the cartels goals. On the other hand the Los Zetas, occupying northeast Mexico, control the importation of illegal goods from Brazil, Venezuela and of course Colombia. The majority of contraband from these countries comes through the Gulf of Mexico where it is picked up and transported to the border of the USA. A lot of conflict occurs again, at the first point of contact for the drop offs. In Tamaulipas the ‘Gulf Cartel’ (Sinaloa’s ally) and Los Zetas often fight for control and possession, this is reflective of the Peace scale showing Tamaulipas as a high risk, low peace area. A pathway is painted as shown on the peace index (2015) that can be seen as the pathway of transportation of the contraband, all the way from the first line of contact (Michoacán and Tamaulipas) through the neutral, central states such as Zacatecas, Durango and Guanajualo and up to the last point of contact, the US border. The most common drop off location is Cludad Juarez. This is where the intra-cartel conflict usually stops and the conflict between the authorities and cartels are solidified. As most people know the drug trafficking spills over into the USA where distribution will take place. The city of Cludad Juarez, located in northern Chihuahua allows access to El Paso Texas and is where a lot of USA and Mexican authorities attempt to stop cartels from dropping off and transporting contraband, which causes a lot of conflict and evidently death. The drug transportation trade was made the scal it is today because of the industrialization of rural areas of Mexico, notably Michoacán, which caused population increase and spread. Michoacán is where drug trafficking started in Mexico. Below I have included cartels and their allies as well as where they mostly reside:


Sinaloa Cartel – Sonara, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, California

Templar knights – Michoacán (China import location)

Gulf Cartel – Small parts of Tamaulipas

Los Zetas – Majority of the surrounding gulf

Juarez – Very small Northern Chihuahua

Tijuana – Now resides a very small group in Tijuana, used to run Baja California.


Although there are huge conflicts going on at present, there are still obviously some areas without conflict. Theses areas are not occupied by any cartels and are often huge areas for tourists. Im sure you’ve all heard of Cancun and Mexico city, two of the highest states on the peace scale. These high ranking states also include Puerto Vallarta and Guanajuato.


I hope you guys learnt a thing or two, more conflict analysis and general discussion coming soon. In the mean time hit me up on my CONTACT PAGE 


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