Mexico and its Shadow War: Endless reports of state collusion with drug cartels

Mexico and its Shadow War: Endless reports of state collusion with drug cartels

Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The nation of Mexico resembles a war zone based on the horrendous homicide rate that remains endlessly high. Indeed, in the first six months last year, just below 16,000 homicides occurred. Hence, Mexico resembles a country devastated by war despite this not being the case outside the nuance of a narcotics war. Therefore, with violence devastating the lives of so many Mexicans, it seems that central institutions are asleep because the crisis is nothing new in this Shadow War against itself.

Alarmingly, reports claim that Enrique Pena Nieto, the former leader of Mexico between 2012 and 2018, accepted a bride of $100 million dollars from a major drug cartel. Of course, this isn’t currently proven but it is clear that something is amiss within the state apparatus of Mexico.

Other political leaders have been implicated in Mexico. For example, like the BBC reports, “In November another cartel member testified that an aide to current Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was allegedly paid a bribe in 2005.” 

Sadly, like The Guardian stipulates, “Allegations that Mexican politicians have acted in cahoots with drugs cartels have been common for decades, though such accusations have seldom resulted in thorough investigations, let alone criminal convictions. Even after sworn testimony in US courts has described corruption, Mexican officials appear unwilling to act.”

In the last decade, a reported 200,000 lives have fallen to a scourge that blights Mexico. Equally alarming, over 30,000 people remain missing but presumed dead by being butchered in many brutal ways. Yet, despite the militarized style crackdown in the last decade, the theme persists of state and police collusion based on the enormous wealth of various major drug cartels. Hence, the body politic of Mexico is blighted by the twin forces of state collusion at various levels based on the intrigues of drug cartels and rampant corruption in the Shadow War.

Elite paramilitary units in Mexico and counter-intelligence agents have also participated in the crisis by becoming embedded in the drug cartel world – either compliant or taking over. At the George Mason University an associate professor, Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, stated alarmingly, “It’s an inconvenient issue for the government, so they deny freedom-of-information requests. But what we do know is that special-forces helped turn Mexico’s narcos into the paramilitary armed groups we see today.”

The Defense Ministry of Mexico stressed over 1,380 soldiers from elite areas deserted from 1994 to 2015. Certain elite soldiers of immense skills, according to an important FBI intelligence document in 2005, had been trained in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism by America, France, and Israel respectively. Hence, the security apparatus of Mexico was fighting the shadows of itself and the forces of “light” were being hindered by collusion at many levels inside the centralized state.

The Guardian highlights this Shadow War where paramilitaries and ex-elites prepare to fight the security apparatus of the state based on organized tactics. This media source says, “The involvement of veterans has enabled cartel combatants across the country to organize tactical responses to the deployment of troops and paramilitary federal police. More recently, the CJNG has become notorious for a string of ambushes that have killed dozens of federal officers.” 

Overall, the fear is that 2019 will follow the same fate that besets Mexico. Similarly, reports of major payments to the former leader of Mexico will likely be met by little concrete action inside the country. Hence, another high homicide rate is expected in 2019 and for brave citizens who may investigate or become whistleblowers, then the fear of becoming a disappearance statistic remains high.


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