The Mexican drug conflict involves rival drug cartels that fight for regional control, and between the cartels and the Mexican Government. The US Government is on the frontline as the Cartels’ business expands onto US territory. The level of violence in Mexico has increased in recent years. According to the Pentagon, Mexico and the so-called Northern Triangle of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are “the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones”.

The Mexican Government has maintained a passive stance towards the drug war until 2006 when President Felipe Calderón took office and deployed a total of 45,000 troops and federal agents to fight the drug cartels. Despite a few successes, the new Mexican approach did not stop the violence as the drug cartels’ strategies and equipment became more sophisticated. A 2009 Pentagon report warns that Mexico could become a “failed state”. Many believe it is a matter of time before this violence spreads across the border into the US.

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