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Major Mexican Cartels: Drug Wars and Business

South Front

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A previous report by South Front documented the heavy human, social and material costs of the drug wars in Mexico, which have devastated the country since the mid-2000s. In this report some of the major factors in the rapidly shifting environment of the main cartels over the last ten years, and their frequent formations, disintegrations and reconfigurations, are reviewed.

The markets for drugs: key aspects

Cocaine from Colombia supplies most of the U.S. market, and most of that supply now passes through Mexico, with Mexican drug traffickers the primary wholesalers of cocaine to the United States. According to official estimates, coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia have risen or remained constant over the last couple of years, with the U.S. government estimating that Colombia produced a record 921 metric tons of pure cocaine in 2017. For 2018, the U.S. government reported that Colombia’s coca cultivation dropped slightly to.....