40 years ago the US sent Mexico into a financial crisis — and it transformed the narcotics industry

Standard

Mexico Institute

Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_arrestIn this excerpt from A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the Mexican Drug War, coauthors Carmen Boullosa andMike Wallace explain how the US and Mexico jointly created the Mexican Drug War.

Indeed it is impossible to understand the tremendous changes in the drug business during the combined sexenios of Salinas and Zedillo (1989–2000) without taking into account the massive political, economic, and ideological transformations wrought during that decade and the previous one by the PRI-governed state.

Farmers, unable to sustain themselves due to the removal of subsidies and the arrival of competition from US agri-corporations, found the burgeoning market for marijuana and poppies their only avenue to surviving on the land. The army of the urban unemployed gave the cartels a deep pool from which to recruit foot soldiers, and the miserably paid (and eminently corruptible) police and military provided the muscle with which to protect their interests.

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