The Taken Country of Narcos by Rodrigo Ventura

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1 The Taken Country of Narcos by Rodrigo Ventura In 'El Chapo' escape shines spotlight on corruption in Mexico," published in CNN Wire, Catherine Shoichet supports my opinion on how Mexico is a corrupt country. Schoichet begins with saying that Mexicans were shocked by El Chapo's (Joaquin Guzman) escape, but they certainly were not surprised. This tells us that the very own people of Mexico know their country is corrupted, but they believe they cannot do anything to change it. For the most part that is true because if one is a biding citizen or rats on someone from the cartel, or even does something to angry the cartel, there will be dire consequences. She points out that there is a survey conducted by each country based on how people in private sectors see their country and Mexico placed higher than most countries as being corrupted (they placed 35 out of 100, 100 being not corrupted and 0 being extremely corrupted)[1]. Another act of corruption took place "in September, 43 students were kidnapped and killed in southern Mexico, an operation authorities say was orchestrated by a local mayor who didn't want a protest to disrupt one of his events. Investigators said the students were abducted by police on the mayor's orders, then turned over to a gang that's believed to have killed them and burned their bodies before throwing some remains in a river" [2]. The main question to the escape of Joaquín Guzman was if there were bribes taken, were they taken from some prison guards or did it go even higher up than that? This also brings up if perhaps the cartel is more powerful than the Mexican government. 1 / 7

2 There are deals being made everyday between government officials--who control the army--and the cartels and this leads to many deaths. Although many people in the United States think the corruption in Mexico does not effect them, it really does. People need to realize that this is a huge problem facing both countries. The workers at the borders get bribed, regardless of race, to let drugs pass from Mexico to the United States. Of course American workers get payed more, but either race still makes their money. If one tries to be a good police officer one will probably get fired or even killed. It is sad that the majority of the wealthy class in Mexico are drug dealers. We need to take the initiative and do something about this now. It is not just police officers that are getting bribed, it is government officials as well. The cartel is making more money than they know what to do with and that is the thing American officials care about--that they are making so much money, but they don't necessarily care about the thousands or maybe millions of lives getting affected everyday by the cartel. In Corruption Again Election Issue in Mexico Alan Riding writes about how corruption took place in the 1970s. Riding says that an unopposed presidential candidate in Mexico in 1976 said corruption is the cancer of this country, Mexico runs the risk of devouring itself unless we control corruption [3]. He said that they could possibly be the most corrupted Latin American country, from congressman to street cops. He said that a bribe at the higher classes was called a commission and in the lower classes it was known as the bite. Riding states the last year of each government is always the worst for corruption because many officials can t be sure they ll have a job in the next regime. Some police officers were getting bribes to look over traffic violations. The bribes were about eight American dollars. A lawyer recalled One day I was caught without a cent on me so the cop took a check for 50 pesos or four dollars. The United States would help at borders and the bribes would continue allowing suitcases or even cars loaded with illegally imported goods to pass. 2 / 7

3 Mexican and American police, prison guards and government officials get bribed everyday to look the other way dealing with Mexican cartel. In "Corruption, Drug Trafficking, and Violence in Mexico" Stephen Morris writes about the unjust incidents going on in Mexico. "Noé Ramírez, the former director of SIEDO, reportedly received $450,000 per month for his services to the cartel s leaders" {4}. Morris writes how criminals in Mexico have reportedly spend 500 million dollars every year on just bribes. "Of the 357 Mexican law enforcement officials detained in 2009 for assisting narco-traffickers, 90 percent belonged to local police forces." It honestly is difficult to judge these corrupt policeman just because growing up in Mexico is a living hell. Most people are dirt poor, living in shacks. I do not condone their actions, but I do understand how that got to be so violent or evil. Morris says there are government officials that have gotten bribed as well, but does not mention any specific names about the main officials. The citizens of Mexico need some hope. It is difficult to stand up to these thugs considering that 3 / 7

4 they will threaten you or your loved ones before you even do anything. This is going to be a long road, but I believe that it is possible to stop the injustice in Mexico. In "Former Inmate of Mexican Jail Says Police Frame Americans: Asserts They Make Narcotics Arrests to Collect Bribes From Young People" James Markham writes how Americans got cruelly accused and punished for acts they did not commit. A 30 year old Cuban born American citizen was an accountant living in New York and spent 13 months in a Mexican prison for drug conviction charges until an appellate court reversed the call. The man was George Scott and he said that about ten percent of the men in the prison he was sent were young Americans on drug charges. George Scott was charged with 14 pounds of cocaine, but the Mexican police announced they had seized that 14 pounds four days before George arrived in Hermosillo where he was then arrested [5]. George says that police were eager to make arrests or they took bribes for the imprisonment of not only him, but a few others as well. The there were some American prisoners that were charged with possession of marijuana and then there some Mexican prisoners that were charged with the same offense, but had lighter sentences. These young Americans are 18 and 19 years old and cannot afford a lawyer. These awful prisons were unsanitary, and ridden with drugs and disease. Married woman had to have sexual intercourse with a guard before being able to see their husbands in prison [6]. The corruption in Mexico is unbelievable. In the book "The U.S.-Mexican Border into the Twenty-First Century" Paul Ganster and David E. Lorey discuss the drug trafficking and border security between the two countries. Beginning in the late 1970s the United States blamed Mexico for developing the drugs and for trafficking them to the U.S. "Andean countries controlled the production and Colombia controlled the refining of Cocaine, but Mexican drug lords dominated distribution and marketing within the United States" [7]. It was said that about 65 percent of all drugs in the United States came through the southwest border. The U.S. government estimates $13.8 billion of dollars in revenue from illicit-drug sales to the United States. After the tragic incident of 9/11 all the borders going into the U.S. became more a lot more guarded and several more random inspections occurred as well. This did not stop the Mexican cartel from now transitioning their production from Mexico into areas like San Diego and Texas. There was a fierce competition in the 1980s among Mexican drug trafficking gangs and families produced an ongoing series of drug wars in a number of border cities, producing assassinations of rival gang members and the murders of government officials, public safety officers and reporters [8]. In September 2006, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, issued an advisory message to Americans, citing rising violence in Mexico related to drug trafficking. He noted that "drug cartels, aided by corupt officials, reign unchecked in many towns along our common border" and that 1,500 Mexicans had lost their lives to 'narco' violence that year [9]. 4 / 7

5 While Mexico is in this drug war within itself, thousands of civilian lives parish. The corruption in Mexico is a rising epidemic. People are involved with the cartel whether they want to be in it or not. Perhaps they needed some money in the beginning, but once someone is a part of this kind of life, there is no way out, but death. The cartel makes sure their workers know that they own them. The U.S. will not take drastic measures to stop the cartel until a huge incident occurs, but I believe one is bound to occur soon. The cartel bribes anyone and the amount of crooked policeman almost if not outweigh the goo completely. Tighter border control is crucial to this decreasing, but we as Americans must realize this is a huge problem that is affecting our country very much and will keep affecting it if we do not put an end to the cartel. My preliminary geographical focus is in Mexico. Search terms: El Chapo, Peer-reviewed, Corruption in Mexico, Government taking bribes, 5 / 7

6 Newspaper articles Bibliography {1} Schoichet, Catherine E. "'El Chapo' Escape Shines Spotlight on Corruption in Mexico." CNN Wire, July 17, &sr=HEADLINE('El Chapo' escape shines spotlight on corruption in Mexico)+AND+DATE+IS+2015 (accessed 5/3/16). [2] CNN Wire, July 17, {3} Riding, Allan. "Corruption again Election Issue in Mexico." The New York Times (1976): 2. /ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:2182/hnpnewyorktimes/docview/ /abstract/4521c090a6f44 080PQ/1?accountid=14902 (Accessed February 25, 2016). {4} Morris, Stephen D. "Drug Trafficking, Corruption, and Violence in Mexico: Mapping the Linkages." Trends in Organized Crime Trends Organ Crim 16, no. 2 (2013): nmgr4004&vid=0&hid=4209&bdata=jnnpdgu9zwhvc3qtbgl2zq==&preview=false#db=bth&an= (Accessed February 5, 2016). [5] Markham, James M. "Former Inmate of Mexican Jail Says Police Frame Americans: Asserts They Make Narcotics Arrests to Collect Bribes From Young People." New York Times, January 25, F4BB2PQ/1?accountid=14902 (Accessed May 3, 2016). [6] New York Times, January 25, [7] Ganster, Paul and David E. Lorey. The U.S.-Mexican Border into the Twenty-first Century. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, [8] The U.S.-Mexican Border into the Twenty-first Century, [9] The U.S.-Mexican Border into the Twenty-first Century, Illustrations Figure 1: There are deals being made everyday between government officials--who control the army--and the cartels and this leads to many deaths. 6 / 7

7 Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) Spring 2016 https://www.google.com/search?q=corruption+in+mexico&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=643&source=ln ms&tbm=isch&sa=x&ved=0ahukewifh5wnymhmahvdwwmkhdbeduyq_auibygc#imgrc=shk3 wtiih4pb2m%3a Figure 2: Mexican and American police, prison guards and government officials get bribed everyday to look the other way dealing with Mexican cartel. https://www.google.com/search?q=corruption+in+mexico&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=643&source=ln ms&tbm=isch&sa=x&ved=0ahukewifh5wnymhmahvdwwmkhdbeduyq_auibygc#tbm=isch&t bs=rimg%3acrjkbwcubmtrijgghd8npxdyqkvsqj6uztdkbghgrv-pbbeatjcshgj4srowpbtki6 YIrByr8QZnSPw0GYPqbdwW4SoSCSCEPyelcPKqEazMiPrjr49tKhIJS-xAnq7NN0oRmtw88iPK2b AqEgkGCEatX6lttxHPzyKxXUv_1dSoSCZpOMJKEaPhKEZDDtsSCCcuLKhIJs5altOQjpggR9HYF4 xjywdkqegmshkvxbmdi_1bf9jwabpvzxzcosctqzgpt3bbheztn0cb9gksv&q=corruption%20in%20mexico&imgrc=ztzukxzubrcrxm%3a Figure 3: While Mexico is in this drug war within itself, thousands of civilian lives parish. https://www.google.com/search?q=corruption+in+mexico&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=643&source=ln ms&tbm=isch&sa=x&ved=0ahukewifh5wnymhmahvdwwmkhdbeduyq_auibygc#tbm=isch&t bs=rimg%3acrjkbwcubmtrijgghd8npxdyqkvsqj6uztdkbghgrv-pbbeatjcshgj4srowpbtki6 YIrByr8QZnSPw0GYPqbdwW4SoSCSCEPyelcPKqEazMiPrjr49tKhIJS-xAnq7NN0oRmtw88iPK2b AqEgkGCEatX6lttxHPzyKxXUv_1dSoSCZpOMJKEaPhKEZDDtsSCCcuLKhIJs5altOQjpggR9HYF4 xjywdkqegmshkvxbmdi_1bf9jwabpvzxzcosctqzgpt3bbheztn0cb9gksv&q=corruption%20in%20mexico&imgrc=vd4-emqkxigbbm%3a 7 / 7

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