Impact of Drug Cartels and Violence on Mexico’s International Tourism and Economy
Tourism is a crucial industry of Mexico’s economy (Travel-conference.co.uk, 2015). The economic costs of Mexico are substantial since the violence-affected states evince reduced economic activity in the state. Reduced economic activity is evident through reduced number of tourists, reduced investments, and dramatic escalation of transaction costs like ransoms, and rents (Felbab-Brown, 2009). Although the majority of those killed in the drug cartel violence are people involved in drug trade, the violence also affects the lives of ordinary people (Felbab-Brown, 2009). These people even fear to get out of their houses at night as well as daytime due to fear of involvement in crossfire (Felbab-Brown, 2009). The Mexican drug cartel-related violence significantly affects the leisure-travel tourism sector in the country through instilling fear on the tourists who turn their backs on visiting Mexico for vacations (Berzon, 2011). These declines from tourists negatively affect the tourism sector as well as the entire country’s economy.
Mexican drug cartels are the former drug intermediaries based in Mexico through whom drugs reached Texas and Southern California.These new drug trade routes emerged after the United States started its War on Drugs hence, shut down the drug trade routes into Florida through the Caribbean (Institute of Politics, 2012). With the shutdown of former drug trade routes, the Colombian cartels decided to use Mexico as a trade route through which they would distribute their drugs in Southern California and Texas. These cartels would pay their intermediaries huge sums of money. Hence, these intermediaries were able to establish their drug trading routes.
The Mexican intermediaries, therefore, took over the drug trade after the shutdown of the Columbian cartels by the Columbian anti-narcotic forces and the United States (Institute of Politics 2012, p.8).At the time, the only major drug cartel was Felix Gallardo’s Sinaloa Cartel. Sinaloa Cartel is still the dominant drug trading organization to this day, monopolizing up to 45% of the drug industry (Institute of Politics, 2012). Currently, there are seven drug-trading organizations in Mexico: Sinaloa, Los Zetas, Juárez/CFO Beltrán Leyva, La Familia Michoacana, and Gulf. The Juárez cartel is responsible for Ciudad Juárez most reported violence. Ciudad is also one of the hotspots that many civilians have died following the drug war (Institute of Politics, 2012). The Gulf cartel is also becoming increasingly violent with intentions of maintaining its territory on Mexico’s eastern coast. La Familia Michoacan is the newest that has quickly gained a reputation as the most violent drug cartel in Mexico. La Familia changed its name to the Knights Templar under new leadership following the death of its previous leaders, and it remains among the most violent cartels in Mexico.Other major “hotspots” identified of cartel violence in Mexico include the Baja California states, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Michoacan, and Chihuahua, which control the entry of drugs into the United States from Mexico.
The United States is the primary consumer of these drugs (Walser, 2010). Other cities like Culiacan and Tamaulipas, Sinaloa’s capital are …