On October 17th, the streets of Culiacan, Sinaloa stirred in chaos as civilians ran to safety and cars were set ablaze in the midst of a one-day war between Mexico’s government and the Sinaloa Cartel displaying the power drug cartels in Mexico possess over their feeble government.
As I scrolled through my social media feeds, they were filled with video after video of the feud fueled by the arrest of Sinaloa Cartel leader, Ovidio Guzmán López, causing me to ask myself: how can one person have this insane amount of power in order to cause a war? A war that would leave eight dead and about 16 people were injured according to the Los Angeles Times.
Just hours after being detained, the Mexican government would release López due to the chaos his arrest was causing.
“You cannot value the life of a delinquent more than the lives of the people,” quoted Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, defending the government’s decision to release López as mentioned in The New York Times.
From a presidential standpoint of wanting to keep the people of your country safe, the choice to release him seems justifiable. In any other circumstance, releasing Ovidio Guzmán doesn’t fix any other problem. What about the country itself? Does it fix the unbalanced scales of crime and justice Mexico has faced for years without end?
I soon found myself thinking of incidents regarding the Mexican government and drug cartels and asking myself: will this cycle of corruption ever end?
The power crime has over the government is utterly unignorable and seemingly unalterable.
It’s not because the citizens of Mexico don’t want change, it’s because every time someone tries to stand up to the broken scale, not so pretty outcomes are the consequence of their courage to stand up to the enemy.
Taking it back to 1985, Guadalajara, Jalisco, the Guadalajara Cartel was thriving, moving marijuana and cocaine into the United States. DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was one of the many agents stationed in Mexico trying to bust the kingpins of the cartel.
Camarena was so close to exposing a drug operation that he soon ended up paying for it with his life after he was kidnapped, tortured by drug traffickers, and found dead days later as said on Heavy.com.
Drugs and narcos aren’t the only problems interfering with the possible change for a better future for Mexico. A major obstacle is people with large sums of money in their pockets and bank accounts. The same people who have the power of running the country that use their position to silently do the dirty work, allowing for cartels to do as they please as long as they’re getting something out of it, rather than actually doing what they publicly say.
Earlier this year, Alex Cifuentes testified in court stating that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán paid off former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto with a $100 million dollar bribe according to The Washington Post.
The same situations continue to happen in different forms. Yet these situations all play into one issue. An endless cycle that keeps the bad guys at the top and untouchable and the good guys at the bottom with a target on their backs.
A cycle has been created by greed and hunger for power. Having these traits ever-present, it is difficult to determine whether Mexico will ever find the light at the end of a dark tunnel they have been stuck in for what seems like an eternity.