Over the past several months, drug-related violence in Mexico has been soaring, accelerating an already alarming trend of rising drug-related deaths and contributing to what one former U.S. official has called “a decade-long bloodbath.”
To some extent, the latest spike in violence is nothing new for Mexico. For more than a decade, Mexico has experienced waves of drug-related violence as the Mexican government has waged an internal drug war against the country’s drug cartels. “Successive Mexican presidents have implemented policies aimed at disrupting these drug-trafficking organizations, but the result has been a decade-long bloodbath that has cost more than 100,000 deaths to the ensuing violence,” former State Department official Roger Noriega said earlier this year.
At the same time, the spike in violence shows that Mexico’s struggles are far from over. Although a steady decline in violence from 2012 to 2014 raised hopes that the situation was improving, the trend reversed in 2014 and has only worsened since then. “Mexico’s bloody drug war is killing more people than ever,” the Los Angeles Times reported in July.
Observers cite numerous reasons for the increase in violence. They blame everything from the fracturing of drug cartels to the inability of local police forces to deal with the situation.
Officials in the Trump administration, who entered office at a time of increasing violence, have provided their own novel…