By Ileana Chaves Brenes - International Relations student

Everything started in 2006, when Felipe Calderon took the presidency of Mexico. President Calderon started the “Operación Conjunta Michoacan” in December 10th, 2006; this operation had as a main goal to end the drug problem, but that worked in a different way. The operation was able to capture “La Tuta”, “El Chayo” and “El Quique” (he died in the capture), this people were the head of “Los Caballeros Templarios”, a crime group in Michoacan (Garcia, 2016). These actions led to the creation of more crime organizations, leading to the actual problem that Mexico has, too many organized groups fighting for geographic power, groups that have amplified and dynamize their criminal activities to maintain a status and their money.

Nowadays, say that there is a war on drugs, is also a fight against other crimes that drug organizations do to profit: money laundry, kidnaps of young people for force works in poppy fields and in the making of synthetic drugs in Guerrero, extortive kidnaps and being hitmen for money or reckoning. More recently, narco groups are being involved in the avocado industry, this not only brings domination over a different group and economic power, but also damage different places inside the country by the constant fight that a group put to the other, affecting in its process the jobs of many people.

Since Operación Conjunto Michoacan, many human rights has been violated, from the privation of liberty of a person till the damage of childhood by the use of child hitman in the side of criminal organization, and the creation of child guerrillas with the purpose of teaching them to protect themselves from narcos (Rojas, 2020). Some other people had to leave their places do the constant threat that criminal organization leaders make, villagers lose their properties and even their livestock, they have to leave with nothing.

The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data (2020) puts the Mexican criminal organization as possible insurgency groups, putting them into their list of conflicts to worry in 2020. The rise of this groups comes with the murderer of journalist and government officials, public hanging, and brutal attacks from cartels; all of this, again, due to the war on drugs that targeted drug leaders during Calderon’s presidency. In 2019, United States president Donald Trump tried to put the Drug Cartels in the terrorist groups category, but at the end he did not do it (Guimon, 2019). What we can understand of all of this during the last 14 years, is that drug cartels are like hydras, if you try to put down one, thousands more are going to appear and try to get power and domain. If this is happening now, what can actually develop within the years to come?


MOXIE es el Canal de ULACIT (, producido por y para los estudiantes universitarios, en alianza con el medio periodístico independiente, con el propósito de brindarles un espacio para generar y difundir sus ideas.  Se llama Moxie - que en inglés urbano significa tener la capacidad de enfrentar las dificultades con inteligencia, audacia y valentía - en honor a nuestros alumnos, cuyo “moxie” los caracteriza.

Bibliographic references:
• Garcia, Miguel (2016) Michoacán fue el inicio de la crisis; combate al crimen. Retrieved from
• Guimon, P. (2019) . Trump suspende la designación de los carteles mexicanos como terroristas a petición de López Obrador. Retrieved from
• Rojas, A. G. (2020). Niños armados en Guerrero: La polémica medida de un pueblo indígena en México para defenderse del narco. Retrieved from
• The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) (2020). Ten Conflicts to Worry About in 2020. Retrieved from