ENG 122 English Composition II
Instructor: Michelle Terashima
September 17, 2012
Reducing Drug Trafficking in the United States Drug trafficking has been going on for hundreds of years. Throughout this time there has been a problem with drug smugglers crossing particularly over the U.S. and Mexico border. Drug trafficking is a major issue that affects everyone including children, women, and men. Drugs can break apart families, cause chaos in people’s lives, and lead to death directly or indirectly. The federal government’s attempts to the import of illegal drugs have been unsuccessful in reducing or solving the drug trafficking dilemma. How are these drugs able to be smuggled across our border? In December 2009, U.S. Immigration and customs Enforcement (ICE) and San Diego Tunnel Task Force discovered a passageway from Tijuana into the United States that was more than 860 feet long. Within the tunnel it had lighting, ventilation systems, and even an elevator (SNC, 2011). What have they done to control the issue of drug trafficking? One would contemplate if United States government has won in the fight against drug trafficking between the U.S. and Mexico border. In general drug trafficking is an international illegal trade incorporating the development, mass-production, transporting and sale of illegal drugs (UNODC, 2012). Drug trafficking coincides with the “Demand and Supply” factor. According to Mark Kleinman, “Mexico and the United States do not occupy symmetrical positions in the binational drug situation. The United States is central to Mexico's drug problem, whereas Mexico is incidental to that of the United States” (2011, para.6). Mexico is along the southwest border of the U.S. which allows for drug supplies to be smuggled easily across the border. In 1971 President Nixon declared a “war on drugs”. The war on drugs is a campaign of prohibition by the United States government intended to reduce the illegal drug trade. Since the war on drugs campaign began there has been an ongoing struggle in our country with reducing drug trafficking. In furthering the reduction of drug trafficking Presidents George W. Bush and Felipe Calderon launched a security partnership called the Mérida Initiative in 2007. This bilateral partnership consisted of the United States giving Mexico funding inasmuch as billions of dollars for security assistance over a several year period of time. The Mérida Initiative primarily focuses on technology transfer and law-enforcement activities. Originally the Mérida Initiative was supposed to last from FY2008 to FY2010; however, the Obama Administration agreed on a commitment of furthering Mérida Assistance beyond 2012 (SNC, 2011).
People smuggle drugs in several different ways. Border tunnels are used to transport drugs from Mexico to the United States; they can also be a way of transport for people and contraband. Since May 1990 to May 2011, 137 tunnels have been found. In September of 2001, 125 had been discovered and showing that there is still an increase of tunnels, the threat of drug trafficking is still an ongoing problem (SNC, 2011). They also have vessels that are driven at night and are less detectable by radar. Another smuggling technique is to strap drugs onto a person and hope they get pass officials going across the border or via airport. Other ways of smuggling are putting drugs into porcelain items or stuffed animals, hidden compartments in vehicles, and of course inside people. What are the effects that drug trafficking has on society one might ask? Casualties, death and killings of innocent bystanders including women, young people, and even children have been a problem. According to the World Drug Report of 2011 it is believed that drugs create crime, violence, and other social issues that ravage communities (UNODC, 2011). Drug traffickers can go as far as assassinating government officials. Along with drug