Once again, drug trafficking is not an issue that can be solved unilaterally, however, the problem lies in the hands of the violence between the two countries and its cartels. Currently within Mexico, there are four major drug cartels that are fighting each other for territory and smuggling routes. Out of the three, three cartels control most of the border region between the U.S. and Mexico.3 The spill over of the violence from these cartels is thus enforcing more violence across the border. Furthermore, the wars among these drug lords and cartels have spread to U.S. cities such as Phoenix, Houston and Atlanta, where kidnappings and murders have been blamed on the situation in Mexico.4 In addition, the epicenter of violence in Mexico remains in Ciudad Juarez, where nearly 2,000 people have been murdered in a mafia war in the past 14 months.5 With an increase in cartel and violence, brings an increase in trafficking.
With increasing violence, it only moves the drugs across violently rather than secretly. In most cases, drugs are transferred into the United States without difficulty through freight trucks across the border; however, the specific nature and corridors of those movements are constantly in flux as traffickers innovate in their attempts to stay ahead of the police in a very Darwinian environment. The traffickers employ all forms of movement imaginable, including: tunneling under border fences into safe houses on the U.S. side, bribing border officials in order to pass through checkpoints, using densely vegetated portions of the riverbank as dead drops, and shipping narcotics via mail or parcel service, and much more.6
With the cartel at rise, and the appalling ways to bring drugs into the United States, the local gangs are the ones who distribute it on the north side of the border. Some of the tactics involved in moving shipments across the border require skilled workers, such as pilots, while U.S. gang members along the border serve as middlemen and retail distributors.6 The U.S. gangs are crucial in filling the cartel gap north of the border. Members of these border gangs typically are young men who are willing to break the law, looking for quick cash and already plugged in to a network of similar young men, which enables them to recruit others to meet the manpower demand. Also, the cartels need a way to keep these gangs honest. This is where U.S.-based assassins come in. More tightly connected to the cartels than the gangs are, these assassins are not usually members of a gang. In fact, the cartels prefer that their assassins not be in a gang so that their loyalties will be to the cartels, and so they will be less likely to have criminal records or attract law enforcement attention because of everyday gang activity. The new and disturbing trend that has recently risen is that the cartels have begun seeking younger and younger recruits, naming them sicaritos. "Sicaritos are children who are assassins, 13 or 14 years old," says an inmate. "[The cartels] give them a weapon to use. It's easier for a boy. If he's older, he thinks too much — he may think about the consequences. But when you're young, you