By Joseph Orosco (May 10, 2017)
A new report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies claims that Mexico is the second largest conflict zone behind Syria in 2016. Some 50,000 people died in the Syrian conflict in 2016. In Mexico, some 23,000 people were killed in one year as a result of drug cartel violence (that’s more than the conflicts deaths recorded in both Iraq and Afghanistan combined) Its estimated that between 2007 and 2014, some 167,000 people died as a result of the Mexican drug wars.
Of course, the cartel violence is a transnational problem since most of the drug consumption happens in the United States. The estimates are that almost half of all federally incarcerated prisoners are there as a result of the US war on drugs–that would be about 1.5 million people. You can see the skyrocketing rates of incarceration since the US began target drugs in the 1970s:
It’s clear that when you look at the war on drugs from a transnational perspective, we are looking at a staggering waste of human life and potential.