Stories of rampant corruption in the Mexican bureaucracy, acceptance of bribes at the highest levels of government, the growing number of civilian disappearances, and the increase in drug and human trafficking point to collusion between the Mexican government and cartels.

Key points

  • The Mexican drug trade has seen an increase in both activity and violence used by Mexican drug cartels the past 50 years.
  • The Mexican government has a mixed history of dealing with the cartels, alternating between nonchalance, inefficiency, or even more recently, collusion.
  • Although the United States has invested money and manpower to help the Mexican government fight the cartels and eliminate the drug trade, the cooperation has largely depended on the inclination of the administration in power.
  • Numerous reports and evidence of corruption at all levels of the Mexican government, including bribes received by high-ranking officials, point to collusion.