The latest victims

At least thirty five people were killed last week in various Mexican cities after very violent clashes broke out among rival drug trafficking gangs that are fighting a war for dominance and controll of drug trafficking routes to the United States.

According to local officials in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, twelve people were killed because of clashes in numerous incidents during the week. The Mexican state of Sinalosa is located on the northwest coast of Mexico and is the base of operations of the powerful Sinalosa Cartel which is an international drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime syndicate.

The rest of the killings occured in various other smaller scale violent episodes accross Mexico.

The reasons behind the conflicts

As mentioned earlier, the major reason for these conlicts is the fight for dominance and control of the drujg trafficking routes that lead to the United States. However, these conflicts between rival drug gangs have escalated after the arrest of the drug leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Gusman in 2016, who was extradicted to the United States last January. This arrest has created a power gap which rival drug gangs are trying to fill.

More escalation is expected

It seems that Mexico is taking a harder stance against the Drug Cartels with the most recent example being the Battle of Reinosa.

In theBattle of Reinosa, Mexican marines killed Juan Manuel Lossa, known by the nickname "El Toro", who according to the Mexican authorities, was the head of the Gulf Cartel in Reinosa.

Even though this is considered to be a great success for the Mexican authorities against the drug cartels, it also has the potential to intensify the violence between rival drug gangs as it has created a power gap and rival gangs may fight among themselves to fill it.

However, the Mexican authorities need to remain vigilant and continue with their recent successes.

Consequences of the drug gangs war

Since 2011 more than 100,000 people have either been killed or are missing because of actions directly attributed to organized crime and drug trafficking gangs in Mexico. In 2017 the number of drug gangs related killings reached its highest level since 2011.

The most worrying thing is that we are still in April and there are eight more months in the year. This simply means that 2017 is expected to be a record breaking year regarding drug trafficking related killings.