Mexico’s drug war conjures up images of bullets, blood, and headless corpses, but the Global Post has compiled a list of five things about the narco conflict that are less readily apparent.
None of the five facts are as shocking as the drug-related death toll—nearly 23,000 since 2006—but there are a few surprises and causes for concern.
1. All of the confiscated drug trafficker loot is being channeled to a Mexico City museum, which now houses acquisitions including high-tech spyware and diamond-encrusted pistols.
2. A record number of confiscated weapons were traced to U.S. retailers in 2008. The cross-border bullet trade is also flourishing, and since there are no special regulations on bullets, there is not much U.S. officials can do to stop it.
3. Kidnappers and cartels regularly use Twitter and other online social networks to communicate, making government officials consider restrictions on these sites.
4. While Mexicans who cross the border claiming political asylum are often expelled, an increasing number of wealthy and entrepreneurial Mexicans are securing a special class of U.S. visa that allows them to flee Mexico by investing in American enterprises.
5. The drug violence is expanding beyond Mexico. The cartels are reaching into the Caribbean and entering Africa and Muslim countries, where emissaries can secure the materials to make methamphetamines they can ship back to South and Central America.
Quick Study: Mexican Drug War