The Cartel armies are incomparable to the old time mobsters. The Cartel armies are infinitely larger, more global, more resourceful, and infinitely more vicious than any moonshine running gang ever was.
What the heck does rice have to do with anything? There aren’t any ‘rice cartels’ because you can’t get high on rice. That’s a nonsensical non sequitor.
You can’t get high off rice, but people do eat lots of rice right, you might even call them addicted.
Cartels exist because they make large profits from trafficking in substance X. Now, if you can get substance X cheaper/simpler from elsewhere, then there will be no scope for smuggling/trafficking.
It’s irrelevant how many guns they have or how vicious they are. If there’s not a large profit to be made, they don’t really have a reason to exist.