But after decades of using force to combat the gangs, it is U.S. lawmakers who are the criminals' biggest problem.
Legalisation of marijuana, as recently voted for by Colorado and Washington states, may wipe billions of dollars from the cartels annual profits.
And it has left politicians in Mexico with a tough question: How can they continue to justify spending money and lives fighting drug distribution to America when it will be legal in some states from next month?
Mexico presidential advisor Luis Videgaray said in a radio interview last week: 'Obviously, we cant handle a product that is illegal in Mexico, trying to stop its transfer to the United States, when in the United States, at least in part of the United States, it now has a different status.'
I hate to say it, but maybe it is time to legalize drugs. Let the idiots abuse themselves. Too many innocent people are dying in the drug cartel violence.
What right does the US Congress have to make drugs illegal, short of a Constitutional Amendment? /rhetorical