College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Modern Languages and Literatures Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Modern Languages and Literatures



Primary Advisor

Fernando Sánchez


This project attempts to examine the history, evolution, and rapid expansion of the drug trade industry in Mexico. Drug trafficking organizations have caused crime and violence to reach unprecedented levels on both sides of the border. As a result of economic and social struggle, a new form of Mexico’s capitalist state has emerged. This so-called Narco-state is battling a war against drugs which is ultimately failing due to the quickly evolving facets of organized crime. Drugs, human trafficking, and pirated property are all part of the multi-billion dollar import and export business. This generation’s culture of corruption has made its way to even the highest levels of the Mexican state government. As a result of intimidation, violence, and practically unlimited funds, the power struggle between government and organized crime has arguably been shifted in favor of the cartels. By summarizing and analyzing the points made in Ioan Grillo’s book El Narco, I attempt to provide a clear and accurate picture of the current issues involving the drug trade as well as our national response to it (or lack there of). It is necessary to educate ourselves regarding these often grim and sometimes overlooked current events in order to change them. By drawing examples from film, interviews, and music, this project may shed light on the evolving threat, proposed solutions, and the emerging culture of drug trafficking in Mexico.