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Mexican Drug War

Years: 2004-2017 [1]
Non-state conflict, battle-deaths: 19,291 [3]
Onesided violence: 382 [2]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]

This conflict is coded as a non-state conflict.
Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2024-04-01 10:01:11
This is primarily a non-state conflict with state involvement in which a number of drug cartels fights for regional control over drug markets. Below is a quote from wikipedia.
The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict between rival drug cartels fighting each other for regional control and against the Mexican government forces. The government’s principal goal has been to put down the drug-related violence that was raging between different drug cartels before any military intervention was made. In addition, the Mexican government has claimed that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on drug trafficking prevention, which is left to U.S. functionaries. Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for several decades, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia’s Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market by controlling 90% of the drugs that enter the United States. Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States. Source: Wikipedia, published under the GNU FDL. Retrieved [dat]


[2] UCDP One-sided Violence Dataset v. 1.4-2016 (link) including actors: / Los Zetas / Government of Mexico
Low: 382 High: 399

[3] UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset v. 2.5-2017 (link) including dyads: / Gulf Cartel vs Sinaloa Cartel / Juarez Cartel vs Sinaloa Cartel / Sinaloa Cartel vs Tijuana Cartel / Beltrán Leyva Cartel vs Sinaloa Cartel / Tijuana Cartel vs Tijuana Cartel - El Teo faction / Los Zetas vs Sinaloa Cartel / Beltrán Leyva Cartel vs Beltrán Leyva Cartel - Valdez Villareal faction / Gulf Cartel vs Los Zetas / Jalisco Cartel New Generation vs Los Zetas / Jalisco Cartel New Generation vs La Resistencia / La Familia vs Los Caballeros Templarios / Cartel Independiente de Acapulco vs La Barredora / Jalisco Cartel New Generation vs Los Caballeros Templarios / Los Zetas vs Los Zetas - Velazquez Caballero faction / La Mochomera vs Sinaloa Cartel / Gulf Cartel - Ramirez Treviño faction vs Gulf Cartel - Villareal faction / Autodefensas Unidas de Michoacán vs Los Caballeros Templarios / Guerreros Unidos vs Los Rojos / Sinaloa Cartel - Los Chavez Matamoros faction vs Sinaloa Cartel - Los Salgueiro faction / Gulf Cartel - Dragones de Sheyla faction vs Gulf Cartel - Los Fresitas faction / Sinaloa Cartel vs Forces of Damaso / Los Ardillos vs Los Rojos / Jalisco Cartel New Generation vs Sinaloa Cartel / Sinaloa Cartel - Los Memos faction vs Sinaloa Cartel - Los Salazar faction / Sinaloa Cartel - El Pepillo faction vs Sinaloa Cartel - Los 28 faction / Los Zetas - Cártel del Noreste faction vs Los Zetas - Old School Zetas faction / Los Zetas - Jorge Ivan Hernandez Cantu faction vs Los Zetas - Juan Pedro Salvador Saldivar Farias faction / Jalisco Cartel New Generation vs La Nueva Familia
Low: 18,316 High: 31,019

Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Note: the reference to Wikipedia about fatality data for this conflict has been removed and substituted with data from UCDP, which explains the new, much lower, number.

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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