A new fight between competing drug cartels, after a series of arrests of high-profile leaders, has only exacerbated the problem.
Authorities in the United States are warning it is out of control, with almost 30,000 murders reported in Mexico in 2017.
The many rarely valued drug is heroin, constructed in immeasurable amounts in poppy fields dug into alpine jungles, almost untouched from the belligerent and stable by thousands of armed squad members.
Some 90% of America’s heroin comes from Mexico.
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After 12 months of traffic with the conglomeration gangs we were told to meet the contacts in the plateau of Guerrero state.
We trafficked on quad bikes over alpine terrain, low into the jungle.
We were escorted by two confidence guards carrying appurtenance guns and dressed in deception with bandanas hiding their faces.
Nobody is allowed down these timberland trails but permission and nobody can get here but being seen by lookouts for miles around.
The gunmen told us to disembark while two “farmers” sensory machetes.
They then began to penetrate their way by the undergrowth.
There was a trail but it had been grown over. It was not their normal route, they told us – rather a brief cut.
Eventually we emerged into one of the cartel’s poppy fields.
It is about 10 hectares and literally cut into the jungle. The almost consistent clouds and distance of the margin make it formidable to mark from the air. The men told us they have a lot of fields speckled opposite the towering range.
They pronounced we are the only outsiders they have ever let in.
Here the drug business flourishes. The men showed me how the poppy is sliced and bled of its oil.
The tender element of what becomes drug and of march heroin.
For them this really is a matter of economics.
Ten hectares of mango would earn a rancher $53,000 a year. Ten hectares of poppy nets them $350,000 a year.
The poppy growers see positively no association between what they furnish and the drugs that harm lives opposite the universe and have directly led to the conglomeration wars and the deaths of tens of thousands of people in Mexico.
“It’s what we have to do to feed the families,” one of the gunmen told me.
Our guards, it transpired, were not there since of us. They are there to strengthen the poppy fields from raids by other gangs. Even in these furious remote plateau the drug wars are never distant away.
“We come here and stay when the poppy is being harvested,” the ensure told me.
“There are gangs who wish the furnish and will kill for it. We are here to stop them,” he said, starting up his quad bike as we headed to the home of the man who allowed the outing to take place.
That man is Ruben Granados. We met him at his medium home, where he was assisting to ready lunch with his second wife. His first wife was killed along with their two sons as a warning to Ruben some years ago.
Ruben says he is the conduct of a farmers’ kinship that grows a accumulation of products on the mountain, including mango, avocado, pot and, of course, the poppies used to make heroin.
The Mexican supervision says he is the conduct of a drug cartel, and sent in troops in 3 Black Hawk helicopters to detain him.
He kick the charges and says all the detain showed was that the supervision and the cartels are in cahoots. Basically everybody wants a cut of the movement constructed on his mountain.
“We live in a very difficult and contrast country since the crime gangs extort, kidnap and kill,” he told me during his first ever interview.
“The supervision is palm in palm with them since the gangs compensate them.
“If you are a criminal, the supervision likes you. If you are honest people, the supervision wants to destroy you,” he said.
Every day Mexico wakes up to some-more news of violence, murder and chaos using in tandem with differently totally typical life.
Mexico is a rich country, but its drugs business eclipses its legitimate economy many times over. The drug business is at the base of the nation’s murder epidemic.
Its resources has left Mexico toughened to the horror of aroused crime, and nobody, from the supervision to law coercion to squad leaders and common farmers, consider they are responsible.
:: Watch Stuart Ramsay’s report on Mexico’s drug trade as partial of Hot Spots, on Thursday night on Sky Atlantic, and in a special report on Sky News at 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 4.30pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday.