The illegal drug trade has brought nothing but bad things on both sides of the border. From the terror inflicted on Mexican citizens to the violence in U.S. cities, the drug trade is a common enemy on both sides of the border. This common enemy has now brought the U.S. and Mexico to form a new cooperation in the fight against illegal drugs. 

Citing drug-fueled violence on the streets of Chicago, U.S. and Mexican authorities recently announced a new cooperative push to target south-of-the-border cartel leaders, expedite prosecutions and seize the American currency that flows their way. 

According to Brian McKnight, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Chicago office. “This not just a national problem. This is an international problem. … A new era of law enforcement is upon us, and we are coming for you.” 

During the first weekend of August Chicago experienced gang related violence in which 74 people were shot leaving 12 dead. This new cooperative response by law enforcement on both sides of the border was due in part to this shocking wave of violence. 

Anthony Williams, the DEA’s chief of operations, told reporters, “Gangs and cartels go hand-in-hand,” “they use each other in an effort to expand their independent business enterprises.” 

Some believe this recent news isn’t that different in terms of ongoing policies. Nathan Jones, security studies professor at Sam Houston State University, noted the “kingpin strategy” of targeting high level cartel leaders has been tried in Mexico, in cooperation with the United States, for a dozen years, but that it’s “not that popular in Mexico.”   

There are also those who believe that this nothing more than trying to install a tougher law enforcement policy in Mexico before Andrés Manuel López Obrador takes office as Mexico’s new President. Obrador has vowed a new era of peace, amnesty for some drug traffickers, and an end to what he has described as a failed paramilitary war on drugs. Needless to say, this doesn’t sit well with the U.S.