In 2006, Mexico's president Felipe Calderon declared a war on drugs. This was in response to the growing power of Mexico's cartels, who had acquired vast wealth from the proceeds of drug trafficking. In 2012, corruption and violence had proliferated, and yet the Mexican government claimed that they were close to a turning point in the war. By late 2016, officials remarked that there were only two major cartels left, after Mexico had pursued a strategy of decapitation by killing and arresting cartel bosses. This strategy of splitting large cartels into many more little cartels resulted in yet more bloodshed. The first half of 2018 saw record breaking homicide rates.
Is there any evidence that the Mexican state is winning its war against the cartels? Specifically, is there any evidence that the nation's divide and conquer strategy is working, or even viable?