Contrary to what you might think, the economies of organized crime don’t principally benefit the countries in which the criminals have the most freedom. The majority of the money coming out of these businesses is going to end up in first world nations, which are the final destinations of these mafias’ products and services. This revelation, released by the United Nations, is very important for Mexico because it means that the cost of the fight against crime is not borne by those actually spilling blood and eroding society.

The countries that grow the majority of illegal drugs in the world are those that receive the majority of attention and criticism; however, the profits stay at the drugs’ final destination: the rich countries. The study “The Globalization of Crime: Evaluation of the Threat of Transnational Organized Crime,” written by the office of the U.N. Against Drugs and Crime, supports this. The analysis shows that 70 percent of the $72 billion that cocaine trafficking creates in one year stays in developed countries.

Independent of the statistics and percentages exist various questions that specialists, using logic and international experience, have already put on the table. Can there be victory against the cartels when tons of drugs in Mexico are confiscated and the only result is money laundering in the United States? Will sex trafficking be able to end in Latin America while pimps in Europe have booming business? Obviously, no! As long as the businesses in those countries remain untouched, trafficking, assassins and gangsters will exist here.

For decades Europe and the U.S. have said that the corruption in developing countries is the principal cause of transnational crime, and it is with this that they have excused themselves from the blame.

That unfair relationship is much more apparent in the case of Mexico and its fight against nacro-trafficking. Its neighbor to the north refuses to control the free sale of large arms that end up in the hands of the cartels, does not restrain the cartel activity in its border cities and has done almost nothing to reduce its citizens’ consumption of drugs. Why should Mexico do the dirty work of the United States?

The risk is that, in the face of the innocuous anti-crime fight of Europe and the United States, the rest of the countries give up on confronting their problem. This would be the worst scenario because it would permit criminals to normalize their presence in the “third world.”

The developed countries will have to do much more than they are doing. Otherwise, beyond their borders, crime will eventually convert itself into something tolerated and normal.