There's a war going on within Mexico's borders: more than 40,000 Mexican military troops are stationed all over the country in an effort to fight the destabilizing threat of extreme violence fueled by the drug trade.
For many Americans, it can seem like a far-off tale in a distant land. But each day, the danger hits closer to home as more and more American communities are experiencing the effects.
Their illegal exports -- ranging from crystal meth and cocaine to heroin, marijuana, and everything in between -- stream across the border, and Americans can't seem to get enough. It's Americans that fund the cartels' private army and fuel the deadly struggle for power.
America's Most Wanted host John Walsh went across enemy lines to investigate the scourge of Mexican law enforcement that is spilling across our border with increasing regularity.
Not even an enormous fence along the Mexican border can seem to make much of a difference.
"There are about 15 attempts every week to cut through that fence with portable saws and portable blowtorches," John said.
Despite the heavily-guarded border, the drug runners are able to create distractions or even attack border guards.
"Somebody will cut the hole, 20 people will go in, drugs will go through, and try to deter them from catching them on the fence," John said.
This week's show gives you an inside look into this violent trade. John's military escort gives him a firsthand account of the war they are fighting every day, and despite their major efforts and big busts, they know they are up against a monster of a threat.
As John points out, this year so far in Tijuana there have been 70 murders. The army is weeding out corrupt cops and traffickers, "but the big problem of course that we're dealing with, is the huge flow of automatic weapons from our side over to the cartels. It's a bloodbath, spilling over to the U.S."
John Walsh gets an in-depth look into the difficult task the Mexican army is faced with every day. Riding along with the troops, street level and by air in military helicopter, sifting through the army's score of kilos upon kilos of drugs and high powered artillery confiscated each day by the troops.
They are here to stabilize this part of Mexico, and as John states, "to give people encouragement, to give them optimism that the government can overcome the violence." Adding, "it is a beautiful, great country, and it's our neighbor to the south."