CHICAGO (CBS) — The Mexican government says the war with drug cartels left 13,000 people dead through September of last year, meaning the war has killed almost 50,000 people in the last five years.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody has reports U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says the drug war in Mexico is being fueled by the U.S. appetite for drugs.

“It is our consumption of these narcotics that is creating this lucrative opportunity that they’re willing to die for,” Durbin said.

Durbin says money and guns exported from the U.S. fuel the Mexican conflict with the cartels, which has taken 50,000 lives in the last five years.

He says drug war has effectively destabilized the government in portions of Mexico.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports