The Cartels' Wasteland is name given to the ruins of the region occupying much of pre-war Mexico and extending north to the Rio Grande, where it borders the Texas Wasteland. It, along with the Texas Wasteland, serves as the setting for much of Fallout: Cartels.
Mexico was decimated during the Great War. Local wars cross the landscape, epic escalations of the Mexican Drug War that had been occuring before the bombs fell.
Many of those that survived the Great War underwent ghoulification, and were later persecuted. Sometime after 2210, rumors spread among the locals that in the North, beyond the Texas Wasteland, existed a place where ghouls could live freely, thus sparking the Ghoul Migrations. By 2283, in an attempt to keep their (little) control of the landscape, the Texas Brotherhood stationed a Border Patrol, roughly along the Rio Grande, to keep ghouls and addictive chems out of their territory, though it is not very effective.
By 2087, a decade after the Great War, most of the local tribes and populations south of the Rio Grande fall under the control of the Cartels.
The environment of the Cartels' Wasteland is primarily desolate desert. The Great War was not kind to the area; large expanses of land are irradiated as are the few bodies of water in the region. Most of the vegetation that existed in the area before the bombs fell have been wiped out by the radiation, obliterating the ecosystem.