U.S. Government Crisis: Mexico Drug Cartels:
Are they Number 1 Organized Crime Threat in America?
By Clarence Walker, Investigative Crime Journalist
The U.S. government is on the defensive. There's a major crisis threatening America's security. This diabolical threat do not involve foreign terrorists, chinese spys, Al-Qaeda; nor the Russian Mafia. This unrelenting threat comes from major narco gangsters known throughout the U.S. and South America as Mexican drug traffickers. On December 15th 2008, the U.S. government declared that Mexican drug traffickers who join forces with other street-level gangs, the Italian Mafia, and other crime groups to smuggle drugs across the border have become the biggest organized crime threat to the National Security in America. "Mexican drug organizations represent the greatest organized crime threat in America", the report stated. "The influence of Mexican drug trafficking is totally unrivaled".
"In an age when we are increasingly concerned about the spread of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction....it is imperative that we support and strenghten government institutions, particularly those of our immediate neighbors", says DEA intelligence Chief Anthony Placido. As Colombia's Medellin and Cali Cartels slowly diminished from power the Mexican drug syndicates now dominate the drug trafficking industry.
National Drug Intelligence Center, further reported, Mexican National Drug Intelligence Center, further reported, Mexican cartels are "the predominate smugglers, transporters and wholesale ditributors of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines and heroin into the United States".
It is no secret, government officials say, "that drug cartels based in Mexico are the most dangerous and politically connected crime syndicates in the Western hemisphere and eventually will spread their power bases across the globe". In addition to drug trafficking violence criminal groups in Mexico has kidnapped dozens of American citizens for ransom.
These citizens were visiting the country as tourists and in some cases they were killed if no money paid on time for the ransom and the FBI along with Mexico authorities have failed to locate several Americans kidnapped by criminal organizations.
FBI Director Robert Mueller described Mexican cartels, and other gangs based in the U.S. as "more organized, more violent and widespread than ever".
The Department of Justice estimated there are approximately 30,000 gangs with more than 800,000 members in the U.S. that pose a growing threat to the safety and security of Americans.Mexico Drug Underworld
According to Council on Foreign Relations, DEA, FBI, and numerous newspapers stories, Mexico's drug cartels has waged a fierce, well organized battle with the Mexican government.
When Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006, his first order of command was to utilize thousands of federal troops to crack down on drug trafficking and the violence connected with the illegal industry. Despite Calderon's hard-line approach dead bodies kept piling up.
For example, in 2007, more than 2,500 drug-related deaths in Mexico were reported and in 2008 the total increased to 5,300 - more than all the deaths reported from the Iraq war- as the cartels engaged in ongoing battles amongst each other for what authorities say is an approximate $15-$30 billion a year drug trade.
Murders and ongoing gun battles in the Mexico drug trade is nonetheless a symbol of gangsters carrying out dirty business. Experts and law enforcement have applauded judicial reforms imposed by the Mexican government as a positive step in the right direction, but warily cautioned that reforms must take time to be effective.
When asked if his country had become a 'failed state', Mexico's Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan, told reporters recently that "such a characterization was a very irresponsible remark".
He insisted that "corruption is being challenged and infiltrators into law enforcement and government agencies are being rooted out."Cocaine Trafficking
Approximately 90 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States is trafficked through Mexico, according to the State Department's 2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.
Mexico drug trade is exclusively controled by cartels along the southeast coast. Three major groups identified are the Sinaloa Cartel, the Gulf Cartel, and the Tijuana Cartel. Other cartels are:(1) Los Zetas (2) Beltran Leyva (3) Carillo Fuentes aka Juarez cartel. (4) Arellano Felix organization Of 41 major drug trafficking organizations based in Latin America identified by DEA(Drug Enforcement Organization)16 are located in Mexico state. Other factors DEA reported are: (1) Mexican Cartels "control drug distribution in most U.S. cities and currently gaining strength in markets they do not yet control", the report discovered. (2) Mexican Cartels supplied drugs to approximately 230 U.S. cities between January 2006 and April 2008. (3) U.S. officials also alarmed about illegal meth use, although importation restrictions stemmed the meth flow from Mexico in 2007 and 2008. (4) Organized Mexican and Colombian drug traffickers earned between $18 billion and $39 billion in wholesale profits.Drug Trade Violence
Violence in Mexico's drug underworld reached epidemic levels beginning in 2006 and thereafter the carnage of violence reached its highest peak. Cartel gangsters are notoriously known for decapitating the heads of rivals and informants and innocent bystanders are often killed in crossfires.
Other sadistic tactics the narco gangsters use to murder victims are: Physical beatings, torture, bodies dumped on streets or vacant lots; bodies that are strangled, including multiple gunshot wounds to the body and head; decapitated heads placed on fence posts for public inspection and bodies dipped in acid.
On September 6, 2006, masked gunmen barged into a nightclub in the Michoacan area, firing guns into the ceiling. And in a grisly display of intimidation the gangsters rolled five decapitated heads onto the dance floor. They left a sign among the bloody carnage that said: "The family doesn't kill for money. It doesn't kill women or innocent people, only those who deserve to die. Know this is divine justice".
In other acts of sadistic violence the drug cartels utilized tactics oftenly used by foreign terrorists by using a video to record masked killers cutting off the heads of captured informants and rivals. Once the recording of the decapitations were done the killers would distribute the videos to the public obviously to invoke fear into rival cartels and government officials.Government Crackdown
Upon taking office in December, 2006, President Felipe Calderon employed approximately thirty thousand troops to work with the police in nine states, including Michoacan, Guerrero, and the Golden Triangle of Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua.
These military groups eradicated crops, developed intelligence, conducted raids, interrogated suspects and recovered tons of drugs and related contrabands.
These efforts, according to experts, "succeeded in generating a temporary sense of improved citizen security", writes Maureen Meyer of the Washington office on Latin America in a 2007 briefing paper.
Ultimately, Meyers pointed out, such efforts have faltered in the face of basic laws of drug supply and demand", she said. Government officials has reported signs of progress, but violence is still on the rise and high-level government officials are targeted.
Among thousands killed in the drug-related war approximately 450 government officials were casulties including police officers, soldiers, prosecutors, and the assistants to elected government officials.
According to a 2008 poll in Mexico's City's Reforma Newspaper, 53 percent of Mexicans think the government is losing the fight against the drug cartels. It took decades for the law to destroy the American Mafia. Lets hope the same fate will someday destroy drug traffickers.