The lack of main stream media curiosity about the narco-state war being waged in Mexico is unbelievable. More people are dying in Mexico than the war in Afghanistan as the Mexican government wages a daily battle with drug cartels for its sovereignty.
Mexico’s state of lawlessness should be of particular concern to Americans because it’s painfully clear that the porous border is supplanting free trade with drugs, money and weapons for both countries.
Recently America has stepped up its security measures on some fronts but clearly there is still much more work to be done. Much of the billion-dollar drug profits are funding corruption as well as the murders of politicians, judges, lawyers, police, soldiers and thousands of Mexican nationals.
Mexico is on the verge of a serious inflection point and clearly they are under siege from the drug cartels. There is a rapid disintegration of security even in upscale neighborhoods once thought to be secure. Kidnappings and murders are commonplace and the Mexican leadership still has no answer. Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began his “war on drugs” more than 28,000 people have lost their lives.
And the brutal nature of the violence is spilling into the U.S. at alarming rates. On top of that the majority of the Mexican drug cartels operate freely in every major city within the United States. In the border cities of Juarez, Laredo, and Brownsville, residents complain about gunfire on a regular basis. The drug cartel’s motto of “silver or lead” is a major factor of intimidation that has become an everyday reality. The ability to induce a legitimate government to either accept the silver or risk the bullets leaves Mexico’s citizens powerless in the fight to rid the country of a multi-billion dollar drug industry.
The drug cartels should not to be tolerated; they are intent on the exploitation of drugs, human trafficking and ultimately state control. The American public must understand that the instability in Mexico directly impacts the U.S. and the lack of national security along the southern border presents a larger threat than anything happening in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Speaking of the Middle East wars, the cartels have now introduced Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to their weapons package and have began to target police as well as federal troops with these terrorist tools of the trade.
At a recent roundtable discussion President Calderon discussed the possibility of legalizing illegal drugs in Mexico and it wasn’t long before former Mexican President Vicente Fox jumped on the bandwagon and called for the legalization of all drugs as a method to end the escalating violence. The impact on the U.S. would be the free and uninhibited movement of illegal drugs across Mexico through the U.S. ports of entry.
What’s more amazing is the President Calderon released a statement today admitting there will be more violence in the coming months. “I don’t rule out that there might be more bouts of violence we’re witnessing and what’s more, the victory we are seeking and will gain is unthinkable without more violence,” he said in a statement.
So far the Mexican government has been slow or unable to freeze cartel bank accounts or even seize the banks that “launder” billions in drug money. Many acknowledge it should be relatively easy to identify the banks providing cover for the murderous cartels as Mexico only has a GDP worth $1.465 trillion.
Bribing federal officials remains a key to the cartel’s success. All levels of government including mayors, political candidates, police, military, and high ranking politicians are extorted or bribed by the drug cartels.
The rule of law in any country is dependent upon the integrity of the system. When the integrity is compromised the entire foundation of the republic begins its inexorable decay until it collapses. Such is the case with Mexico.
The drug war is not fiction; it’s a reality that Mexico is sliding toward a Narco-State and the legalization of illicit drugs will only push that country into further civil unrest. One only needs to look at the drug war waged by the Columbian cartels under the rule of Pablo Escobar in the early 1990s for proof narco-states exist.
Mexico is not alone in the drug frenzy, American’s insatiable appetite for “harmless, recreational” illegal drugs ensures that billions of dollars exchange hands and cement violence in both countries.
Think about the tens of thousands of people who have been tortured, murdered, enslaved, or trafficked so American drug users can get high. Think of the people in Mexico who live in constant fear everyday from bombings, beheadings, kidnappings and brutality the cartel-business plan provides. The attitude or argument that many liberal-minded people invoke that “recreational” drugs are not hurting anybody need only look at the 28,000 deaths our neighbor to the south has suffered in the last four years.
Mexican citizens face gruesome headlines everyday like; “Disappearance of Mayor confirmed (a few days later he was found tortured and murdered); Cuidad Juarez records new violence record (1,852 people murdered in first half of 2010).
Nuevo Leon, is a northern state where both Monterrey and Santiago upscale communities are located, unfortunately they have seen a sharp increase in crime due to the fact that the most violent drug cartel, Los Zetas, moved into the region. For Mexico the safe zones are rapidly disappearing.
As a result, transnational citizens are purchasing U.S. property along the southern border to insure safe passage of drugs into the American market, making billions and sending satchels of money back to Mexico where the country continues to teeter on the brink of poverty and all out war.
During this time of incredible violence President Calderon is blaming America for not increasing its drug interdiction budget-this amounts to a typical third world shake down for U.S. money.
Mexico exports millions of tons of cocaine, marijuana and meth across, under and around its border with the U.S. and then Mexican citizens send billions of dollars per year in illegal currency via wire transfers from the U.S. to Mexico to further exploit its citizens.
Now leadership in Mexico wants America to stop the flow of weapons and money that flows south. Currently the average wait to enter the U.S. via car from Mexico is well over an hour and for those heading south into Mexico it’s 5 minutes at best. Mexico doesn’t provide much border security at the ports of entry as well as the fence structures are provided and maintained by the U.S.
There is no question our neighbor to the south is literally fighting for its life, but it’s up to Mexico to control its drug cartel problem. Equally important is the U.S. federal government’s responsibility to secure the nation’s borders and stop the northward flow of illegal drugs.
In order to move forward the Mexican government needs to offer more economic security to its citizens so they can turn their backs on the drug pushers and move towards a strong trade partnership similar to the one America enjoys with Canada our neighbor to the north.
The Mexican cartel wars cannot be won without a concerted effort by both Mexico and the U.S. The myth that these illegal drugs are “recreational” and harmless must be confronted as forcefully as possible by America through awareness and enforcement.
The U.S. must close the border and force individuals and cargoes to pass through inspection sites at ports-of-entry. Mexico must guard its own ports-of-entry to reduce the flow of weapons and cash into Mexico.
Cash is king for a reason, it provides access and enforcement. Mexico must seize laundered money being sanitized for entry back into the legitimate marketplace. Without cash the cartels cannot operate, but conversely, with the volumes of cash being generated, it is impossible to hide the hundreds of billions moving through Mexican banks each year.
Perhaps Mexico could declare martial law for a few years to root-out the cartels and destroy them. The alternative of legalizing these drugs by Mexico would result in catastrophic results for America and would immediately expand the reach of the cartels into the U.S. A failure to act and to act in a rigorous effort will merely force the cartels into new sanctuaries in Central and South America and continue to expand the lure of human traffickers into the North.