Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mexico Represents Single Biggest Drug Trafficking Threat to U.S.

Following up on my previous post on Gov. Jan Brewer's statements on Mexican drug mules, I'm struck by Joe Gandelman's response at The Moderate Voice, "Latest Immigration Comment From Arizona Politico Beneath Contempt":
This fits in with the entire national trend on how politics is now “discussed” right down the line. It’s sheer demonization — stemming from a growing belief that if you say something angrily enough and discredit those on the other side of an argument you win the argument. Proof, schmoof.

Outrageous is an understatement — but the way politics is trending these days Brewer will likely be rewarded with re-election.

She should be "rewarded with reelection":


But let's be honest. Drug trafficking is out of control, and Gandelman should know better than to categorically reject Gov. Brewer's statement, and of course the governor's staff has already issued a clarification, saying there may have been some "missteps." And thus as one of Gandelman's own commenters suggests:

... the way I read the governor's statement as clarified is that she is saying that most of the human smuggling into the US is controlled by Mexican drug cartels and that these cartels press "a lot" (which is different than most) of people into service as drug mules. That's the literal interpretation of what she and her office said.
Yep. That's the "literal interpretation."

And according to the "
National Drug Intelligence Center — National Drug Threat Assessment 2010":
Mexican DTOs [drug trafficking organizations] continue to represent the single greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States. Mexican DTOs, already the predominant wholesale suppliers of illicit drugs in the United States, are gaining even greater strength in eastern drug markets where Colombian DTO strength is diminishing. The extent of Mexican DTO influence over domestic drug trafficking was evidenced in several ways in 2009. For example:
•Mexican DTOs were the only DTOs operating in every region of the country.

•Mexican DTOs increased their cooperation with U.S.-based street and prison gangs to distribute drugs. In many areas, these gangs were using their alliances with Mexican DTOs to facilitate an expansion of their midlevel and retail drug distribution operations into more rural and suburban areas.

•In 2009, midlevel and retail drug distribution in the United States was dominated by more than 900,000 criminally active gang members representing approximately 20,000 street gangs in more than 2,500 cities.

•Mexican DTOs increased the flow of several drugs (heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana) into the United States, primarily because they increased production of those drugs in Mexico.

•Drugs smuggled into the United States by Mexican DTOs usually are transported in private or commercial vehicles; however, Mexican DTOs also use cross-border tunnels, subterranean passageways, and low-flying small or ultralight aircraft to move drugs from Mexico into the United States.

•Mexican DTOs smuggled bulk cash drug proceeds totaling tens of billions of dollars from the United States through the Southwest Border and into Mexico. Much of the bulk cash (millions each week) was consolidated by the DTOs in several key areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and North Carolina, where it was prepared for transport to the U.S.-Mexico border and then smuggled into Mexico.

•According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Mexican DTO members or associates acquire thousands of weapons each year in Arizona, California, and Texas and smuggle them across the border to Mexico.