Saturday, June 15, 2024

Mexico's Drug Wars Cause Fears in the U.S.

The drug war in Mexico is blamed for killing more than 6,300 people since January 2008, including more than 1,000 in the first two months of this year alone. The violence has put an enormous damper on Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s government, which has vowed to wipe out the cartels.

According to the U.S. Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center, Mexican drug cartels already control about 90 percent of the cocaine trade across the United States and most of the market for marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin.

The Obama administration’s main goal is to keep violence from spilling across the border, especially in border states such as Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Since violence has reached new heights, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Mexican leaders last week to discuss the Merida Initiative, a three- year plan signed into law last June to flood the U.S.-Mexican border region with $1.4 billion in U.S. assistance.

The National Drug Intelligence Center also lists 230 U.S. cities in Texas, California, Arizona, Washington State, Alabama, Idaho, and twelve cities in North and South Carolina where the drug trade is known to be linked to Mexican cartels. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas said the Mexican drug war is “now a matter of national security”.

The violence that most concerns the United States is the rivalry between Gulf cartel thugs known as Los Zetas and Los Negros, the Sinaloa cartel’s narco-military brigade.  Their battles take place along a 600-or-so-mile stretch of border between Ciudad Juarez and the point where Texas and New Mexico meet. The fear is that violence between the drug cartels will only escalate further.

Texas Governor Rick Perry called on the Department of Homeland Security to send 1,000 troops to the U.S. side of the border, “U.S. resources are being focused too much on Mexico and not enough on Americans on this side of the border”.