Archive for Thursday, October 18, 2007

Report: Drug violence crossing border into U.S.

October 18, 2007


— Escalating violence by drug cartels and deteriorating security in Mexico will make this the most deadly year yet for that nation's drug-related crime, and the violence is spilling into the United States, according to a report released Wednesday for a state panel.

"The deteriorating security situation has profound implications not only for Mexico but also for the United States, since drug violence increasingly crosses the border," says the report, submitted to Gov. Rick Perry's Texas Border Security Council.

The report's chief author is former State Department counterterrorism agent Fred Burton, now an Austin-based consultant and a member of the governor's council.

It says U.S. law enforcement faces poor coordination, corruption and lack of resources for battling drug smuggling.

Describing turf battles between two of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, Sinaloa and Gulf, the report says drug violence in Mexico has escalated despite efforts by President Felipe Calderon.

It said there were 1,543 drug-related killings in Mexico in 2005 and more than 2,100 in 2006, and that the more than 2,100 estimated since Jan. 1 will "certainly make this year the deadliest yet."

On the U.S. side of the border, The Associated Press reported in August that at least seven killings in Laredo in the last two years were linked to the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels. Rosalio "Bart" Reta, a 17-year-old U.S. citizen and alleged soldier for the Gulf cartel, pleaded guilty this summer to a Laredo killing and faces charges on others.

The report says "the underreporting of crimes ... and corruption among low- and midlevel U.S. law enforcement officials facilitate the northward spread of cartel activity."

Conrado Cantu, the former Cameron County sheriff whose territory included the border city of Brownsville, is serving 24 years in federal prison for drug trafficking, extortion and corruption. Three National Guardsmen assigned to the Laredo sector have been charged with human smuggling; one of them has pleaded guilty.

The border security council was set up to help state officials allocate the $100 million that the Legislature authorized this year for law enforcement along the Mexican border.

The council held its first meetings recently in border cities.


sharron5rs 10 years, 6 months ago

Build a wall! Not a fence but a WALL. and then check the borders with the extra police. Of course it will have to be a very high wall. and a very wide wall. With razor wire on top. If that can keep inmates in prison, surely it can help with the drugs and the illeagals.

wheremyshoes 10 years, 6 months ago

What is happening now with the cartels is no different than what happened in the 30's with organized crime. Prohibition and the Great Depression gave the bad guys everything they needed to cause an almost unstoppable crime wave. The answer is to make drugs legal and to regulate production. It's not a good answer, just like alcohol isn't a good thing for a lot of people, but at least regulated production would break down the supply chain for drugs being smuggled into this country. There is no other way.

Ragingbear 10 years, 6 months ago

But we won the war on drugs. How can this happen if we won the war on drugs. Mission accomplished.

krisell 10 years, 6 months ago

If drugs were legalized, it would take all of the power out of the dealers' hands. They would no longer be able to charge whatever they want to, likely making the drugs cheaper, thus driving down crime related to drugs. If a junkie were able to get their fix from their local 7-11 instead of the dealer on the corner, crime related to drug deals gone bad would go down. Dealers would also no longer be able to mix whatever they want to in the drugs they sell, making them safer so that kids who just wanted to experiment with a drug (which kids are going to do, regardless of what the government does) don't have to die for making one mistake. If drugs were legalized we could finally DARE to tell kids the truth about drugs instead of filling their heads with scare tactics and propaganda. If anyone has any real interest in the history of the "drug war" I suggest reading Dan Baum's "Smoke and Mirrors." Even if you disagree that drugs should be legalized it's a very interesting, non-biased read.

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