Monday, October 25, 2010

Mexico’s ‘war next door’ linked directly to U.S. - Cartels established in 270 American cities

The Mexican trafficking organizations have also crossed deeply into the United States, peddling tons of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to American drug users, who reward the cartels with an estimated 19 to 39 billion dollars a year, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Federal authorities say Mexican traffickers are now entrenched in at least 270 American cities, running sophisticated and disciplined networks that not only bring the drugs in, but also ship truckloads of cash back to Mexico. A distinguishing feature of the Mexican drug war is the unspeakable violence played out daily on the streets and posted in graphic detail by newspapers and media websites. Large-scale gun battles, mass executions, corpses strewn in public, beheadings, torture and grenade attacks have become commonplace. As of this writing, at least a dozen Mexican mayors have been killed in 2010 alone. A gubernatorial candidate was shot dead on a highway. After a Mexican marine was killed during a raid against a drug kingpin, gunmen massacred the young man's family after his funeral. "I think they make al-Qaida look tame in terms of what they do. I can't explain how someone loses their humanity and resorts to these things," said Anthony Coulson, a recently retired DEA supervisor. Coulson ran the DEA's Tucson District Office, overseeing 255 miles of border between the U.S. and Mexico. He argued that the violence, and the amounts of illicit drugs flowing from Mexico into the United States, has never been higher and that the traffickers have never been more powerful or in control of more territory than they are now...more

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