Friday, April 22, 2011

Mexican drug cartels move into U.S. cities, State Department official says

Mexican drug cartels are operating in more than 230 U.S. cities as they seek to spread their influence, a top State Department official said this week. U.S. law enforcement efforts to stop the cartels are achieving only “mixed” results, according to Roberta Jacobson, deputy secretary of state for Mexico and Canada. Her presentation this week at a political forum in Washington, DC, is being quoted widely in the Latin American news media. Jacobson said drug trafficking from Mexico “is not a crisis that affected only the border.” She quoted a new report from the Justice Department that said cartel members increasingly are becoming residents of U.S. cities where they seek to distribute illegal drugs. Until recently, they more commonly traveled to the United States for short trips then returned to Mexico. “It’s a crisis in our cities across the country,” Jacobson said. The Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center listed the cartels with the widest influence in the United States. It said the Sinaloa cartel is operating in 75 cities, followed by the Gulf cartel in 37 cities, the Zetas in 37, the Juarez in 33, the Beltran Leyva Organization in 30, La Familia in 27 and the Tijuana cartel in 21...more

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