Tuesday, May 31, 2011

U.S. Senate report: Mexico violence is not slowing down

As gun battles raged across western Mexico this week, a new U.S. Senate report warns the United States must do more to bolster the south-of-the-border war on drug-trafficking cartels. “Violence in Mexico continues unhindered without any signs of slowing,” states an accompanying letter signed by the seven members of the U.S. Senate's Caucus on International Narcotics Control, including Texas' Sen. John Cornyn. Skirmishes more akin to guerrilla warfare than underworld score-settling killed dozens of people and drove several thousand more from their homes this week as gunmen battled both criminal rivals and security forces. Mexico has about 450,000 law enforcement personnel, notes the report, which contends police remain under trained, under equipped and that corruption runs rampant. Among the glaring shortcomings pointed out is the need by both governments to learn more about how the cartels sneak home between $18 billion and $39 billion in cash proceeds each year: “Trucks filled with bulk cash literally are being driven across the U.S.-Mexico border,” notes the report. “Far too little is known about the financial structures and procedures of Mexican drug-trafficking organizations,” it continues...more

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