Mexican drug cartels are the “other” terrorist threat to America. Militant Islamists have the goal of destroying the United States. Mexican drug cartels are now accomplishing that mission – from within, every day, in virtually every community across this country.
ISIS only dreams of exacting the human casualties the Mexican cartels achieve, despite decades of the “War on Drugs.” The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates heroin-related overdose deaths increased 244 percent between 2007 and 2013. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated nearly 1,000,000 American heroin users in 2014.
The DEA’s 2015 threat assessment says Mexican drug cartels “remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group can challenge them in the near term.” Mexican drug cartels are engaged in an insidious and deadly attack on our country – right now.
The Commonwealth of Virginia declared a public health emergency on November 21, 2016, over the growing crisis of heroin and opioid addiction.
The greatest criminal threat to the daily lives of American citizens are the Mexican drug cartels. Their corrosive power is killing Americans regardless of race, color, creed or zip code.
There has been an exponential increase and simultaneous shift, from prescription opioids to heroin (sometimes mixed with the synthetic narcotic fentanyl). For the Mexican drug cartels, the border is in Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, and all other communities across the country.
The American heroin market begins in the poppy fields of Mexico. Controlled by the cartels, and more recently assisted by Southwest Asians who provide agricultural production techniques (increasing both quantity and quality) – and combat training for the cartel armies (learned by fighting US forces).
The cartel armies are increasingly dangerous and more sophisticated. In May 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported foreign fighters training the Jalisco New Generation Cartel in how to shoot down Mexican Army helicopters. It’s “win-win” for the Mexican cartels and the jihadis.
Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon), and the rural southwest corner of Chihuahua are the Sinaloa Cartel’s base for poppy production. Reportedly, the same area has the largest concentration of Islamists in Mexico – surpassed, perhaps, only by Mexico City.
None of this information is “news” to U.S. law enforcement, intelligence, defense or diplomatic officials. The staff of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) literally watches it all go on – right under their noses.
How can this be? Here is the unpopular answer: We have an “insider threat” – corrupt law enforcement officers at the municipal, state and federal levels – who are bought and paid for by the Mexican cartels.
The corruption runs the gamut from turning a blind eye to accepting monthly stipends and performance bonuses deposited in banks in, for example, Ciudad Juárez.
The corrupt law enforcement officers are aided and abetted by corrupt elected officials and crooked lawyers who know how to work the system. These are often popular local and regional public figures with business interests and standing in the community. They are also people who leverage their positions in order to “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” when it comes to enforcement.
The corrupting process is facilitated in the United States by “legitimate” cartel fronts, in the agribusiness and transportation industries, among others. No one likes that answer, but it’s the truth.
How else can tractor-trailer loads of heroin make it into the country? How has such an elaborate and efficient distribution system spread throughout the country and perpetuated itself for decades? One knowledgeable law enforcement source gave me an example: “Does Walmart ever run out of milk? No. That’s exactly what the cartel distribution system is like across the entire country. It only works so efficiently because of corruption.”
The greatest criminal threat to the daily lives of American citizens are the Mexican drug cartels. Their corrosive power is killing Americans regardless of race, color, creed or zip code – and that undermines public confidence in the rule of law. The cartels corrupt our trusted public officials and institutions. Their violence and cruelty know no bounds.
What will President Trump and Attorney General Sessions do differently to defeat this “other” threat to the United States?
They need to start by "cleaning house” at the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
Chris Farrell is the Director of Investigations & Research for Judicial Watch and a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. He is a former Military Intelligence officer and Special Agent of US Army Counterintelligence. Farrell is also an Adjunct Professor in the Journalism Program of the Department of Communications at George Mason University.