The Narco-Terrorist State Next Door
Mexico isn't faring well in its war against the drug cartels, and it's a problem for the U.S.
While Americans were besieged by the Left’s impeachment fever, the biggest real story of the year went largely unnoticed: Mexico has officially become a narco-state.
Last Thursday, in the city of Culiacan, a de facto army of well-armed thugs from the Sinaloa cartel battled — and defeated — the Mexican military. The battle was precipitated by the capture of Ivan and Ovidio Chapman, the sons of jailed drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Ivan was quickly freed by his own men, after they prevailed over government forces. He then launched a city-wide war to free his brother. Eight people were killed and more than 20 wounded, and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrado ultimately ordered Mexican forces to retreat. “The capture of one criminal cannot be worth more than the lives of people,” he said. “This decision was made to protect citizens. … You cannot fight fire with fire,” he added. “We do not want deaths. We do not want war.”
War is exactly what you’ve got, Mr. President. Whether you want it or not.
How well-organized and well-equipped were the cartel members? This video shows two men cruising through the city in a custom-built armored vehicle armed with military-grade weaponry. This one shows cartel members with more heavy weapons, including anti-tank launchers. Reports indicate cartel mercenaries targeted Mexican security forces with 14 separate attacks leading to the capture of of eight soldiers who were held hostage, and whose families were subsequently kidnapped. Cartel forces erected 19 blockades to prevent additional military and police from responding. While the battles raged, several inmates escaped from a nearby prison.
The final outcome? “The eight-hour battle ended when government forces, outgunned and surrounded, without reinforcements or a way to retreat, received an order directly from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to release their prisoner and surrender,” columnist John Daniel Davidson explains.
Unsurprisingly, Reuters sought to establish a link between the cartel’s success and American President Donald Trump. “To boost security, Lopez Obrador has created a new National Guard,” Reuters stated, “but thousands of that militarized police force’s members have instead been sent to contain illegal immigration through Mexico at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump.”
Just illegal immigration? How about human trafficking? In May 2018, former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Congress cartels were making at least half a billion dollars per year smuggling illegals into America.
Drug smuggling? The following October, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was targeting 45 leaders, financiers, transporters, and suppliers of Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) cartel with 15 indictments for bringing cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl-laced heroin into the U.S. — at a rate of 10 tons per month, netting a single cartel $12.7 billion per year.
Military capabilities? In 2015, CJNG used a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to shoot down a military helicopter, and it shot down a police helicopter the following year. U.S. Border Patrol agents have spotted drones capable of smuggling — and terrorist attacks — flying near the border.
In reality, the border is a euphemism. Drug cartels the DEA has labeled the “greatest criminal drug threat to the United States” four years running have established routes going to Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, New York, Chicago, El Paso, Oklahoma City, Houston, New Orleans, Detroit, and Atlanta. They have inundated America with life-threatening drugs that originate in Asia, to the point where Americans are now more likely to die from drug overdoses than car accidents. The problem is so serious, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cites it as one of the primary factors for the longest decline in life expectancy since America was afflicted with WWI and the Spanish flu pandemic between 1915 and 1918.
Shouldn’t the reality that we have a conglomeration of extremely well-armed, well-organized, hostile entities bordering America be our foremost national security consideration? Cartels are now so deadly Mexico is well on its way toward breaking last year’s record total of more than 29,000 murders. They are so sophisticated they have diversified their economic activities into garments and textiles, mining, logging, shipping, oil and gas production, industrial agriculture, and offshore commercial fishing. They are so emboldened they have carried out executions in the United States, engaged in shootouts with American law enforcement and have partnered with bloodthirsty gangs like MS-13.
So, why haven’t they been designated as terrorist organizations? As this web search reveals, America’s Ruling Class has been “talking the talk” for as long as nine years. And as this 2011 article lays bear, part of the problem is ideology: like the terrorists who brought down the World Trade Center, the Obama administration and Democrats insisted cartels were a “law enforcement” problem and not a military one.
Since then the U.S. has embraced verbal posturing. “Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) is a word commonly used by government agencies to describe drug cartels,” Breitbart News reported in 2015.
Yet the real resistance to the designation is as simple — and cynical — as it gets. “Designating the cartels as terrorists could … serve as a maneuver to help the president gain political leverage for his controversial wall,” CNN columnist Tim Lloyd stated last March.
It gets worse. “While Mexican cartels may satisfy the baseline criteria for FTO [foreign terrorist organization] designation,” Lloyd adds, “the resultant impact could introduce crippling costs for the US banking industry, which is already spending over $25 billion per year on anti-money-laundering (AML) compliance, according to data analytics firm LexisNexis.”
In other words, the same American public that bailed out the banks in 2008 — ultimately to the tune of $700 billion in TARP funding and the commitment to come up with another $16.8 trillion — should fret over the costs associated with money-laundering the banks themselves have facilitated. Money laundering, e.g., that the Justice Department says the American Division of HSBC bank did for Mexican drug cartels in the staggering amount of of $881 billion.
As for “crippling costs,” 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017 — as in more than the amount of casualties America sustained in Vietnam and Iraq combined.
“Americans should know that they do not have a functioning nation-state across their southern border,” columnist Sumantra Maitra explains. “And that should keep every sane person awake at night.”
Is sanity still part of the equation? Members of the Ruling Class have become so corrupt that they will express indignation about the administration’s failure to protect the Syrian border while ours remains wide open — and while their corporate media lapdogs insist everything related to illegal immigration is a “manufactured” crisis. They will allow Americans to be tortured, raped, and murdered by cartel-enabled drug gangs and insist it’s tolerable because illegals commit wholly avoidable crimes at “lesser rates” than native-born Americans. And they will sit back and dither while the cancer of international drug cartels metastasizes to the point of anarchy in a country with which we share a border that is 1,954 miles long.
Tragically, the distance between our Ruling Class and moral decency — as well as national security — is far greater than that.