By MICHAEL WEBSTER: Syndicated Investigative Reporter.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon said that he blames U.S. « corruption » for hampering his nation’s efforts to combat violent drug cartels.
« Drug trafficking in the United States is fueled by the phenomenon of corruption on the part of the American authorities, » he said.
Calderon also told the media that the main cause of Mexico’s drug gang problems was « having the world’s biggest consumer (of drugs) next to us. »
Corruption on both sides of the U.S. Mexican border runs deep and can be found in the highest levels of both the Mexican government as well as the U.S.
A high ranking member of the Caldron administration who will remain unknown said, « there is corruption in regards to Narco trafficking in both governments and when there is unlimited cash available that cash finds its way to the powers to be and has no borders when it comes to influence. »
With an estimated yearly income worldwide of over $300 billion in illegal drug sells, no wonder with that amount of cash it allows for an enormous amount of that cash to be distributed and liberally passed around to make things happen.
With cash like that available it should be no surprise that tons of illicit drugs find its way into the U.S. where the very agencies that are charged with stopping that drug flow are often the very ones who the Mexican drug cartels pay off with cash, and lots of it.
Carlos Rico, Mexico’s under-secretary of foreign affairs for North America, said at a meeting with Mex. congressmen that « it’s not up » to the Mexican government to resolve the traffic of drugs towards the United States as long as that demand market exists.
According to news reports the Mexican president has blamed US « corruption » for hampering his nation’s efforts to combat violent drug cartels.
Felipe Calderon also told reporters that « Drug trafficking in the United States is fuelled by the phenomenon of corruption on the part of the American authorities, » he said.
The Mexican president launched a massive assault on drug cartels after entering office in late 2006 but the cartels have responded with campaigns of violence and intimidation that left thousands dead in 2008 and over 1,000 in 2009 so far.
Calderon acknowledged some Mexican officials had helped the cartels but said the US should ask itself how many of its own officials were implicated.
« It is not an exclusively Mexican problem, it is a common problem between Mexico and the United States, » he said.
« I want to know how many American officials have been prosecuted for this [corruption]. »
Calderon, who has deployed thousands of troops to the troubled Mexico-US border regions to crack down on violence, also said that the US must halt the flow of weapons into Mexico, where the police and security services are often outgunned.
But he said recent talks with Barack Obama, the US president, had provided « a clearer, more decisive response, one which matches the magnitude of the problem which we face, » he said.
President Obama and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Michael Mullen recently discussed how the U.S. military can assist Mexico in addressing growing violence from drug cartels, according to a military official. Mullen told the President that the violence has reached crisis proportions on both sides of the border.
Mexican border cities, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean have suffered the brunt of the violence.
Last week at least 20 people were killed during a prison riot in the city sparked by violence between rival Mexican Drug Cartel gangs.
Another U.S. citizen was among the three decapitated bodies found in Tijuana, Mexican authorities said Saturday. Growing drug violence has made beheadings in Tijuana, Juarez and other Mexican towns more commonplace. With more Americans being added to that list over the past year.
At an high level meeting of Mexican Military and Mexican Government officials last week, in Cd. Juarez Mexican authorities said they plan to have 10,000 troops and Federal police deployed in Ciudad Juarez by the end of the week in a bid to quell the violence, along with 12,000 in the rest of Chihuahua and Baja states. Experts estimate more than 60,000 Mexican troops and Federal police patrol many cities in Mexico.
Two of Mexico’s deadliest drug cartels have reached a combined force of 100,000 foot soldiers, wreaking havoc across the country and threatening U.S. border states, the U.S. Defense Department told The Washington Times.
The cartels rival the Mexican army in size and have both Mexico and the U.S. in crisis mode as they deal with what they fear is a coming insurgency along the border.
« It’s moving to crisis proportions, » an unidentified defense official told The Times. The official also said the cartels have reached a size where they are on par with Mexico’s army of 130,000.
The U.S. Military is very concerned with the current violence on the U.S. Mexican border and with the Mexican Drug Cartels paramilitary capabilities. Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of United States Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Commander says we have emergency reaction forces available and they are being staged and immediately available as emergency « on call » units for use against terrorist and other threats on the nation’s border.
The Ft. Bliss 1st Armored Division soldiers will be available to defend homeland security, Renuart said.
Renuart, who visited Joint Task Force-North, last year which is under his command, declined to discuss any details of threats uncovered along the border with Mexico, but he said many agencies, including JTF-North, have made « it a very difficult border for someone to take advantage of. »
The U.S. border with Mexico extends nearly 2,000 miles along the southern borders of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In most areas, the border is located in remote and sparsely populated areas of vast desert and rugged mountain terrain with vast open water of the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific oceans.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the federal agency with primary responsibility to detect and prevent illegal entry into the United States. The latest available data indicates that approximately 11,000 CBP agents patrol the nearly 6,000 miles of international border the United States shares with its neighbors Mexico and Canada.
« It is prudent for us to assume that any of these established trafficking routes, whether it’s human trafficking or drugs or arms or money, any of those could be used, and so we want to keep our eyes and ears on all of those to ensure that they are not used in that regard, » Renuart has said in the past.
Possibly the greatest challenge will be to support National Guard and reserve forces feeling the strain of repeated deployments that also have depleted equipment supplies.
« Our job at NORTHCOM is to ensure that if there’s a seam or a gap there that we’re thinking of how we could fill that with some other capability out of » the Defense Department, he said. « What that has forced us to do it is think about, ‘How do you solve that time/distance problem, even on a short-notice event. And so I have access to capabilities now that I didn’t have a year or two ago that I can move very quickly to fill that need.
« For example, if there were something that occurred in the El Paso area that the Texas National Guard might not have a capability immediately available to respond, but Fort Bliss did in an active-duty unit, then I would pull that active-duty unit out and make that available to the state to assist. »