Running head: DRUG CARTEL VIOLENCE Drug Cartel Violence Coming Soon to America Kyle R. Malin Southern New Hampshire University Abstract Drug Cartel Violence is seen nationwide on a daily basis. The gorilla like warfare has had some spill over into the United States. Due to the high demand of illicit drugs by Americans and immigrants living in America the cartels will continue to make money and do whatever it takes to get their drugs into the US. Americans will continue to suffer financially as policies are created by administrations to allow immigrants to stay.
America has been founded on a principal as a land of opportunity to all. This philosophy has not changed when it comes to immigrants entering the country from Mexico. America will continue to see violence begin to spill over at alarming rates as cartels move their operations slowly into the United States. On June 3rd, 2012 five bodies were found burned to a crisp inside of a sport utility vehicle about sixty miles south of Phoenix, Arizona in Pinal County. The bodies in the vehicle badly burned and the vehicle located in a high area for drug and human trafficking between Mexico and the United States.
Bodies which were placed in the vehicle one in the front passenger seat and four more lying down in the cargo area, all clearly deceased upon the arrival of United States Border Patrol Agents. Was this an act of random violence or was it a connection to a drug trafficking organization known as a Cartel. This is just one instance of violence that has taken place in the area of Vekol Valley desert according to Pinal County Sheriff Babeu (CNN Wire Staff, 2012). Drug Cartels are making their way into the United States at an alarming rate.
Their violent tactics are being seen across the border and law enforcing agencies are responding to their actions and finding the usual outcome which is violence unlike anything that has ever been seen. Historically Drug Cartels only operated in Mexico and South American Countries until the 1990’s (Federation of American Scientists, 2007). This was until the caputre of key leaders of domintate cartels in the region which, lead to an uprise for control of Mexico’s drug trade. This never ending fight has spawned violence which is broadcasted all over the media and social networking internet sites.
The cartels are making it known that they will do what ever it takes to keep control of their trafficking lines and will be the most powerful cartels in Mexico and the border states of the United States. This savage gorilla style warfare will continue for years to come because the United States has a high demand for narcotics, there will always be a desire to have more money by each cartel, and the United States will always be one step behind in the fight to control the border. The United States has always been known for its large demand for illicit drugs some of the most popular being marijuana and cocaine (Center, 2010).
A demand so high that 90% of cocaine used by Americans transits right through Mexico (Federation of American Scientists, 2007). Although, there is not a set standard for the amount of drugs that enter into the country the big problem is that cartels want people to purchase their drugs only. This is where the fight comes in for control of sales and distribution into the United States. Although it is a large gap the marijuna market alone in the United States accounts for 10 million dollars to 120 million dollars (PBS, 2012). This demand is what is said to be a problem in the first place.
Drug sales and trafficking into the United States is big business according to these numbers. A cartel operates like a business and would not be sending large amounts of marijuna into the United States unless their was a demand for it. Drug sales are just like a Wal-Mart. Items in Walmart are only stocked on shelf based on how they are sold. So if an item is not sold Walmart does not order it any more. This is the same for the Cartels. It is not like they are sending drugs into the United States because no one wants them. They are making a profit based on the demand of the United States.
There has been much speculation about the demand of drugs from the United States with the Mexican Government (PBS, 2012). A questioning of officals from Mexico to the United States which is that of “how much are you putting into drug prevention and education to get people to quit using illicit drugs? ” President Obama’s proposed budget for 2013 states that it is going to spend 41. 2% of 26 million dollars on drug prevention and treatment and the rest of that 26 million dollars will be spent on supply reduction (Smith, 2012).
There is no documentation to show any changes that have been made in the budget which appears to be about a 40:60 split education to enforcement over the last few years. So it is apparent that there is no contigency to fund any more that what has already been in the budget. Although it is not apparent why, when so many are pushing for the drug war to stop and the United States to focus more on education and enfrocement. It really does go back to if the need and demand from the United States was not there for the drugs they would not be coming into our country and carrying out their random acts of violence.
It is also apparent that the demand being so high that it will only continue to grow until the United States does something different than what they have been doing. A reduction in the demand for drugs would have effects which would be postive for everyone. There would less violence because cartels would have less to fight over and less funding to do so with. The Cartels would eventually have to find a new place to export their drugs to, if Americans would stop the incredible demand they have on the Cartels goods. The demand which is making them millions of dollars a year.
Cartels will stop at no end to ensure that they are the number one controller of their area. There are seven major cartels that control much of the mexico drug trade (US Department of Justice, 2011). These seven cartels are very organized and very eager to have their share of the action in terms of wholesale drug sales, transportation and distribution. The main cartel that seems to control much of the region is the Sinaola Cartel. This cartel has primary regions all over the United States and is the supplier of five major drugs. The cartel may have the most control but, it is more know for the numerous accounts of violence that it creates.
The Sinaola Cartel is most known for a recent video posted to a social media website known as YouTube. This video shows the beheading of two of the cartels low level members. One of which was beheaded with a chainsaw and the other with a knife of some sort. In the town of Sinaola there are an average of four and a half murders a day that are related to the ongoing fued between the Zetas Cartel and the Sinaola Cartel. This battle has been ongoing in recent years and is quoted by local residents as a modern day civil war (Wilkinson, 2012).
In the wake of this violence the Zetas who are known for random acts of violence recently took the pieces and torso’s of 49 bodies and lined them along a trafficking corriodor controlled by the Sinaola Cartel. These acts of violence are all for control of the areas to move drugs into the United States. Looking into the acts and the desires for the cartels to move their products into the United States it is clear that the drive is money related. The more of the drugs that are readily available to the Americans the more money the cartels can make. In 2009 it was estimated that 21. million Americans were illicit drug users age 12 and up (US Department of Justice, 2011). This number almost 8 percent higher than the previous years report. The money made by cartels is staggering to say the least when it comes to a profit. The Sinaola Cartel can purchase a kilo of cocaine for around $2000. 00 in Colombia or Peru and then watch it accure money as it makes it way through the wholesale line and enters into the United States (Keefe, 2012). The end result is that the same kilo will make its way into the United States and sell for $30,000. 00 or if it is cut up and distributed it could make upwards of $100,000. 0. Numbers like this are no wonder that the Cartels are fighting the way they are. People say in the world that money is the root of all evil they are very correct in saying so. The money made by the Cartels is almost far fetched when you look at how much they are estimated to make. Although no one will know the true numbers because the data is just not avaliable. The Sinaola Cartel is estimated to enjoy profit margins of an average 40% and as much as 60% earning of nearly $3 billion dollars annualy (Smith, 2012) This is just as much as say Facebook or the Netflix companies brought in in previous years.
So it is now clear why the violence escalates to the point it does for control. Due to the demand of illicit drugs in the United States Cartels are risking more and more and becoming more brasen in the acts of violence they create to sercure the territory. Securing a territory is ultimately like a business move for them because it means more money. With the Cartles the more money they have the more people and weapons they can purchase to get their jobs done and bring drugs into the United States. The United States has a border with mexico that extends nearly 2000 miles long (US Border Patrol , 2012).
This border is controlled in southern regions for example by nothing at all to stacked crushed cars. The Bush Administration passed a bill to erect a fence to cover the almost 2000 mile border was met with much speculation from activist groups of all kinds. The fenceing proposed by the Bush Administration to be built was met with opposition by activist groups and in all around 700 miles of fence was completed (US Border Patrol , 2012). All in efforts to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States and make them come to America legally.
Illegal immigrants are seeking refuge from a war torn country that continues to have violence and murders on a daily basis. It is estiamted that 1 in 4 foreigners live in the United States illgally. The Mexican population makes up 62% of this number according to a congressional report released in June of 2011 (Bedard, 2011). The Mexican illegal Immigrants also make up 38 percent of foreign born people in the United States (Bedard, 2011). Not forgetting that these immigrants are humans just like citizens of the United States means that they require healthcare and schooling for example.
The cost for illegal immigrants in the United States is very high and shows that they are a drain on the American Economy which is already in the slums, due to the recession. Figures shown are that the average American household spends $1117 dollars a year to support illegal immigrants (Illegal Immigration Statistics. org, 2012). 51% of Mexican immigrant households use at least one major welfare program while 28% use at least two. The largest cost to Amercians is the education of the children of illegal immigrants which is $52,000,000,000 per year (Illegal Immigration Statistics. org, 2012).
With costs like these it is no wonder that there is not enough money to adequaltely support the US Border Patrol operations and have enough agents or to complete tactical infrastructure projects such as fences. Even more alarming is that the immigrants now maintain a 16% recidivism rate in the United States which means that they are tying up our court systems and taking space in our prisons (Illegal Immigration Statistics. org, 2012). The major concern is that with these costs happening and the United States footing the bill for them what are the responses from our nations leaders to it.
The Obama administraiton has revceived a lot of speculation in recent months over immigration reform and the right that illegal immigrants will receive from the United States. The administration does have some goals which are good at heart when it comes to documenting illegal immigrants and giving them some sort of path to United States citizenship. The Obama Administration voted yes to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which established a guest worker program for illegal immigrants (The Washington Post, 2006).
The items outlined in this reform act allowed for increased security along the borders and most importantly allowed long time illegal immigrants to gain legal status. The problem with this is that none of the workers were documented up until this point so the administration did not know who they were giving citizenship to because there was no way to complete background checks on people who did not already have paper trails to go with them. No one except for that immigrant knew where they were coming from or what baggae from across the border they brought with them.
This immigration reform act meant that immigrants could eventually become legal and stay in the United States. The realism of this is that there is no documentation avaliable to show how many of these immigrants have ties to Cartels. With the wide spread network that the Cartels have through out the United States already it is only a matter of time before states other than those that border Mexico begin to see unpreceneted violence. With the recent refroms that the Obama Administration has made it is no wonder that the cartels are sending foot soldiers out to set up shop within the United States.
Cartels currently operate in 1,286 United States cities such as a rural eastern North Carolina community known as Ivanhoe (McLaughlin, 2012). In this community which is just outside of Wilmington North Carolina a recent raid was made were Drug Enforcement Adminstration agents seized 2400 marijuana plants that were being grown on someones property. This grow site included “migrant workers” who were tied back to the cartels. DEA supervisory agent Franklin in Wilmington North Carolina noted that this case is one of a growing list of cartel-linked busts that are being seen in this state (McLaughlin, 2012).
Franklin states in his interview that cartels are using already set up latino communities as cover to set up shop. At this point in time the DEA and other agencies do not believe that the violence seen in such places as Juarez Mexcio will erupt in the United States (McLaughlin, 2012). Mostly because the cartels operate like a business or franchise and they set up shop to make money. If the cartels act violently on United States soil they know that law enforcement here are more swift than Mexican Law Enforcement.
There have been numoerous kidnappings and beheadings on United States soil already but, nothing in comparison to the violence that happens regulary in Mexico. It is said that violence in Juarez is business and the same violence in the US is bad for business (McLaughlin, 2012). With the swift action taken by cartels for those that betray them or are agaisnt them it is only a matter of time before the violence will erupt in America much like it does in Mexico. This is because those who run from the cartels are some of the illegal immigrants that America is allowing in.
In the long run the Americans will still suffer because the United States does not have a proactive apporoach to the situation that is fastly growing out of control. Reform bills and new immigration laws are nothing more than knee jerk reactions that will just keep America further behind and cost the country trillions of dollars in the end. As long as Americans keep the demand for illicit drugs on the rise the violence will continue to erupt. Weather on our soil or Mexican Soil there will continue to be violence of an unprecendeted amount.
With much speculation that the Mexican government will collapse it is apparent that the United States Joint Operating Enviroment feels the same way. In a report released in 2008 the JOE released statements comparing Mexico to Pakistan and stated that the two countries would have a sudden and rapid collapse in the near future (Joint Operating Enviroment, 2008). Once the country completely goes into civil war over the drug trade it will only be a matter of time before there is an influx of migrants trying to make their way to the United States for refuge.
Once this happens you can believe that the violence will carry over into the United States. This violence already being seen in small doses already will be like nothing that Americans have seen before. This is most cases people feel as if the violence could be gone if we kept the immigrants out. If immigrants were not taken care of and America was not spending so much money on them it would be practical to have increased border protection and aid in the recoverey of the defecit that has already been created.
The United States however, is the land of oppurtunity and everyone who is hear with the excepction of American Indians are really immigrants or come from an immigrant background. The country was based on helping those who wished to have future in a free democracy. These principals are not forgotten and this is why there is not and will not be a great illegal immigrant round up and mass deportation. As long as the phlisophy is supported you will continue to see immigrants coming to our country illegal or legal.
Some of those who will continue to bring with them ties to cartels and for that matter users of illicit drugs. The violence will continue as more and more drugs are pushed into the United States due to demand. The premise of which cartel is stronger will be funded by the money the drugs are purcahsed with. Most importantly the United States will be one step behind as politics and personal agendas get in the way of what is really important. Americans will begin to see more and more of the violence make its way onto our soil as more and more immigrants seek refuge from the cartels.
References Bedard, P. (2011, June 15). Report: Most Illegal Immigrants Come From Mexico. Retrieved August 13, 2012, from US News: http://www. usnews. com/news/washington-whispers/articles/2011/06/15/report-most-illegal-immigrants-come-from-mexico Center, G. P. (2010, November). Drug Recognition Expert. Forsyth, Georiga, United States of America: GPSTC. CNN Wire Staff. (2012, June 3). Officer. com. Retrieved August 18, 2012, from Officer. com: http://www. officer. com/news/10724801/border-patrol-finds-5-bodies-in-burned-out-suv-in-ariz Federation of American Scientists. (2007, October 16).
Mexico’s Drug Cartels. Retrieved August 18, 2012, from Mexicos Drug Cartels: http://www. fas. org/sgp/crs/row/RL34215. pdf Illegal Immigration Statistics. org. (2012, July 18). Illegal Immigration Statistics . Retrieved August 19, 2012, from Statistics: http://www. illegalimmigrationstatistics. org/ Joint Operating Enviroment. (2008). Joint Operating Enviroment. Retrieved August 2, 2012, from United States Joint Forces Command: http://www. jfcom. mil/newslink/storyarchive/2008/JOE2008. pdf Kefe, P. R. (2012, June 15). Cocaine Industry. Retrieved August 14, 2012, from New York Times:
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