April 5, 2007

Mexico Corruption, U.S. Weapons Deepen Drug War Toll

President Felipe Calderon’s war on drugs will fail unless the United States cracks down on arms sales to drug smugglers, Mexican officials say.

Not only do drug cartels get the majority of their weapons from U.S. dealers — they also net between $10 and $30 billion a year in sales to American drug users. That cash buys more arms used to attack Mexican police and politicians, the Associated Press reports.

Calderon’s drug fight is also complicated by corrupt officials.

Last week, an American jury convicted Ricardo Gonzalez Camacho, a Mexican police officer, of smuggling 55 pounds of cocaine into the United States.

And in Veracruz, a video confession by two gunmen captured and later executed by an opposing cartel revealed a web of murder and complicity between drug syndicates and their allies in the police and Army.

The gunmen also said they took money from journalists seeking “news protection,” El Universal reports.

Sources:

“Mexico’s attorney general calls on U.S. to stop guns, drug money”
Associated Press, March 29, 2007

“Mexican cop is guilty of drug smuggling”
Express-News (TX), March 29, 2007

“Cartel gunmen reveal links to cops, reporters”
El Universal (Mexico), March 30, 2007

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