Driven by America’s insatiable appetite for cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics, Mexican drug cartels have increasingly transformed U.S. border towns into scenes of violence, kidnappings and corruption, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The El Paso Times reports that drug cartels are increasingly recruiting U.S. citizens to their networks, including Horizon High School students in El Paso who were recently busted for driving Mexican drugs to Oklahoma City.
According to the Dallas Morning News, U.S. narcotics officials are well aware of the problem, and last week rounded up 30 key Mexican Gulf Cartel operatives that were selling cocaine and marijuana at key points throughout Texas.
One key Gulf Cartel leader, Miguel Trevino Morales, a hit man in charge of fending off any competition in and around Nuevo Laredo, has so far evaded the grasp of both Texan and Mexican officials.
Oddly, Morales is listed as “wanted” only by the Laredo police, and not by the DEA or other national-scale agency, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Competition between rival drug cartels has destroyed the peace in Monterrey, Mexico, a previously well-to-do and quiet city.
The Washington Post reports that assassinations are carried out in broad daylight, while pizzerias install metal detectors and politicians say they feel like targets.
About 400 law enforcement officers suspected of corruption have been taken off the streets there.
“Border violence pushes north”
Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2007
“Teens recruited from local high school to smuggle”
El Paso Times, August 18, 2007
“Drug war overruns praised city”
Washington Post, August 12, 2007
“Dallas-area raids net drug cartel suspects”
Dallas Morning News, August 17, 2007
“Drug lord invokes such fear, people won’t even utter his name”
San Antonio Express-News, August 18, 2007