As the cartels have shrunk in number, the pressure on them -- from U.S. and Mexican authorities, and from their own competitors -- has increased apace, forcing the organizations to become better equipped and more violent. Today's Mexican cartels spend millions of dollars a year on assault rifles, explosives, armored high-end SUVs, and sophisticated intelligence operations, with the aim of avoiding interdiction and eliminating competitors.Worth a read.
This is the grand paradox of drug enforcement. Unless enforcement agencies can intercept virtually all of the drugs crossing the border -- something that approaches impossibility -- their efforts are likely to simply produce more formidable opponents. The cartels' profits will increase, and with them the dangers they pose to Mexican authorities and the Mexican population.
May 21, 2010
Article of the day
In Foreign Policy magazine, there's a nice piece about the drug cartels in Mexico: