Rodney Benson G, intelligence chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), painted an alarming picture about the growing influence of Mexican cartels in cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine across the world and the violence that inflict the fight to win the market.
In Mexico last year there were over 15,200 murders related to drug trafficking problem. From the Mexican drug trafficking organizations, the Sinaloa Cartel has dominated the wider territory in Europe, Asia and Australia, according to Benson. The Sinaloa cartel is a powerful consortium of Mexican drug independent groups operating as an alliance with “the common goal of the traffic of multiple tons of cocaine from South America to the United States,” said Mr Benson .
This cartel is composed of many independent leaders, mostly from bosses like Joaquin Guzman Loera, Ismael Zambada Garcia and Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno. Mexico is not a cocaine producing country, but Mexican traffickers have located sources of supply of cocaine in South America, including Colombia and Peru. In this way Mexican drug traffickers have become intermediate sources of supply for cocaine markets in Europe, Australia, Asia and Middle East. A report by the Commission of the Crime of Australia in April this year noted that “offenders Mexicans have appeared frequently in Australia through the importation and supply of cocaine and money laundering. ” It’s amazing that the drug cartels are going so far.
Several Latin American and Caribbean countries have at times seen governments actively involved in the illegal drug trade in the 1970s and 1980s.1978 and 1980 saw “cocaine coups” in Honduras and Bolivia which brought such governments to power (see illegal drug trade in Honduras and illegal drug trade in Bolivia). In Panama, Manuel Noriega, a long-term drug trafficker, was President from 1983 to 1989, with CIA support. Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Norman Saunders, was convicted in July 1985 of conspiracy charges relating to giving safe passage to drug flights. Illegal drug trade in the Bahamas led to a 1980s government inquiry which saw five ministers resign or dismissed. Throughout the late 1980s and into the 1990s, leading members of the Haitian military (including members of the late 1980s and post-1991 military governments), intelligence and police were involved in the illegal drug trade in Haiti, assisting Colombian drug traffickers smuggling drugs into the United States.
At other times, parts of the state apparatus have been co-opted by drug traffickers without clear evidence of endorsement at the highest levels. For example the illegal drug trade in Guatemala is said to be shaped by a reported relationship between the Mexican Los Zetas cartel and the Guatemalan Kaibiles military force. The Colombian parapolitics scandal revealed links between parts of the Colombian establishment and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a paramilitary group responsible for killing tens of thousands of Colombian civilians, which controls over 75% of the Colombian cocaine trade. The illegal drug trade in Peru was until 2000 shaped by Vladimiro Montesinos‘s involvement; he had been head of the country’s intelligence service since 1990.
In 2010 it was alleged that the Mexican Sinaloa cartel had used bribery to co-opt the federal government and focus the government’s anti-drug efforts on its competitors. According to Peter Dale Scott, “The Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nassar (or Nazar) Haro, a CIA asset.”