Past Features

February 10, 2017

The Mexican Drug War Myth
Media cover-up hinders proper planning

"Clamping down on illegal border crossings, however, had an unintended consequence: It upset agreements among the cartels over smuggling routes, sparking yet more violent competition." --- Washington Post
MinitPress News -- Feb. 9  
Trump's 'Great Wall' And The 'Drug War'
    If Trump persists in sending a bill to Mexico City for his wall, Pena should seriously consider sending a bill in return to Washington to pay for the U.S. drug war.
    ....Since 2006, when President Felipe Calderón ordered his military to join the “war” on drug traffickers, Mexico has lost about 200,000 lives and 30,000 more have disappeared, dwarfing the civilian death toll in Afghanistan and Iraq over that period. Successive administrations, starting with President Nixon, have demanded ever-tougher border controls, aerial-spraying programs, and DEA-backed anti-“cartel” operations in Mexico. All those efforts and sacrifices have been for naught. U.S. residents currently export up to $29 billion in cash to Mexican traffickers each year to buy marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin.

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol -- Feb. 10
Border security planning based on myths and unsound management
As part of Operation B.E.E.F., American Border Patrol began mapping the progress being made to construct the fence specified in the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Once a month we flew along the border between just east of El Paso, Texas, and the Pacific Ocean. Later on we extended the flights to the Gulf of Mexico.
    On each flight (I was the pilot) we photographed and videotaped the entire border --- using GPS to mark precise locations of photographs. (We were able to fly in Mexico to cover the area south of the Goldwater bombing range near Yuma.)
    Analyzing the data, I discovered an astounding fact --- as the fence went in, drug killings in Mexico went up proportionately.
    When it tried to interest the media in this story, American Border Patrol was blacked out.
    It is a myth that the drug war was started by a crackdown by the Mexican government --- the construction of the border fence started it. Had we finished the job, for a time the upheaval in Mexico might well have increased --- but left with nothing to fight over the cartels would eventually have to look elsewhere to earn a living.
    DHS Sec. Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee that if we stopped drugs at the border they would find another way in. He is wrong --- no doubt influenced by the myth about the Mexican drug war --- perpetuated by the media blackout of American Border Patrol. This error, and this blackout, is leading to many other mistakes, including the lack of real measures of effectiveness of the proposed "wall".
     We are witnessing border security planning based myths and, as I warned 19 months ago, a lack of sound management practices.