||[Jun. 14th, 2005|10:54 am]
Grand Old Party News
Mexico drug war result of NAFTA?|
Experts see violence, instability, narco-terror as unintended consequences of regional treaty
Posted: June 14, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
With federal police and military units forced to secure the border town of Nuevo Laredo, U.S.-trained anti-drug commandos now protecting the drug cartels and Mexican narcotics pouring into the America, some experts are suggesting Mexico's instability is a direct result of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the economic pact meant to be create a border boom.
NAFTA has driven many legitimate Mexican farmers out of business, and many have turned to drug cultivation, charges Charles Bowden, author of "Down By The River," and other acclaimed books about the drug business.
"It's one of the unintended consequences of NAFTA," he says.
He is not alone. Ask many Mexican illegal aliens why they make the trek north and they will tell you about their inability to make it in their own country as small farmers – since NAFTA and the increase of duty-free U.S. products into the country.
In effect, some economists see the cheap labor flooding into America helping the U.S. agribusiness concerns squeeze out Mexican family farmers. The more that smaller farms collapse, the more migrant workers trek north and the more cheap labor is available to big U.S. farmers. It's a vicious cycle, they say.
In addition, with the drug crisis raging in Mexico and even threatening its national security, some are pointing to the "protections" NAFTA has provided to the drug runners.
Up to three-quarters of cocaine entering the U.S. now comes via Mexico – as well as most of its marijuana. In 1996, the U.S. and Mexican governments agreed to start training Mexican soldiers in the U.S. for the "war on drugs." These elite commandos were called "Los Zetas." They have now switched sides and are working as a paramilitary security detail for the drug cartels.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, over the past decade, Colombia-based drug groups have allowed Mexico-based trafficking organizations to play an increasing role in the U.S. cocaine trade. In the 1980s, Colombia's drug dealers used the drug smugglers in Mexico to transport cocaine shipments across the Southwest border into the U.S., but retook possession of the narcotics once the transporters arrived in the U.S. After the seizure of nearly 21 metric tons of cocaine in 1989, the Colombians changed the way they did business and allowed Mexico-based transportation groups to receive up to half the cocaine shipment they smuggled in exchange for their services.
According to the DEA, "virtually all heroin produced in Mexico and South America is destined for the U.S. market." This reflects a big increase since NAFTA.
Analysts estimate that Mexican drug gangs make $3 billion to $30 billion annually by smuggling cocaine to the U.S. and have police, politicians and judges from both sides on their payrolls.