Foreign Affairs Article Final Bonner evidence

Foreign Affairs Article Final Bonner evidence - The New...

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The New Cocaine Cowboys How to Defeat Mexico’s Drug Cartels Robert C. Bonner The recent headlines from Mexico are disturbing: U.S. consular o/cial gunned down in broad daylight; Rancher murdered by Mex- ican drug smuggler; Bomb tossed at U.S. consulate in Nuevo Laredo. This wave of violence is eerily reminiscent of the carnage that plagued Colombia 20 years ago, and it is getting Washington’s attention. Mexico is in the throes of a battle against powerful drug cartels, the outcome of which will determine who controls the country’s law enforcement, judicial, and political institutions. It will decide whether the state will destroy the cartels and put an end to the culture of impunity they have created.Mexico could become a first-world country one day, but it will never achieve that status until it breaks the grip these criminal organizations have over all levels of government and strengthens its law enforcement and judicial institutions. It cannot do one without doing the other. Destroying the drug cartels is not an impossible task.Two decades ago, Colombia was faced with a similar—and in many ways more daunting—struggle. In the early 1990s, many Colombians, including police o/cers, judges, presidential candidates, and journalists, were assassinated by the most powerful and fearsome drug-tra/cking organ- izations the world has ever seen: the Cali and Medellín cartels. Yet [ 35 ] Robert C . Bonner is Senior Principal of the Sentinel HS Group.He was Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration from 1990 to 1993 and Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 2001 to 2005.
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within a decade, the Colombian government defeated them, with Washington’s help.The United States played a vital role in supporting the Colombian government, and it should do the same for Mexico. The stakes in Mexico are high. If the cartels win, these criminal enterprises will continue to operate outside the state and the rule of law, undermining Mexico’s democracy. The outcome matters for the United States as well—if the drug cartels succeed, the United States will share a 2,000-mile border with a narcostate controlled by pow- erful transnational drug cartels that threaten the stability of Central and South America. the mexican connection Over the last two decades, Mexican drug cartels have acquired unprecedented power to corrupt and intimidate government o/cials and civilians.Three factors account for their rise:preexisting corruption, the inability of weak law enforcement institutions to counter them, and the demand for illegal drugs in the United States. Drug tra/cking and cross-border smuggling certainly existed in Mexico before the 1980s,but the trade was chiefly confined to marijuana and small quantities of heroin and involved a large number of small tra/cking organizations. Almost no cocaine was smuggled through Mexico into the United States before 1984; the vast majority of illegal shipments came through the Bahamas or directly from Colombia to
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2011 for the course US 122 taught by Professor Trelawney during the Spring '10 term at Colby-Sawyer.

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Foreign Affairs Article Final Bonner evidence - The New...

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