Mexican drug cartels: bringing

Running header: MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS Mexican Drug Cartels: Bringing the fight to them here and here here Date submitted here Mexican Drug Cartels: Bringing the fight to them Abstract: The largest current threat in the organized crime world is that of the Mexican Drug cartels, and chief among them are the Arellano-Felix Organization. This drug cartel is one of the largest and most vicious of the cartels currently in existence. The goal of this paper is to outline a strategy to dismantle and apprehend the chief suspects still at large within the organization itself. In researching this cartel it becomes readily apparent that those who place themselves in opposition to it generally end up dead. In a Department of Justice media release dated April 29, 2011 Assistant Attorney General Breuer stated, “ The extradition of Benjamin Arellano-Felix reflects our close collaboration with our Mexican law enforcement partners to dismantle violent criminal organizations in Mexico and the United States,” (Justice News, 2011) Reducing the violence and mayhem that has existed in Mexico and on the border ensures that this is a goal that requires full attention. Mexican Drug Cartels: Bringing the fight to them Law enforcement strategies: The police on the street continue to be among the top enforcers in the war against drugs, however, when it comes to foreign based organized crime it is important to foster a real interagency relationship. By coordinating between law enforcement agencies the risks are reduced and the rewards are enhanced. Advanced training with regards to recognizing and understanding drug related criminal activity should be made a top priority. Utilizing the towns within 100 miles of the Mexican-United States border will allow for more effective strategies and faster responses to be made. There remains the unfortunate reality of corruption of officials on both sides of the border; however, this can be mitigated by the utilization of careful selection, testing and background checks. Contrary to popular opinion there is far less corruption in Mexico police than was previously understood, “ Federal officers arriving in Nuevo Laredo were fired on by municipal police leading to the arrest of 41 municipal police and the suspension of the entire 700-member Nuevo Laredo police force to investigate corruption. Less than one-half would be cleared to return to duty.” (Cook, 2007) While this does not mean there is no corruption there is less and this should be taken advantage of by federal officers on both sides of the border. The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) established in 1982 combines the expertise and assets of nine different agencies. Since the initiation of the Department of Homeland Security this cross agency knowledge sharing has increased. Additionally it would become important to rapidly identify points of egress for the drug smuggling operations and focus efforts in those areas with assets in other locations to maintain visual understanding of the situation. The use of long range robotic surveillance drones stationed in Fort Huachuca in the southeastern corner of Arizona enables a much better faster acquisition of targets when attempting to deploy available manpower. Unfortunately, local sheriffs and police departments rarely receive this information and currently much of the leg work is accomplished by federal border patrol and customs agents. We should work at combining forces with local assets as they have local knowledge and a better understanding of the terrain regardless of available telemetry as forwarded by the drones being used. Additional tactical training would be beneficial as well, as in many cases the individual or paired agents are outgunned and sometimes 30 minutes or more from assistance. The average length of an armed encounter is around 30 seconds, having available support from local law enforcement could mean additional patrols and a lower likelihood of agents being lost in the line of duty. The benefits far outweigh the potential negatives with regards to the use of local assets. A continuing effort should be made to convert law enforcement on the Mexican side of the border as well, with the efforts to persuade the civilian population to resist without causing violence further hindering the movements and options of the cartel. Lastly with regards to law enforcement strategies more focused efforts should be made to reduce the options for the transport of cash and materials to the individuals involved in the cartels. By involving more local assets this can be accomplished at a much faster rate. Law enforcement tools and federal statutes: The advanced operation should include the utilization of the Patriot Act, Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. Utilizing the tools available within this act far outpace what was previously available with regards to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or (RICO) as it is known. Originally with the RICO act relationships could be used to expose higher ups. Unfortunately, with the violence of the cartels being widely known there is a reduced opportunity for the use of these types of assets. However, with the advancements made in technological approaches the use of the Patriot Act would suffice as a legal option for those involved in the operations. Because the cartels are foreign based and have attacked and killed several citizens of the United States using terrorist tactics this is an appropriate use of this act of congress. The tools available have been explored partially, drones currently in the theater of operations are being operated out of Fort Huachuca, and these allow for a much more subdued yet advanced eye in the sky approach at a lower cost per unit than using individuals or other methods of information gathering on movements and patterns. Additional tools would be the people living on and around the border, recent events have alienated many of these individuals with the realization that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) having come under intense pressure as a result of their direct and indirect use of smuggling to attempt to gain a pipeline into Mexico many border residents are in an uproar and would not be especially interested in assisting the Federal government. A suggestion would be to relax certain restrictions being placed on local businesses and individuals and attempt to generate a much needed “ happy” face as it were for the public especially those living on the border. In any fight against an unorthodox element the use of unorthodox tactics can sway the outcome in the favor of the one who uses them most effectively. Currently the cartels pay more and of course upon refusal offer a much faster resolution likely ending in a person’s death. This means that anyone who may have information is going to be far less likely to approach the federal government, especially with recent events having been shown as a negative against the federal government and the justice department. A tool that must be utilized is the support of the people especially those in the areas directly affected by this violence. Additionally monetary benefits should be made readily available and should be publicized especially in the areas of interest. Apprehension and prosecution: Upon successful apprehension of said criminals and members of the cartel a successful prosecution will hinge upon both witness testimony and evidence gathered during the course of the investigation. As members of cartel are gathered up it would be important to turn the lower operators against those higher up in the organizations. One approach is the use of the “ prisoners dilemma” as presented by Christopher Leslie, “ One solution, most associated with organized crime, is to kill the snitch” (Leslie, 2006, p. 466). This presents a serious dilemma to the prosecution especially given the high probability that the individual who becomes the “ snitch” will likely die or their families could suffer as well. The use of prison as a threat against these individuals is not likely to have much effect as by going to prison and not talking they generally are assured their lives. However, there is the possibility of protection being offered and accepted in exchange for testimony. Additionally there is the possibility of using non-cartel persons who have been involved at the peripheral of the industry, business’s and persons indirectly connected that may have more to lose by going to prison and for whom the balance will tip in favor of the state’s interests. Regardless there should be as much available evidence available before bringing any of the chief members of the cartel to justice in the American justice system. Conclusion: Overall the efforts of the new task force should be successful as long as interagency cooperation exists fully and data is shared. There is a real possibility of additional issues arising at which time it will be necessary to address those and advance past them as quickly as possible. Additionally the potential for the loss of life early on in the new push is substantial and should be noted, however, by accepting the casualties early on and advancing forward the possibility for an overall reduction of casualties as a result of a protracted drug war will become evident. Reference page: Cook, C. (2007). Mexico’s Drug Cartel. Crs report for congress, rl34215. Retrieved August 17, 2011, from http://www. fas. org/sgp/crs/row/RL34215. pdf Justice News,. (2011). Former Leader of the Arellano-Felix Organization Extradited from Mexico to United States to Face Charges. The united states department of justice, public affairs. Retrieved August 17, 2011, from http://www. justice. gov/opa/pr/2011/April/11-crm-549. html Leslie, C. (2006). Antitrust Amnesty, Game Theory, and Cartel Stability. Iowa journal of corporation law. Page, 466 Retrieved August 17, 2011, from http://ssrn. com/abstract= 924376