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Jalisco cartel activity warrants beefed up US-Mexico border security

Mar 14, 2023

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The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is one of Mexico’s most prominent criminal threats to the United States. The cartel is known for its aggressive use of violence and despite the capture of some of its top leaders, its influence is widening. According to a report by the United States Congressional Research Service, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel now operates in 27 U.S. states.

Despite these threats, Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan believes it would be a mistake for the U.S. to execute military strikes south of the border. He argues that increasing security both at the border and select U.S. cities would be a more effective strategy.

Excerpted from Peter’s Mar. 10 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

Flashback to the 80s with me for a moment…we can leave out the big hair and leg warmers…but let’s talk drugs. Most of the cartel activity came from one place, Colombia. If you’ve ever seen Miami Vice, you get the idea. But once the US caught onto the cartels’ “distribution strategy,” new ways of getting “product” into the US had to be created.

Money started flowing through Mexico, and the drug trafficking business was the place to be; it wasn’t long before the cartels we know today began to form. It’s important to note that not all of these cartels operated the same.

To most cartels, violence was a necessary aspect of the drug trade. The Sinaloa Cartel worked a bit differently; they treated this like a business, and El Chapo was the “CEO.” They partnered with the community, bribed law enforcement, and crime stayed relatively low while they were around.

Once El Chapo was captured and the Sinaloa Cartel started to fall off, groups like Jalisco New Generation surged back onto the scene. Unfortunately, this new wave of cartels brought back the violence and crime levels we see today.

For the U.S., carrying out military strikes on these cartels across the border just doesn’t make sense…it would be like shooting a fly with a handgun. However, beefing up border security to prevent these cartels from crossing into the states is probably a good idea.

A Peter sign here still in Vegas still talking about cartels. The thing to remember is if you go back to the 1980s, most cartel activity was not Mexican, it was Colombian, because that’s where the cocaine came from. And it would flow up into the Caribbean, it would avoid Cuba like the plague, because the Cubans would just kill everybody who was associated with the drug trade at that time. And it would flow into Miami almost exclusively. And this is literally the setting for the show Miami Vice all the drug wars to continental and scope going into a single place. But by the time we got to the 1990s, the United States started to shoot down small planes that were flying 10 feet over the water at night with no lights on, because those were not scuba divers, and the cartels were forced to change the way they shipped. And so they started sending shorter tops not to the United States direct but in to Central America, where they go on land and then go up through Mexico to the US border where there’s a 2000 mile border. And before you say building a wall will help with drugs and and and and ended up if you can put a half a million dollars of product in your backpack, hit a wall is not going to impede you, especially since a wall requires 50 construction roads going down to the border to build the road in the first place. Which means you have now obviated half of the physical border of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Desert. So if anything, the road has made it a lot easier for illegal migrants and drugs to get into the country. So remember, Donald Trump most pro narcotic most pro illegal migration president the United States has ever had. Now, where was I? All right, okay. So when the cartels were going on land, that meant that the Colombian cartels had either find middlemen and or bribe the locals in order to help with transit, that generated the money flows that ultimately led to the rise of drug trafficking groups within the Mexican system itself. Now, if you fast forward to about 2012, to 2015, one of these cartels took a fundamentally different view of drugs from the rest the other side as a means to power and they were basically gangs at scale. But the Sinaloa Cartel rose up and thought differently, it saw drugs as a business, and anything that interfered with the core business was something to be ruthlessly routed out from within the organization. So you don’t steal ladies purses, you don’t shop shoot up the cops, you buy them off, you make them your friends, because as long as you can monitor and drugs through a community, you are making money, and that is your primary reason to be. And that sort of attitude allowed them to put roots deep into Mexican society and expand north of the border fairly easily where they interface with the American gang infrastructure. If it was Hispanic gang, you had the choice of joining them are dying, most died. And if you were a black gang, you were probably just killed. One of the reasons that the murder rate in the United States dropped so participate Asli in the 2000s is that the Sinaloa in the United States killed the people who were doing the killing.

So use that to inform our general assessment of how much progress we’ve made. Now, in the United States, this allowed Sinaloa to not just become the largest cartel in Mexico, but in the United States and the largest organized crime group in the world. So the Obama administration worked with the Mexican government to capture the leader of that cartel El Chapo, and then he got out and then we got him again. And this started the disintegration of the Scylla little Sinaloa Cartel. His former accountant, El Chapo is former accountant has tried to take over a chunk of it, some of his lieutenants have tried to take a chunk of it, some of his sons have tried to take a chunk of it. One of his sons is on the process of being extradited to the United States right now. But they all leave their own factions. And so this umbrella organization that was sent to lower really doesn’t exist anymore in the way that it used to. And whenever you’ve got factions in a system, you’ve got violence, and this is gonna sound weird, but when El Chapo was in charge, and when Sinaloa was a top down organization, Mexico was reasonably peaceful, because there wasn’t infighting within his own organization, and Sinhala was able to cut a series of deals with the Mexican government to go after the other cartels. Now, on the other side of the equation, the cartel that suffered the most from that alliance was the Gulf or the Zetas cartel. Two different groups that have kind of interwoven history, one group was the enforcers for the other. But once the government and the Sinaloa both turned on them, they basically shattered and if you go to the eastern third of Mexico, you’re in a situation where Gang on gang violence nominally under the names of golf and Zetas, and the Americans who disappeared and were kidnapped and killed this past week, were people who fell in with the golf in the Zetas. So if you want to go with the idea of launching military strike south of the border against the Gulf, that’ll do nothing because that’s basically going after the Crips or the Bloods with military hardware. It will do nothing to change the environment because there is no one

hierarchical organizational structure to disrupt in the first place, you’d literally be going after street thugs. And that’s just not the right tool for the job. And this group, it’s break down. That is the primary reason why Mexican murder rates are so high because you just have Gang on gang action not just at the regional level or the city level, but the block by block level, and they’re fighting over the income that comes from the drug trade.

Now, in the middle, you have another group that used to be at least partially affiliated with Sinhala that calls itself hell lisco new generation, they’re led by a dude named elmen show. Now elemento does not have the same view of El Chapo. So El Chapo, you could basically sum up his position is Don’t shit where you sleep? Well, for elementary the violence is the point where a gang that gets money from drug trafficking, not were drug traffickers who happen to be a gang. So the first thing he tells his people to do when they move into a town is go shoot up the mayor’s office, the police office and any gang headquarters that you can find, make it very clear to everyone who’s in charge and who has the guns and what the penalty for noncooperation happens to be. And that has made let’s go new generation, very hierarchical, very violent, and has contributed massively to the violence south of the border. Now they are in the process of attempting to go north of the border to challenge Sinaloa. And basically, what is the great fields of income generation opportunities in the united states that haven’t succeeded yet. And if there is a fight to be had in the United States, it is at the plazas and the border cities to make sure the lisco new generation does not cross in, because if they do, wow, we think our murder rate went up because of COVID. Holy crap. lisco would go into Phoenix and Dallas and El Paso and Houston and Austin and San Diego and just start killing people to prove to everyone that they can. And if you want a 1930 Chicago level of violence in the United States and every city within 500 miles of the border. That’s exactly what will happen if Alaska new generation punches forward. So military strike south of the border. This isn’t going to fix anything, but perhaps an increased security presence in the cities specifically to prevent Alesco from crossing north. That might be a pretty good idea. All right. Next time we’ll talk about some of the economics of drugs and thous things have changed.

 

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