Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The US is only capable of stopping 20% of illlegal drugs from Latin America

Borderland Beat
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 The head of the military's Southern Command wants more money to fight a losing battle
by Conor Friedersdorf
General John F. Kelly, the head of the U.S. Southern Command, testified last week before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he argued, as generals tend to do, that he has inadequate resources to fulfill the missions assigned to him. 
Here's how the Associated Press summed up his statement:
The U.S. doesn’t have the ships and surveillance capabilities to go after the illegal drugs flowing into the U.S. from Latin America, the top military commander for the region told senators Thursday, adding that the lack of resources means he has to “sit and watch it go by.”
Gen. John Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he is able to get about 20 percent of the drugs leaving Colombia for the U.S., but the rest gets through. 
Think about that.
Though the U.S. spends billions of dollars each year fighting the War on Drugs, and despite having done so for many years, 80 percent of the drugs from one of the countries we've focused on the most still gets through all of our interdiction efforts. 
Is the answer to throw more money at the prohibitionist strategy?
Kelly requests more resources:
Kelly ... said he would be able to interdict more drugs if he had 16 ships that could be used as the base for helicopters. Generally, law enforcement officials use the helicopters to quickly go after traffickers operating small boats, forcing them to stop and surrender. Currently, Kelly said he has one U.S. Navy ship and two Coast Guard vessels that can be used for the drug operations. The overall goal has been to reduce the amount of drugs coming into the U.S. from Latin America by 40 percent, which officials believe would cut into the profits of the cartels and perhaps turn them against each other.
To reach that goal, he said, would require the 16 ships. 
So best-case scenario, we could spend more ... and maybe, if we're "lucky," spark a bloody cartel war abroad. Somehow, that inclines me to spend those extra billions elsewhere! If we turn to Kelly's full statement, we find a frustrating refusal to frankly state the tradeoffs that we've chosen in our present approach to drug policy.  
In his telling, transnational criminal organizations are a security problem for several reasons. If you think about it, almost all of those reasons are exacerbated by the black market.
  1. "The spread of criminal networks is having a corrosive effect on the integrity of democratic institutions and the stability of several of our partner nations." Without black-market profits, criminal drug networks would almost certainly shrink.
  2. "Transnational criminal organizations threaten citizen security, undermine basic human rights, cripple rule of law through corruption, erode good governance, and hinder economic development." Again, the ability of drug cartels to bribe officials, violate human rights, and cripple the rule of law would be undermined if they suddenly lost their ability to profit from drugs on the black market.
  3. "Illicit trafficking poses a direct threat to our nation’s public health, safety, and border security. Criminal elements make use of the multitude of illicit pathways in our hemisphere to smuggle drugs, contraband, and even humans directly into the United States." Without a black market in narcotics, smuggling operations would be less sophisticated and the money flowing to smugglers would decrease.
  4. "Illegal drugs are an epidemic in our country, wasting lives and fueling violence between rival gangs in most of our nation’s cities." It's possible that more addict lives would be wasted if drugs were legalized, because of increased use and abuse. Drug-fueled gang violence and the lives lost to it would almost certainly decrease.
  5. "The third concern is a potential one, and highlights the vulnerability to our homeland rather than an imminent threat: that terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even quite easily bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States." Again, if drugs were legal, fewer resources would be poured into routes and personnel that could be exploited by foreign terrorists. 
Why doesn't the testimony note, as I just did, that the black market in drugs that prohibition creates exacerbates nearly every way in which transnational crime hurts us?
Kelly isn't to blame. He doesn't make policy. He tries to carry it out. But the policy that he's been given is as doomed to fail as it always has been. Prohibition may make some (though not all) people inclined to addiction safer in some ways. But it makes all of us less safe in other ways, and wreaks havoc in foreign countries. It would be nice if hearings on U.S. drug policy acknowledged such tradeoffs.
 Source: The Atlantic


  1. This reminds me of the guy sticking his finger in the hole of a dam, then another one springs up, I would say that the us gvt is so paralyzed against admitting defeat, it is almost like watching someone confused by alzheimers grow even more confused, at first it is infuriating, why do they not understand, one says..then after awhile one begins to feel sorry for how pathetic they have become... these people paint themselves against the walls in a corner, tbat really doesnt exist except for the fear that exists in their minds . Just drop the act and let the u.s draw down cede defeat, and move forward..

  2. CIA and the USA government are drug dealers this War on drugs is to control it not to stop it , Mexican Government is also in on this , the people are the ones caught in the middle of this and are the true victims ,

    1. Gracias senor ya dejen de tragar tanto polvo

    2. I second that motion, good job!

    3. Control the drugs, control the politics... LEGALIZE!

  3. CIA cartel the biggest! !!!

  4. Oh we have the capability and the technology but the gvt doesnt have the willingness to put an end to this war on drugs and focus on affordable and accessible treatment for addiction! The banks make too much money off of it! They are the real bandits!

    1. The biggest problem with Mexico and all other Latin American countries is the United States! I am born and raised American. But I'm not blind to the fact that our country is based upon slavery, thievery and greed. The current situation in the Americas is a direct result of the United States' exploitation of Latin America and an huge appetite for narcotics and consumerism. The elite of the Latin America is following suit. This is the problem.

    2. Well said, i am american too and i agree.

    3. Esta gringita dice lo mismo. We are blinded by greed & stupidity, only we call this "patriotism." Worse, red-white-and-blue respects no other nation. GRINGO HP GO HOME! Clean up your own damned house!

    4. @2:28 VIVAN LAS GRINGAS! Y las gringuitas tambien.
      Y esa mexican american they call la chiva, que viva tambien.

    5. The biggest problem in mexico is culture, in a study made in mexico 7 out of 10 people say that they didn't have a problem with politician stealing as long as they let people stael also. "so no tranzas no avanzas" dice el dicho. Why are we alwais blaming the us for our problems, i mean there is more diacrimination among mexicans, than towards mexicans in the us, iwas called "indio" more times in mexico and here in the us I've never been called "beaner" or "wetback", and I've been around white people, and work with them too, and never feelt discriminated, as i did in mexico growing up en una familia humilde, mexican here are becoming like alot of african americans that you can't disagree with them because they feel discriminated because of their color, im proud of being mexican, but i have to say that america is a great country, and there is a reason why there are tens of millions of immigrants from different countries, and I'm pretty sure that leople who complain about the us have never really suffer the injustice of a corrupt goverment, where impunity is prevalent, autodefensas are the best example of mexican people being sick and tired of the goverment.

  5. @ 9:05 PM "Oh we have the capability and the technology but the gvt doesnt have the willingness to put an end to this war on drugs and focus on affordable and accessible treatment for addiction! The banks make too much money off of it! They are the real bandits!" --- so willingness and cost is the factor, but do you mean cost in terms of human time and effort, or cost in terms of $$$$ ??

  6. Only 20% ? that means 80% is currently being smoked and jammed threw dirty needles

  7. @9:32 long as u got greedy fucks at the top profiting off human misery they dont want this dog and pony show to stop! From a moral point of view it needs to but you got some folks who put the almighty $ above human lives! Sad but true!

  8. It would not cost too much to buy all the drugs at the point of source, for twice the money, to you corner the market, then if the government supplies them drugs for free or cheap, that takes care of all the pushers.
    Treatment for addiction, benefits all the government contractors, who havea lot to win by helping create drug addicts in the fucking first place.
    "GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS" are one of the worst evils in the US, they will quickly create any emergency that requires their specialties for $$$!
    Not everything can be free market, and freedoms must have limits and controls, or regulations, what is next, prostitution, pederastia, slavery?
    No to impunity!!!

  9. i would be ashamed to be fighting a war that like many others has been rigged to not being won. all the US seawolves and commanders can't put together a plan that really works, because they can't see the problem, their aerial capabilities, consist mainly of being able totake flit from deck and landing back on the same ship, sometimes after making sure the drugloads have safely landed in cuba. the ugly drug traffickers moved a while ago to walking it through land, el salvador/honduras to tijuas from bolivia peru colombia uruguay paraguay; nobody has gotten rich off drug trafficking, only a few middlemen that never fail to be taken down after they put together a few million dollars, leading their banks to keep the money and the Y US government to show "some work".
    the real masters pusher patrons that make all the money because they can because they have all the money because they can, have it all under wraps, hsbc bank moved to england to furtherize the globalization of their power, their own, not the people's, their hundreds of years old drug empire was getting too tight, they needed to invest on "globalizing" every other country's economy to keep dominating and stealing from everybody.
    hey! kitty, kitty to the defenders of the Y US incompetence on the drug wars against some indians and their powerful turbo-assisted llamas. it's not as easy as getting some urban guerrilla "socialistas" in the city to confess to the cattleprods or the waterboarding from the Y US backed military juntas,

  10. 9:40 America is the problem? Thats like saying if "someone was never born etc etc". Idiot....

  11. How do they know it's 20% Who counted the other 80% to get the total?

  12. The real owners of the drug trafficking profits, they do the math, and if 20% is missing, they know how much money the traffickers put into their bank account

  13. I have often thought that the reason that the U.S. southern border is not better secured is because the smuggling would then shift to every other port, bay, harbor, beach, coastline of the U.S.

  14. Why the fuck does the US allow their country to be used as a hotbed for the drug traffickers?
    Isn't it time that they instill a culture of clean, drug free, healthy citizens?
    This culture should start with their kids who are still in school and should be done throughout the whole country.
    Once the US is drug free, then the sources of money for the traffickers will be cut off the rest is history!!!
    Don't those brainy people in the US realise this very simple truth???

    1. Give us your secret to preventing drug addiction and we'll be happy to use it. While you're at it, why don't you help use end alcohol abuse, nicotine addiction, and gambling. Oh, and obesity. It's all harder to deal with than you think.

  15. @11:56 very thoughtful theory and comment Lol. My theory is that government is more interested in letting smugglers accumulate assets and wealth to easily confiscate and more interested in the money that the other 80% makes coming back in cash.

  16. The accumulation of capital does take place,the problem is it all goes away to foreign banks to be properly laundered and reinvested in buying US companies to offshore american jobs, if any popolitician of any popolitical party says anything or opposes the goings on, their popolitical career is OVER, and being the greedy cowards those popoliticians are, who do you think wins all the time?
    We need to stop drinking the nazi tea of globalization ASAP

  17. BS BS BS BS.

    A general asking for more weapons saying he doesnt have enough?


    What's next, a fat ass saying there's not enough food at a buffet line?

    What a load of bull fucking shit. America has the largest navy in the world. It outspends its next 5 competitor countries in COMBINED MILITARY BUDGET. Hell our coast guard alone has more boats than several industrialized nations navy!!!

    A general will never say i have enough toys. It will always say it needs more. Its a jobs program for their home states and of course, money in their pocket.

    LOL at not having enough ships. PLEASE GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE WITH THAT BULLSHIT!!!!!!

  18. here we go again:
    public schools can't get the job done= government contracts
    prisons can't get the job done= government contracts
    homeland security can't get the job done= government contracts
    the armed forces of the US CAN'T cook it= government contracts
    the CIA can't waterboard info out of the irakis= government contracts
    the US tyrannic government is too big= government contracts
    the pension funds are losing all the money= government contracts
    the arabs are bad boys= government contracts
    the nicaraguaguans are bad boys= government contracts...
    and on and on and on, the contractors keep creating all the fires that the government has to go and fight with billions of dollars in contracts for contractors that must buy 5,000 dollars outhouses with golden toilets that they will buy themselves a army surplus to take home.
    the US has its armed forces working as the mercenaries of foreign money, borrowing to keep itself afloat, borrowing even from the chinese.
    for the last olympiads the US had ships ready in the ukraine's waters, and the ukrainian neo nazis were preparing their assault on the not so innocent government, that did not have the EU fascisto/satraps behind them.
    why in the hell can't the european union carry on their own wars of conquest is beyond me, israel is NOT a part of the US, and i don't see why they have to be picking on their neighbors and then run to the US for help.
    zionistas, who are not necessarily jewish, are said to be behind every trouble on every side all over the world, today as in the past, when they supported nazis, russians, chinese, vietnamese, american rebels and the US government with loans that then the US has to pay for all parties!...
    it's not hard to find THE ZIONISTA PARTNERS on the US side of the equation
    the war on drugs has not been designed to be won, it has been designed to destabilize latin america to the point where any powerful ally of the zionista neo-liberal empire can come and take over any country's economy for nothing, the presence of france, spain, england, canada, china, india and arabs and jews on the raping of the latin-american economies is there for all to see, there is not exactly xenophobia, before some bored and reamed arses jump to save "their country" by defending the undefensible shenanigans of the paper tiger committed to further the globalization of the world for the new libertine dragons of capitalism. it stunk to high heavens when ronald reagan, the nazi sympatizer and FBI informer went to germany to deposit flowers to some fallen nazi heros, paid for by some rich nazi industrialistas their US allies had saved before...
    ---who cares about a little self inflicted defeat of the US NAVY on the caribbean seas? maybe only the contractors that have already moved the drug trafficking to other routes, like CIA planes from colombia and now will have to come to the rescue of the US NAVY...ha ha haaa! and hahaa$$$$$!

  19. 80% of facts are unknown. Or as Leon Panetta once said; there are known knowns and known unknowns......etc

  20. March 20, 2014 at 9:40 PM
    "The biggest problem with Mexico and all other Latin American countries is the United States!.But I'm not blind to the fact that our country is based upon slavery, thievery and greed"
    Sitting in the comfort of your US home from where you write your sad shit,the biggest load of lame shit i ever seen.You need a dose of real life motherfucker,your to weak.The US could not rely on sad little men like you could they?You fuckin disgrace,people noticed there are many like this one?
    You should be happy you live in the US but no,you fuckin whine like a little puppy.Go crucify yourself you fuckin saint,the bleeding heart here?Fuck off

  21. Why not just deccriminialized drug use but punish drug dealers? or at least legalize marijuana and turn those taxes to fund DEA drug operations abroad especially in producing countries like Colombia, Bolivia etc. Train their police and co operate with them when they go after high profile targets. Eventually creating a drug war that will make TCOs wraker and less capable to operate and manage logistics. Shattering the drug trafficking network chain. Now that Mexico's cartel are weaker and less capable to move drugsand corrode the institutions and law enforcement.

  22. @4:18 @4:20 we, like you live in the US, and like you, we are reading here about our little navy being outrun by the turbo-charged llamas of the underdeveloped latin american banana republic's monkeys, even manuel noriega, ghw bush compadre, communist guerilla fighter and School of the Americas graduate had to be put in prison for outsmarting his US handlers and drug trafficking associates.
    slavery bought and paid for the bread and butter of many white bread americans, also fathered many sons and daughters of black and white mothers, you and many other red necks have tainted blood, and have no apologies for slavery, it is ok with me, but you and your childish ramblings can not change the situation.
    The US is losing its whole wide ass to the libertine policies of those that propose that their private ownership of the means of production (much of it attained with drug trafficking profits), that the land and the water of all countries belonging to their drug trafficking enriched arses, is the solution of all the problems in the world, problems they themselves cause, your red neck patriotism sucks and stinks to the high heavens where the neo-liberal Jesus Christ of the modern libertine christians is choking on the free world polutants and feels like he is living in hell because of the global warming.
    if you love so much "your country" you could do much more if you'd work on finding at least WHAT THE FUCK THE MOTHERFUCKING PROBLEM IS on the first place, instead of being so busy defending it with your little patriotic and girlie red neck tears...
    private ownership is not ok when it means that global foreign powers can come and own everything in the US or abroad and rape whole countries, impose austerity measures on their people to enhance their own profits, leave millions of americans out of their jobs because in china they do not have to pay the minimun US wage, stop the chicken shit and bible thumping of the brainwashed, if you love your country so much, take the fight to the US politicians selling it down the river, not to the other poor brokeass bloggers of BB like you!!!

  23. The question to ask is: Why should the US become a nation of drug heads?
    The best way to stop all this illicit trading in drugs is for the US to wean its citizens from such drugs.
    Starting from a very young age.

  24. @10:19 COCONUTS don't really know what is going on...
    the mexican government of today is full of popoliticians who are good only at kissing ass, anybody with a few dollars makes them corrupt enou not to just steal and selling their ass, in their modern neo-liberal corruption, they believe that delivering the mexican resources and patrimony, and sell the mexican labor force for "by the hour" verbal agreements to potential employers that are not inclined or obligated to pay even minimum wage.
    the mexican government is giving our ass away, there is nothing for the people to steal too! if you are doing well, good for you, there are millions of mexicans that have not been killed yet, and are not doing so well. you have been bought and are being paid, it is not the same for everybody else...

  25. O I really liked the comment on buying it from the source at double the price to eliminate the cartels That's definitely a take Ive never heard or thought of good one

  26. @1:48 Brigitte thanks! i know there are more like us, the no bullshit approach works, to the point that friend and foe come to hate you, but as a far as i'm concerned, uuuh!, uuuh! and more uuuuh! = no fear.


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