Mexican drug wars threaten United States
‘Deadly force’ spills over border
An escalating turf fight between warring drug cartels in Mexico is spreading into the United States with federal officials warning that deadly shootouts and ambushes along the southwestern border pose a serious threat to both U.S. law enforcement and American citizens, according to a confidential multi-agency government report.
The Aug. 29 report predicts a rise in the use of “deadly force” against U.S. police officials, first responders and residents along the border, and further spillage of drug-gang violence deeper into the United States.
Written by the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (AcTIC) and the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Investigative Support Center, the report also said the drug cartels are expected to hire members of deadly street gangs now in this country, including Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), to “carry out acts of violence against cartel members in the U.S.”
“U.S. law enforcement and first responders need to maintain a heightened awareness at all times,” the report said.
According to the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, cartel members and police officials in Mexico, in a bid to spare their families from the violence that has overwhelmed many Mexican border towns, could begin relocating them to the United States, result- ing in more homicides and home invasions along the southwestern border, increased availability of high-powered weapons to Mexican drug smugglers already in the U.S., and the potential for the family members to continue drug operations in the U.S.
The report also predicted an increase in assaults against illegal immigrants and rival cartel members in this country, suggested that the presence of cartel members in the U.S. would allow them to gather intelligence on police enforcement activities, and would facilitate their “transpor t of weapons and currency southbound in tractor trailers.”
While not widely reported throughout most of the U.S., the increased border violence is not new to the federal, state and local law enforcement authorities assigned along the 1,951-mile U.S.-Mexico border.
Thousands more U.S. Border Patrol agents have been assigned to the region as part of a Department of Homeland Security strategy to gain “operational control” of the border. As a result of the increased pressure, the cartels have resorted to more violent means of guaranteeing their drug loads into the United States.
Shawn P. Moran, a 10-year U.S. Border Patrol veteran who serves as vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, added that the drug gangs are heavily armed and well-equipped, and can easily outman and outgun U.S. authorities.
“They’ve got weapons, hightech radios, computers, cell