Mexican official: Cartels send $64B in drugs into US annually
President Trump’s proposed border Wall along the southwest border could cost Mexico more than just the price of building it. An official estimated that cartels send a staggering $64 billion worth of drugs into the U.S. every single year.
Mexico’s former Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna dropped the number at a conference in Ciudad Juarez. Luna said drug trafficking organizations have successfully exploited globalization, technology and financial markets to supply America’s appetite for narcotics, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune.
In 2013, Forbes named Luna one of the country’s top 10 most corrupt officials, and he has long been alleged to have ties to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel.
The Mexican heroin and methamphetamine economy is booming, which is evident in the extraordinary rise of heroin and drug overdoses in the U.S.
Over 99 percent of all marijuana and methamphetamine seized at U.S. borders has come from Mexico, a colossal cache of over 8.2 million pounds since 2013 and a demonstration of the efforts by drug cartels to feed America’s habit.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection seizure figures show that in 2015, 99.8 percent of methamphetamine and 99.9 percent of marijuana seized in the U.S. came from the southern border. Another 61 percent of cocaine seizures were on the West Coast, mostly California, suggesting that Colombian drug cartels are looking for a new route in.
According to a new project from DrugAbuse.com, Border Patrol officers seized a staggering 1.5 million pounds of drugs last year.
The report shows where the drugs have been seized by the Border Patrol. It does not indicate where drugs delivered that eluded capture ended up.
However, it reveals that the Border Patrol has seen tremendous successes in sniffing out drugs.
“Since 2012, the number of traffickers apprehended at U.S. borders has steadily increased from 364,768 to nearly 500,000 in 2014,”
Drug amounts seized at the border from 2012 to 2015 include:
— 8.2 million lbs. of marijuana.
— 32,600 lbs. of cocaine.
— 34,000 ounces of heroin.
— 17,600 lbs. of methamphetamine.
Still, despite the record-high seizures, drug deaths have also surged in the U.S.
According to the DrugAbuse.com report:
Increased drug trafficking in the U.S. has led to an epidemic level of overdoses, surpassing car accidents and firearms as the leading cause of injury and death among Americans. Drug abuse is ending too many lives, too soon.
According to data from the DEA, the number of drug overdoses has climbed more than 50% in the last decade. Death and injury can be traced back to drug-related violence, overdoses from illicit drug use, accidental deaths as a result of drug abuse and injury or death related to smuggling.
While the production of some drugs takes place within our borders, foreign drug trade into the U.S. is largely responsible for the number of dead or injured. Drug abuse has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and the government allots billions of dollars each year to counter the growing epidemic.
Building the wall, which President Trump famously said Mexico will pay for, will stop the twin tides of illegal immigrants and deadly drugs.
“Drug smugglers will always get creative and look for new ways to evade law enforcement, but without any kind of infrastructure we’re essentially inviting them to cross the land border either on vehicle or by foot,” Duncan Hunter (R-CA) “In San Diego, the double-fence halted vehicle drug drive throughs—in other words, there haven’t been any.
Hunter said improvements in the fencing and Border Patrol strategies have dropped the smuggling of people and narcotics significantly.
President Trump tied the heroin epidemic gripping suburban white communities to the issue central to the campaign: border security and illegal immigration.
The rate of heroin-related overdoses has nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, with more than 8,200 deaths that year, according to the Centers for
President Trump argues that this too is tied to weak borders.
Southwest Asia supplies heroin to most of the rest of the world, nearly all of the heroin available in the United States comes from Mexico and South America.
“Mexico, and to a lesser extent, Colombia, dominate the U.S. heroin market, because of their proximity, established transportation and distribution infrastructure, and ability to satisfy US heroin demand,” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration wrote in its National Drug Threat Assessment of 2015.
“Mexico continues as the primary supplier of heroin to the United States,” the White House’s page on the international heroin market reads.
“Estimated cultivation of opium poppy reached 10,500 hectares in 2012, with an estimated pure potential production of 26 metric tons.”
Here’s a chart from the DEA report demonstrating the prevalence of heroin from the southern border:
As you can see, South America and Mexico have been the sources for much of the heroin in U.S. markets for the past two decades.
In recent years, Mexican traffickers have expanded by simultaneously wedging black tar heroin into Northeastern markets dominated by Colombian white powder heroin and increasing production and distribution of white powder heroin themselves.
Mexican heroin accounted for 45 percent of the total weight of heroin the DEA seized and analyzed in 2012 (South American heroin accounted for 51 percent). By 2014, the proportion of Mexican heroin had grown to 79 percent (South American heroin made up about 17 percent), DEA spokesman Russell Baer told PolitiFact.
This market share is also reflected in the amount of heroin seized at the border and the amount grown in Mexico.
From 2013 to 2015, the amount of poppy fields cultivated in Mexico increased by 169 percent from 11,000 hectares to 28,000 hectares, according to Baer.
In 2008, the total amount of heroin seized at the U.S.-Mexico border (about 560 kilograms) surpassed the amount seized from commercial airlines for the first time (about 400 kilograms). Border seizures nearly quadrupled from 2008 to 2015 (2,210 kilograms), according to data provided to us by Baer.
“The majority of the drugs in the U.S. market are trafficked across the Southwest Border from Mexico into the US. Southwest Border seizures conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, while not the complete picture, provide insight into trafficking trends,” he said.
Traffickers typically smuggle the drugs in through secret compartments in vehicles across the border (illegally and legally), transport them to stash houses in hub cities like Dallas, Los Angeles and Phoenix, and then distribute to the Midwest and East Coast.
Here’s a map from the Justice Department that shows how heroin moves through the United States:
The vast majority of heroin in the United States comes from Mexico and South America.
Until we erect a real Wall, the War on drugs is just a small band aid as they will just keep pouring in. Call your Congressman today and demand funding for the Wall immediately or sign President Trumps official “Build The Wall” Petition to the US Senate below.