Report: Mexican Drug Cartels Spreading to Other Countries

Tom Ramstack – AHN News Correspondent

Washington, D.C., United States (AHN) – New government reports indicate Mexican drug cartels are making a bigger push to organize their black market activities in the United States, Europe and neighboring Latin American countries.

In one example, some reports indicate the cartels are associating with white supremacists in the United States to carry out crimes the Mexicans could not do easily themselves.

White supremacists such as the Aryan Brotherhood are being paid by Mexican drug cartels to smuggle drugs into California and into prisons, according to two U.S. government reports being quoted in the Mexican news media.

One of the reports on the Aryan Brotherhood comes from the National Gang Center, an organization that joins the efforts of several federal agencies to monitor gang activity.

The other comes from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The reports say the Aryan Brotherhood – a group that originated in 1967 in the California prison system – uses threats and violence to intimidate rivals of the Mexican gangs. They also allegedly help in smuggling drugs.

The ATF report adds that the white supremacist gang members are working for Mexican cartels in car theft operations and trafficking of illegal weapons into Mexico. They are operating primarily in Texas, California and Chicago, the Mexican news reports say.

However, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials could neither confirm nor deny the reports.

In another example of the cartels’ foreign influence, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently filed papers in federal court in New York saying drug gangs are buying old airplanes that they use to transport drugs to Europe.

The airplanes land in West Africa before the drugs are carried to European distributors, according to the DEA.

The cartels are turning to transatlantic flights for deliveries because flights across the Atlantic Ocean are not monitored by radar, meaning they can fly unimpeded with their illegal cargo.

The court documents quoted one drug dealer in Sierra Leone telling a DEA informant, “The sky is the limit” for the black market in cocaine and other illegal drugs delivered by airplane from Latin America.

The DEA filed the documents as evidence in a series of recent arrests.

Airplanes carrying illegal drugs have been known for decades to fly between South American countries and the United States.

Only recently have facts emerged about the trans-Atlantic flights, according to the DEA.

Undercover U.S. agents reported that the Valencia Arbelaez cartel recently purchased an airplane for $2 million to add a seventh aircraft to its fleet for flying between Latin America and West Africa.

One of the defendants in the DEA indictment is Walid Makled Garcia, who allegedly masterminded the flight of a DC-9 into Mexico that carried more than 12.3 tons of cocaine.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports a growing tendency of drug cartels to seek new avenues into the United States through other Central American countries.

“None of the countries in Central America are immune,” said Antonio Mazzitelli, regional representative of the U.N.’s Office on Drugs and Crime, in a recent interview.

He warned that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are at risk of becoming havens for drug cartels as Mexico’s war against them forces the gangs’ leaders to seek new homes.

Unlike Mexico, the smaller Central American countries are not prepared to fight off the cartels, Mazzitelli said.

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