mexican drug cartel

America’s war on drugs is empowering Mexico’s drug cartels By Don Winslow

I’ve been writing about the war on drugs for 15 years.

That’s a sad statement, if you think about it.

Particularly given that 15 years is less than half the life of this particular war, which, at 44, has gone on longer than the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam and Afghanistan combined.

The war has multiple fronts, but my particular beat is the Mexican border, across which the vast majority of illegal drugs now come into the United States. I’ve gone out with the Border Patrol, walked the line, sat in cars observing the crossing under the hostile gaze of cartel gunmen on the other side. I’ve talked with DEA agents, cops, drugs users, and yes, drug traffickers.

Fifteen years on the border observing the war on drugs.

Cocaine, heroin and meth pour across — mostly carried in trucks, but also hidden in cars, lugged on foot by human “mules,” walked across taped to people’s bodies, hidden inside corpses, packed across on actual mules or horses (two of which, abandoned in the desert, lived out their lives on our place), run through tunnels, launched by catapults — any method that human ingenuity can devise.

You know what drug isn’t coming across in such great volume any more?

Marijuana.

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