Colombian Drug Power Dominated by Mexican Cartels
As the nation of Colombia is nearing election time, there is still some debate over the level of drug cartel power in the country. According to a report in the Washington Examiner, drug czars from Mexico are now pushing their way into Colombia to take control of the multi-billion-dollar cocaine industry.
Several U.S. intelligence officials have reported that Mexican drug organizations are dipping further into Colombia's cocaine market. This could be good news for those Colombian citizens who would like to see the drug trade dwindle in their country.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas recently visited U.S. military officials and law enforcement personnel in Colombia and reported that Mexican drug cartels are sending their members into Colombia. This so-called expansion should be worrisome for both U.S. and Colombian officials.
“They’re more ruthless and violent than even their Colombian counterparts, and according to our guys on the ground they want more control of Colombia’s cocaine trade,” said Poe.
Regional director for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Jay Bergman, has been watching the expansion of the Mexican cartels throughout the regions.
“With the dismantlement of the former Colombia cartels and the retraction of these cartels from key geographic locations outside of Colombia, the Mexican cartels have filled the vacuum first by assuming supremacy of the cocaine distribution market in the United States and in recent years in a much broader global context,” Bergman said.
Last year, a consortium of Mexican drug cartels were caught in an attempt to smuggle 1,200 tons of cocaine into the United States from Colombia. This case demonstrated the power Mexican cartels have assumed in moving these drugs throughout this part of the world.
“The Mexican cartels have representatives in Colombia who coordinate with Colombian drug trafficking organizations on the acquisition of cocaine and transportation to Central America and Mexico,” said Rusty Payne, a DEA spokesman in Washington. “Ten years ago it was the exact opposite in that the Colombian cartels were embedded in Mexico and coordinating with the Mexican drug trafficking organizations.”