Mexican drug cartels take over U.S. cities


June 18, 2006, 10:59 PM
Mexican drug cartels take over U.S. cities
Tancredo says gangs buy businesses, politicians, power, police departments

By Joseph Farah

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.
WASHINGTON Mexican drug cartels operating in cities in the U.S. are buying up legitimate businesses to launder money and using some of the proceeds to win local mayoral and city council seats for politicians who can shape the policies and personnel decisions of their police forces, according to Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., who has led the fight to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and enforce the nation's immigration laws.

In his new book, "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security," Tancredo exposes what he has learned from meetings with law enforcement authorities regarding a concerted effort by the Mexican mafia and drug cartels to extend its corruptive influence in urban areas dominated by illegal alien populations.

Tancredo says some of these small cities have become hostile and dangerous places for legitimate law enforcement officials.

"The Tijuana-based Felix drug cartel and the Juarez-based Fuentes cartel began buying legitimate business in small towns in Los Angeles County in the early 1990s," he writes in his new book published by WND Books. "They purchased restaurants, used-car lots, auto-body shops and other small businesses. One of their purposes was to use these businesses for money-laundering operations. Once established in their community, these cartel-financed business owners ran for city council and other local offices. Over time, they were able to buy votes and influence in an effort to take over the management of the town. They wanted to create a comfort zone from which they could operate without interference from local law enforcement."

Tancredo, the chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, now a powerful force within Congress for opposing amnesty plans for illegal aliens and for promoting tougher border security measures, points, as an example, to the L.A. County city of Bell Gardens where corrupt elected officials under the influence of drug lords actually tried to shut down the police department.

"City officials who would not cooperate with the Mexican-born city manager were forced out of office," he writes. "Eventually, the L.A. County attorney's office moved in, and the city manager was prosecuted on charges of corruption. Unfortunately, Bell Gardens was only the tip of the iceberg. Other Los Angeles suburbs including Huntington Park, Lynwood and Southgate became targets for the cartels."

In fact, similar efforts to undermine law and order by Mexican criminal gangs are under way, Tancredo says, in Texas, Arizona and elsewhere.

"The corruption spreading from south of the border is not confined to Southern California," he writes. "In Cameron County, Texas, the former sheriff and several other officials were recently convicted of receiving drug-smuggling bribes. In Douglas, Ariz. where the international border runs down the middle of the town and divides it from its sister city of Agua Prieta, Mexico the mayor's brother was discovered to have a tunnel from one of his rental properties going into Mexico."

Tancredo reports he has had confidential briefings with top officials in big-city law enforcement who say there are entire cities under the virtual control of Mexican criminal street gangs and their associated businesses, in some cases, making it dangerous for county, state and national law enforcement officers to venture in and rendering any interdepartmental cooperation impossible.

This under-reported aspect of the immigration and border problem is just one of the reasons Tancredo believes the U.S., as a nation, is "in mortal danger" as the debate over solutions rages on in Washington.

In his new book, "In Mortal Danger," Tancredo, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the border security issue in the nation's capital, tells the whole story of the threats facing the nation, the solutions within its grasp and his own personal quest to awaken the political establishment to the seething discontentment gripping America as a result of illegal immigration.

Tancredo warns that the country is on a course to the dustbin of history. Like the great and mighty empires of the past, he writes, superpowers that once stretched from horizon to horizon, America is heading down the road to ruin.

English historian Edward Gibbon, in penning his classic "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (ironically published in the year America's Founding Fathers declared independence from Great Britain), theorized that Rome fell because it rotted from within. It succumbed to barbarian invasions because of a loss of civic virtue, its citizens became lazy and soft, hiring barbarian mercenaries to defend the empire because they were unwilling to defend it themselves.

Tancredo says America is following in the tragic footsteps of Rome.

Living up to his reputation for candor, Tancredo explains how the economic success and historical military prowess of the United States has transformed a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles of right and wrong into an overindulgent, self-deprecating, immoral cesspool of depravity.

His recipe for turning things around?

Without strong, moral leadership, without a renewed sense of purpose, without a rededication to family and community, without shunning the race hustlers and pop-culture sham artists, without protecting borders, language and culture, the nation that once was "the land of the free and home of the brave" and the "one last best hope of mankind" will repeat the catastrophic mistakes of the past, he writes.

Tancredo, born and raised in Colorado, represents Colorado's 6th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to his election to Congress in 1998, Tancredo worked as a schoolteacher, was elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives in 1976, was appointed by President Reagan as the secretary of education's regional representative in 1981, and served as president of the Independence Institute. He serves on the International Relations Committee, the Resources Committee and the Budget Committee, and is the chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. Tancredo and his wife, Jackie, reside in Littleton, Colo.

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June 18, 2006, 11:08 PM
Looks like a really GOOD reason to ensure that politicians are born in the US. Personally, that is why I think the founding fathers wanted that for President and they should have extended that to Senators & Congressmen. So now, we have a dilemma. How do we keep our lovely cities, counties and states in the hands of the righteous or at least those that are somewhat legitimate??

Bartholomew Roberts
June 18, 2006, 11:12 PM
Ironic that a story about how drug cartels are using the system to their advantage will be used to stir up a majority of people who are already convinced that they cannot work within the system.

June 18, 2006, 11:12 PM
Been happening for decades.

1) War on Drugs leads to
2) Huge Profits for Cartels which is dumped back into the legit economy through
3) Bribes and Laundering which leads to Cartel Owned businesses.

We have known to expect this since Prohibition failed, but we did it anyway. The next Ted Kennedy will be the son of a Mexican drug lord.

June 18, 2006, 11:17 PM
And since no one mentioned this yet, Tancredo For President. There, I said it.

June 18, 2006, 11:21 PM
Forget Norte America, hello Narco-America.

June 18, 2006, 11:22 PM
In other words, the Mexican gangs are following the time-honored (and highly successful) example of Mafia and other gangs in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, . . .


June 18, 2006, 11:44 PM
money talks.:(

June 18, 2006, 11:45 PM
Yes, and in their train comes ward and tribal politics, often based on ethnic and racial loyalties, and the traducing of the law. The melting pot of the "blue states" is just feudal law with a Democratic face.

June 19, 2006, 12:21 AM
I bet we wouldnt have issues with cartels gaining power if Americans werent the ones empowering them with our constant need for illegal drugs.

June 19, 2006, 12:43 AM
This is the most stark reality of the problem. People are coming to America illegally because their systems failed them. They are rife with corruption, and every time another regime or revolution takes hold of power, they realize that the old way is easier than change, and nothing good comes from it. Listen to Roger Daltrey, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

This is the legacy they bring with them. If ten percent of Mexico lives in America, and Mexico hasn't has a government in 300 years that's more good than bad, and Mexico seals their own border to the south, and strictly enforced tough immigration policies of their own, and PROTEST if we act to do the same, the only thing this can possibly be is a government sanctioned parasitic transfer. Their current host has nothing left to offer, so they are enabling them to move north.

Am I politically incorrect for referring to illegal immigrants as parasites? Perhaps. But we are about to go down in history as the greatest civilization that allowed itself to be invaded and overthrown because we didn't want to hurt people's feelings.

I can absolutely assure you. If you were an illegal immigrant in Mexico, they wouldn't give you the same courtesy.

As far as preventing drug cartels from taking over the nation, we need to keep doing what we are doing. Enforce the law. Treat offenders harshly. And make sure that every dimebag punk in your state knows that many people there carry guns, and they have the skill and resolve to use them.

June 19, 2006, 01:38 AM
American born politicians won't change the equation - have you been watching the FBI charging municipal politicans for taking bribes and improperly handling their money? American doesn't mean moral or incorrupt. Look how long it has taken for the Republicans to change the campaign financing system - they promised this when Gingrich led the "Republican Revolution". So, when is a rough draft of this plan coming out?
Organized crime, whether Mexican, Russian, Jewish, Irish, Chinese, Japanese, or Italian bribes police and politicians. Get used to always monitoring those people, because those who run for office aren't all upstanding people.

June 19, 2006, 04:59 AM
This is not an illegal immigration problem.

This is a "let's mandate what people can put into their bodies and then act all surprised when our meddling creates a massively profitable underground economy" problem.

mons meg
June 19, 2006, 07:11 AM
This is a "let's mandate what people can put into their bodies and then act all surprised when our meddling creates a massively profitable underground economy" problem.

Ding ding...

June 19, 2006, 07:29 AM
Yep. As long as some people get a fix to put up their nose, veins, bong, etc, they don't care where it comes from until it's too late.
Short term thinking: another problem of the land of plenty.

June 19, 2006, 10:27 AM
Actually, I think the problem is much worse than with the Italian Mafia.The Mex drug cartel have easy access to their home base-not separated by an ocean,like Italy.Very easy enter and exit when necessary.Also ,an uninterrupted line of supply and resources back to the home base.They are a powerful and dangerous force,as evidenced by thier use of politics and legit businesses,etc.

June 19, 2006, 10:46 AM
The Mexican drug cartels are feudal fiefdoms backed by para-military organizations. It will take American military intervention, in the end, to deal with them.

The Government shouldn't control what we ingest; self-governance should.

June 19, 2006, 10:52 AM
In other words, the Mexican gangs are following the time-honored (and highly successful) example of Mafia and other gangs in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, . . .

That is sooo true. Saw a History Channel show which detailed how the Mafia spelled it out for the Federal Government in 1942 that nothing was going to happen in NYC's harbors without their concent.

The Gov't backed off big time. Even made overtures to the Italian Mafia when we arrived there.

June 19, 2006, 11:05 AM
Backed off...or participated?

How many American political and business careers emanate from Big Crime?

June 19, 2006, 01:15 PM
In other words, the Mexican gangs are following the time-honored (and highly successful) example of Mafia and other gangs in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, . . .

Yeah, but would you rather live in a neighborhood controled by the Italian mafia or a Mexican drug cartel?

I'd of course rather have neither, but I will take the italians any day over the mexicans, blacks, chinese, whatever else you can think of as running large gangs.

June 19, 2006, 02:46 PM
Sounds just like the tequila smugglers under Prohibition. Funny how history repeats...

And one thing about the old Italian mafia, they were ruthless, but they tended to HIT ONLY THEIR TARGET, not innocent bystanders. In fact, one enforcer who missed and killed a kid...ended up floating in the river himself. That was Not Okay. Things have changed, there. Now it's just drive by spray-n-pray.

June 19, 2006, 03:00 PM
They were indeed ruthless but as you mentioned, they hit their targets and incompetence that got little kids killed wasn't tolerated, neither was that which got a woman killed, to lesser extents men who weren't your target. They were ruthless but still human beings and you could live with them on your block, not scum of the Earth that will jump you on the way out of the store for the fun of it or because they didn't think you gave them enough "respect".

They were ruthless human beings, a lot more then I can say for cartels and people like the bloods and crypts and the rest of the lot.

June 19, 2006, 03:30 PM
as the true Governance of much of Mexico, military force brought to bear against the cartels is actually a lot closer to a real live war between governing bodies than you might at first think. And, if you look at the cartels as a controlling political body in Mexico, it makes sense to couch the current issue of this thread in terms of an invasion.

It's not unlike the current situation with Pirates ( that the Coast Guard and Navy are handling ( Of course, we have been working against drug transport actively for years, but it seems that recently the Global piracy network has awakened a sense of global protectionism not seen for a while.
Perhaps this same ethos will be extrapolated onto the issue of the Cartels and a meaningful gesture will take place against these people who would move in and take over. And, that gesture will be felt both north and south of the border.

June 19, 2006, 05:04 PM
If drugs were legalized Pfizer and Merck would control the market, not Mexican cartels.

If our government actually enforced immigration laws civic corruption would exist, but be far less.

It's not too late, but we do not have much time.

June 20, 2006, 01:30 AM
It is an invasion, folks. Get used to that idea. It will be easier for you to deal with logically. When our federal government won't do anything about it, you might start thinking that allowing this invasion is national policy.

Time will tell.

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