The smuggling of drugs into the United States is a lucrative business for Mexican drug cartels. A report released today in the Latin American Herald Tribune
cites Genaro Garcia Luna, Mexico’s public safety secretary, as saying Mexican drug cartels currently make an estimated $64.34 billion from their sales of drugs smuggled into the United States.
A Council of Foreign Relations
report states Mexico is the largest foreign supplier of methamphetamine and marijuana in the United States, and is also a major supplier of heroin to the U.S. as well. The production of all three drugs has seen an increase since 2005.
The United States' southwest border is the primary entrance point of illegal drugs smuggled into the country, as well as being a main staging area for the distribution of drugs throughout the U.S. The primary reasons for this is that much of the 2,000-miles along the Mexican-U.S. border is remote and sparsely populated. Smugglers use a variety of methods to smuggle drugs into the U.S., including tunnels, vehicles, boats, aircraft, and backpackers and couriers.
A Justice Department report
acknowledges that the majority of methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin and cocaine come into the U.S. via the Mexican border.
A video posted on LiveLeak
, shows cartel members using a common car jack to lift up a portion of a security fence separating Mexico from the United States. They are in no hurry, they laugh and joke and appear to be confident that they will easily smuggle their illicit drugs across the boarder without worry of law enforcement interdiction.
According to arrest statistics over the last several years, the smugglers may have good reason to be somewhat cocky. According to the Associated Press
, prior to 2012 the number of arrests along the Mexican boarder in the past several years had hit its lowest levels in nearly 40 years. There was a slight increase in arrests in 2012, with 356,873 overall arrests compared to 327,577 arrests in 2011. Despite the increase, the number still ranked among the lowest since 1971.