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May 19th, 2009
10:49 AM ET

Mexican Drug Cartels Infiltrating the U.S.

Drugs, violence and kidnappings are sweeping through parts of the United States as Mexican drug cartels extend their reach into the country. In the 11 a.m. ET hour of the Newsroom today, we’ll show you a new spread from that lets you see how your area is being impacted. Josh Levs will talk to writer/producer Eliott McLaughlin who went to Phoenix to cover the story. We also want to hear your thoughts, concerns, or questions?

Filed under: In the Newsroom • Tony Harris
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. one_voice

    End prohibition. Legalize.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  2. B. Henry

    I personally think that if the military (armed) was deployed along our border with Mexico the problem would not be as bad. I know it might send a wrong message to Mexico along the lines of foreign relations–but the safety of our country is at risk!

    May 19, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  3. Randall

    Governments have spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting the war on drugs, and yet headlines like this are only appearing more frequently, and drug lords are making the Forbe's list. The longer that black market sourcing remains, the more cash the cartels and terrorists rake in. Sinking more money into the enforcement of Prohibition will continue to produce the same results as we've been seeing. Repealing alcohol Prohibition addressed the criminal black market activity that was born because of the interruption of the legal supply. Why has this war on drugs been allowed to decimate society when the solution is so historically clear? Legalization means government control. and responsible drug law reform could shut the black markets down without firing a shot.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  4. Julian

    Why are you so surprised Tony?

    Ever since drugs have been around there have been people fighting over the control of the drug trade.

    This has been going on for decades and can only be stopped if

    A. The Government legalizes drugs or
    B The US stops being the biggest consumer of drugs in history

    May 19, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  5. Tony Perez

    If we would have built a 50 foot fence a long time ago we wouldn't have these problems.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  6. michael g

    legalize & tax already.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  7. Steven Zeledon

    In a recent article in the Economist Magazine entitled "A Pot of Gold", a case was made for ending our counterproductive "War on Drugs". In a manner that is intuitively understandable, the article lays out the many benefits that would accrue, from saving the $40 billion we spend every year trying to eliminate the supply of drugs, to eliminating the arrest of over 1.5 million citizens each year and the incarceration of over one half million of them. Treating the cultivation of marijuana the same as we do that of our wine industry would reduce by 70% the flow of money to the Mexican cartels and save over 6,000 lives being lost each year to drug violence. In addition, the benefits to local economies and the tax revenues gained there from would be huge.
    Why then, Tony, don't we turn our crisis in Mexico into an opportunity to change a failed policy?

    May 19, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  8. Nicholas Apuzzo

    We need to wake up and face the facts, the war on drugs is a loosing battle. Marijuana needs to be legalized for personal use. The feds need to tax and regulate sale and distribution. With so many Americans paying up to $700 / ounce for quality marijuana, it can be sold for $200/ounce and the Feds can make up to 95% of that income in revenue. This will not only help the economy, it will just about eliminate related crime, violence and prison over crowding. It's a no brainer. Nick A. Tampa, Florida

    May 19, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  9. joan stratton

    Legalize drugs. It will put them all out of business including the guns and ammo. being sold across the border from the U.S. The drug cartels will then be homeless !!!!

    May 19, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  10. David P. Garcia II

    Mexican drug cartels get the majority of their funds through marijuana distribution because they can control it from seed to smoke unlike heroin or cocaine. Legalizing marijuana would deal a crippling blow to their operations while reversing years of an unjust and irrational drug policy.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  11. Reality

    It is time that we as a nation come to terms with the legalization of drugs. Not only is this so called war on drugs BOGUS it is costing this country in many ways we have a broken prison sysytem, a broken educational system , and rising death tolls especially among our youth , and not addressing this situation, and adding more law enforcement is not working these people are ruthless they boader our country this is DANGEROUS. Its time to put the government officials, cooperate thugs, and the notorious cartel leaders OUT OF BUSINESS.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:34 am |

    Did Mexican criminal activity just start? Where had the news media been for the last 10 years? Ordinary people could have told you that this is a suspected major issue and a treat to our culture and security years ago. As we become more and more politically correct and adopt Hispanic culture and norms we will only become one huge South American country in North America. Shouldn't we take a good look at the cultural differences that make Mexico a third world country sharing a border with what was the richest country in the world? With all the benefits and lee way given to Mexico they should be more prosperous than Canada. They have oil and year round agriculture, not to mention tourism and money sent directly from the US. Instead we ask of what can the US do to help and take blame for being a place of gun purchases. The media doesn't question why America is to blame when criminals who own guns here are not as barbarous and despicable. Should we ban syringes also? that is what they used to kill a small boy with acid shot in his heart.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  13. Nicholas Apuzzo

    According to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter: "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use."
    REFERENCE: President Jimmy Carter: Message to Congress, August 2, 1977.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  14. Frank A Fusca

    I am an addict who has been clean for four years. I am also a business man who understands the concept of supply and demand. We as nation will never curb the proliferation of drugs in this country untill we focus on addiction as a heath\mental health issue rather than a criminal issue.

    Thank You
    Frank A Fusca

    May 19, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  15. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    1. This just means we need to ratchet up the war on drugs and actually committ to it. Make being a cop and an honest citizen more lucrative than siding with criminal drug dealers. When thee dealers are caught give them exhorbinant sentences and lengthen the time they are forced to stay in without parole. Build or refurbish jails with treatment centers, and build the cells smaller. In my opinion a 6 1/2 X 4 X 7 ft cell is big enough. It isn't the war on drugs that's failed, it's the commanderts of our troops in that war that have failed.

    Holy crap people, know your job and then do it.

    2. and I have to bring this up here because you haven't created a blog for it yet...

    I dont' understand what the problem with moving or housing the Gitmo detainees is. Put them on trial for the crimes the previous administration charged them with, and make the key players in that previous administration back up their claims. that way the world understand that this administration and this America will not be held accountable for what the past asministration did. People need to stop thinking that they're going to be forced to look over their back yard fences and say "Howdy neighbor" to a terrorist. that's just not going to happen. Confine them all to a solitary cell and spread them out, both betweeen prisons and between cell blocks. Do not allow contact of any kind with anyone other than a single guard and monitor their conversations.

    What's the big frickin problem? Honestly. This is pretty easy stuff.

    May 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  16. James

    I live in the heart of Phoenix – Central Phoenix. Phoenix is a very large city, which a lot of people do not know which I find by talking via the telephone conducting regular business.

    Because of its size, I never worried as I did no wrong so why should it come to me? But now, me; friends, etc., are all beginning – at varying levels to be afraid.

    Phoenix was a peaceful city. Generally, most people were cordial. Now people look away, pull their children close as do the same lovers walking to their cars in the parking lots. What a shame!

    May 19, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  17. RJ

    legalize pot and enforce all immigration laws including companies who hire illegals! Start charging Mexico for all the deportations, and if no payment recieved then take it out of trade! We need to stop feeling so sorry for Mexico and every time we have to adapt to keep Mexico in check we need to stop thinking that its automatically racist, its not racist and has nothing to do with racism! Its called taking care of our own first! Its called forcing Mexico to take care of their own problems! Its not called picking on a Mexican day, I`m so sick of hearing that. When i`ve called all of my congressman and elected officals as to why all of our highway reconstruction is going to hire mexicans all I got in response was that I must be racist for asking such questions! No what it is called is too many politicians and construction companies with their hands in the cookie jar and they want to see their cut and not have their cut interfered by a citizen asking such questions!

    May 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  18. VaNurse1492

    If Colombia can clean up its drug mess, so can Mexico. Uribe had resolve. and got the job. Calderon should take a lesson.

    May 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  19. jeimy

    Didn't we have the some problem with Colombia over 10 years ago?

    May 19, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  20. anna


    I am wondering why they stopped talk about Mexican Drug Cartels Infiltrating the U.S. Also what is the connection between the "so called pig flu" and the drug cartels that was, almost starting the 3rd. world war? Don't you think that is coincidence? Go to this side and tell us what do you think?

    May 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  21. michael armstrong sr.

    You know this is a frikin joke our country is in fiancial ruines and were worrid about a bunch of stoners so how about we for get about cheech and chong and worry about how were going to keep our butts warm this winter.

    May 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  22. Ann Deboe

    Dear Rick,I lived in Toledo, where's the news here? A 14 year old arrested for shakin' it at the police, arrested for resisting arrest-what a blanket to arrest from under ! Cops went back- because THEY have an attitude! They have had deaths using their procedures ! By the book- doing a great job. Kid's don't have a chance in Ohio, and Toledo is ground zero for this travesty ! Check-out how much money they get per head-housing,food,lawyers,fines,ect.-this is a business!!!Wake-up people, your civil rights are gone and the police are in charge ! I moved 1 county south a decade ago- scary place! Oh, by the way, what crime did he do to be arrested for in the first place? Resisting arrest ! WHAT A COP-OUT !!! If History has taught us anything it is not correcting mistakes will make very ugly things happen again! (So sorry- 8 years of Bush and I can hardly quote a thing anymore!) Good-Luck All, Mom

    May 19, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  23. Clark

    If we simply conducted a military lockdown of the border using full-auto, lethal tactics we may be able to stop most of the drug running. Mines, machine guns, and high explosives would be more than enough to deter me from crossing the border. Innocent people may die but look at the deaths of average Americans every day! It would be a hefty load on the pocket books of Americans but you can't put a price on safety. If we did that for 7 years and had a 2 year settle period to see what decides to schlep over our border and show its blackened charred hide, riddled with mine fragments and dirt from the border sands. I can personally guarantee an 87% crime drop nationwide. Now go on ahead and call me a communist but force walks and peace just takes a back seat to rough matters such as these.

    May 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  24. michael armstrong sr.

    heres my thoughts on the cartel three words .crush kill and destroy . these are the famouse words from the robot on lost in space.

    May 20, 2009 at 11:00 am |

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