Ed Warner

Veteran Journalist

Who Rules the Border?

Posted on | November 28, 2018 | No Comments

In the current uproar, immigrants of the caravan are pitted against U.S. Border Patrol agents and U.S. troops. Unseen and largely ignored by the media are those who will ultimately determine the outcome; namely, the drug cartels who virtually control the entire border and most of Mexico for that matter.

At first glance, it doesn’t look as if the cartels have a dog in this fight. Thousands of immigrants are squeezed into a corner of northwest Mexico which the cartels cannot easily penetrate with their usual tactics. Given their numbers, the newcomers can defend themselves and what money they have. Robert J. Bunker, professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, told The Epoch Times that cartel bosses are unlikely to get involved since “this is a highly politicized international spectacle that is now playing out.”

tijuana migrant shelter

An aerial view of the temporary shelter set up for migrants in Tijuana.

For this, the cartels have only themselves to blame. The caravan chose to go 1,800 miles from Mexico City to Tijuana rather than the shortest route, 660 miles to Texas, where the cartels have firm control. Better to face U.S. opposition than the unforgiving mobsters. But as always, the cartels found something to their advantage. The Border Patrol has also been drawn to the West, leaving vast stretches open to the drug invasion, and along it came. Human beings are worth something, but they don’t compare to the value of drugs, an estimated $60 billion a year in U.S. sales.

In The Epoch Times, Sheriff Andy Louderback of Jackson County, Texas, states the problem: “Every day, every minute there’s some penetration of the Texas border, California border, New Mexico border, Arizona border. Someone is preparing to send a load of drugs in, trafficking in humans or engaging in some kind of criminal activity. That’s their job. That’s how they get paid, and that’s what we’re up against.”

Beyond the border is bountiful America, where cartel agents direct the flow of drugs to designated cities like Chicago. There gang warfare over drugs resembles the brutal clashes in Mexico. Increasingly, cartel chiefs are locating to upscale areas in the U.S. where they easily blend in with equally affluent neighbors. In the border town of Douglas, Arizona, a rancher pointed out to me the homes of recent cartel arrivals – here, here and possibly here.

Patience eventually wins. The longer the caravan stays in Tijuana, the more vulnerable it becomes to the preying cartels. They will quietly sidle in to make their pitch and threat. By then, the U.S. will have moved on to other headlines, probably abroad. Mexico will be out of mind, as it usually is. The local Tijuana lawmen will not resist since they’re in the keeping of the cartels.

The cartels fill a vacuum, and one by one immigrants will secretly cross somewhere on the border at the cost of a few thousand dollars each. Otherwise, they can carry drugs. If they refuse, they’re killed – the law of the border. This will not change until American drug users stop financing the cartels who have ruined Mexico and would like to do the same to the U.S.

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"Master of Narrative"

~Ted Lipien


This website contains the collected works, recent articles and continuing blog posts from veteran journalist Ed Warner who has been reporting for more than 55 years. Ed wrote for Time Magazine from 1958-1982 and wrote, edited and reported for the Voice of America from 1983-2005. He continues to freelance today and his articles have appeared in The American Conservative and on AntiWar.com and other news websites. More...

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