The United States is to send more security personnel to its border with Mexico in a crackdown on drug cartels.
Last year alone, gang-related violence killed around 6,000 people in Mexico and the problem is starting to spill north of the border. The new reinforcements will be spread across a number of federal agencies and the strategy is similar to that previously used to combat the mafia. United States Deputy Attorney General David Ogden told a White House press briefing: “The FBI is stepping up its efforts in the region by creating a southwest intelligence group focussing its activities on increasing its focus on public corruption, kidnappings and extortion related to the cartels’ activities. As the department did in dismantling the Cosa Nostra, these new resources will build on the framework already in place to disrupt and dismantle the Mexican drug cartels.” Every year billions of dollars worth of drugs travel north from Mexico across the border to America, the world’s biggest cocaine market. Guns and cash make the return journey south to Mexico. The White House says task force teams along the frontier will be doubled to plug this illegal trade. President Obama has said that if the additional manpower and equipment is not enough, his administration “would do more” to beat the cartels. On the Mexican side, President Felipe Calderon has offered rewards of up to two million dollars for informants with any information leading to the arrest of 24 top cartel bosses.