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Who's Profiting From the Mexican War on Drugs?
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Who's Profiting From the Mexican War on Drugs?

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AUSTIN, TEXAS – March 29, 2019

Drugs is quite a popular topic in the media today, and it’s understandable why. Drug trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal business. However, the income from this illegal business has never contributed to the economic growth and development of any states or regions, or at least the serious and respected people behind podiums in the world’s capitals and on TV screens tell us.

And they’re right about something. Indeed, drugs have not brought prosperity to the areas where they are produced. Look at Colombia, Mexico, Afghanistan. They can hardly be called prosperous. However, these important folks are also wrong. Drug trafficking brings economic prosperity — just not where they point. It brings it to those who are behind all the drug cartels, murders and cruelty. It brings it to the political elite — the main beneficiary of the global political and economic system, the center of which is located in Washington.

How much has been said about the topic of Mexican drug cartels! It is shown in our media — especially TV shows and films — in a framework of strictly “good” and “evil.” The bad guys are of course the narcos, who bribe dishonest (read: Mexican) law enforcement agents and politicians. The U.S., for its part, represents the rule of law in the form of mostly white U.S. judges and white U.S. policemen working within the U.S. justice system. All these stories leave out the deep complicity of the United States—both through its massive consumption of illicit drugs and the neoliberal policies it has proffered at the expense of many working-class Mexicans. Nor does it mention corruption in the United States or the nefarious effects of current U.S. drug policy and U.S.-led anti-narcotics cooperation in the country.

Who's Profiting From the Mexican War on Drugs?

Do you think the U.S. government or U.S. law enforcement agencies do not have information about the work of drug cartels, about their relationship with Mexican and American politicians? Do you think the numerous drug dealers who were arrested — El Chapo, for example, did not tell all about their connections and schemes? Do you think the U.S. government doesn’t know who benefits from the drug trade or which banks the money goes through and how and by whom? Don’t be naive. They know all of this perfectly well.

Except, nobody actually wants to fight against drug trafficking. They catch individuals, of course, but it’s like trying to fight cholesterol on the Titanic. This is useful, but doesn’t affect the result. Do you think the US didn’t know that drug cartels paid millions of dollars to high-ranking officials, such as the former presidents of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, and Felipe Calderon? Did it somehow influence the attitude of American politicians? Or why have drug exports increased tenfold since the invasion of the US Army in Afghanistan? Who transports drugs and how, if all transport arteries and territories where drugs are produced are controlled by Americans? In Colombia, the United States has been implementing Plan Colombia since 2000. The United States has 7 military bases there. However, in spite of all this, cocaine production has only increased. According to the UN, in 2015, cocaine production increased by 52% to 442 tons per year. Why do you think that is?

At his New York trial, El Chapo was charged with illegally making $ 14 million. But where is the money? Which banks was it laundered through? What entrepreneurs helped him in this? No one asked such questions during the trial, no one interviewed witnesses, friends, partners, and comrades of El Chapo about it, and the question was thus never answered.

Why? The answer is obvious, although it’s taboo. All the main beneficiaries of the drug trade are in the United States. They are respected businessmen, bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats. And they are untouchable, because they belong to the elite of the United States, and members of elite groups are responsible neither to the law nor to the people.

Much has been written about the fact that the U.S. used and continues to use cash proceeds from the sale of drugs to finance its covert operations. But they prefer to keep silent about the fact that they used these means to get out of their own crises, although some officials occasionally talk about it.

Thus, in 2008, the director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime declared: “Billions of drug dollars did not let the system collapse at the worst possible moment.” Then, even more, surprising was the report, published in 2012 by the US Senate subcommittee, according to which “annually from 300 billion to one trillion dollars of criminal origin are laundered in banks around the world, and half of these funds are transferred to US banks.”

Such allegations by the Senate Subcommission were confirmed when the Federal Court of New York made public in 2012 the involvement of HSBC, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Bank of America in the laundering of drug proceeds. Specifically, the HSBC bank confirmed that in 2008 it laundered  one billion one hundred million dollars, transferred by the Sinaloa cartel to the US. In some cases, the court imposed fines, but none of the management or employees went to jail. This indicates that we have a community of accomplices in which the state has just legalized money obtained from drug trafficking through fines. There are other US banks that are suspected of laundering with drug dealers, in particular, the City Group, Bank of New York, Bank of Boston and others, however, everything indicates that they are under the protection of the country's authorities.

As capitalism as a system implies the existence of both national and supranational management systems (since the interests of capital know no boundaries), so the functioning of “legal” capital is impossible without illegal (“black”) capital. These are two sides of the same coin — the global liberal economic system, the core of which is the United States. Washington has long realized that drug production can exist anywhere in the world, but on one condition: The manufacturer never sells its product at the final stage. Without this, there would be no “black” economy.

For this purpose, a mechanism was created, the work of which is clearly visible in the example of US activities in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The main condition for its functioning is the mandatory seizure of the drug at a low price. From the manufacturer, who is interested in obtaining the maximum profit, it can be achieved only by offering an exclusive, urgently needed product. In regions where fighting is taking place, only one weapon enjoys steady popularity. In moments of aggravation of the situation, prices grow, which automatically leads to a decrease in the cost of drugs. The bloodier the clashes, the greater the profits from the trade in both are. In other words, instability is the cornerstone of a “black” economy, and its god is a controlled conflict. Only it regulates supply and demand. Whoever's behind the conflict situation is not interested in "working" with government agencies, but with tribes, peoples, clans, religious groups, parties. They are easier to manipulate and cheaper.

The drug mafia, in the broad sense of the word, has three levels.

The first (lowest) level: the groups that are at the very beginning and at the very end of the drug chain:

a) groups that are involved in the production (cultivation and primary processing) of drugs and their procurement from manufacturers;

b) groups that are engaged in bringing drugs to the final consumers (retail market).

The second (middle) level: groups that deal with large quantities of drugs. They are engaged in final processing, packaging, storage, transportation (including cross-border) of drugs, the wholesale trade. Groups of this level are called drug cartels and drug syndicates, and their leaders are drug barons.

Who's Profiting From the Mexican War on Drugs?

The main market is the United States. Mexican cartels smuggle drugs into the US in various and sundry ways, but in general, it is a complex process that requires adherence to a large number of details. They can be directly transported across the border in trucks (frozen fish, avocados, a fake bottom in a container, a cement mixer), or transported through a border tunnel. The main traffic in the US comes first to Chicago, and from there it goes to all other cities. In short, there are many methods.

The game doesn’t end as soon as the drugs hit the US. They must be sold, stored, and distributed among suppliers. They can even be boiled (in the case of meth) or planted (in forests and other basements). This is done by drug syndicates, which are transnational organizations.

In the past century, the largest drug cartels were based in Colombia. The most famous of them were the Kali and Medellin cartels.

Today, the centers and traffic of the drug trade have changed dramatically. The drug mafia groups in Mexico (cocaine) and in Afghanistan (opium and heroin) are the first in the 21st century.

Who's Profiting From the Mexican War on Drugs?

Although the groups conclude cartel agreements on the division of sales markets, these agreements are constantly violated. The struggle for the redistribution of markets begins, which turns into a real war. It is here that rivers of blood flow. Here is where the main anti-drug special operations are carried out, trapping and killing bandits. The effectiveness of the struggle at this level is extremely small, but very indicative and destructive, which is actually required for the normal functioning of the system.

The third (highest) level: groups that have no “direct contact” with the "product."

The main institutions that are part of the third (highest) level are banks, special services, and the media. All of them have legal status. The third level also includes representatives of the legislative and judicial power and a number of key departments of the executive power. These institutions and individuals make up a tightly woven network. It goes beyond the boundaries of individual states, forming a worldwide network. This is what has come to be called globalization since the second half of the 1990s.

The third level involves such strategic tasks:

a) "laundering" of cash received from the sale of drugs;

b) legitimization and investment of income received from the sale of drugs in various sectors of the economy;

c) ensuring the "cover" of the current operations of the drug mafia at the first and especially the second levels;

d) creating favorable conditions for the expansion of the drug business in individual countries.

Much has been said about how to solve the first and second tasks. As for the third task (“covering up” the operations of the drug mafia), the following methods are used to solve it:

- bribing government officials who must fight the drug mafia (police, anti-drug trafficking services, border and customs services, etc.);

- introduction of their agents into the relevant state services;

- determination of the general policy and specific directions of a fight against drug trafficking;

 - supply of weapons to drug cartels (second level groups), etc.

As part of the third task (c), actions can also be held to prevent new competitors from entering the wholesale drug market. According to experts, public services, first of all, intercept the batches of drugs of the new groups that want to establish themselves in the market. The wholesale market is oligopolistic; it is prohibited or extremely difficult for new participants to join.  

The fourth task (d) involves a very wide range of actions:

- lobbying for laws that facilitate the circulation of drugs (up to the complete legalization of drug use);

- propaganda of drugs through the media;

- removal of any restrictions on the movement of goods, money, and people between states (under the guise of the liberalization of international trade and capital movements);

- encouraging the creation of offshore centers (to facilitate money laundering);

- the organization of political, economic and military pressure on states that are trying to organize an effective fight against the drug business (such pressure is often carried out under the guise of a “fight against terrorism”), etc.

The third level of the world drug mafia is not a flat network organization, it is managed by a very narrow group of people. They can be called the world oligarchy. One of the most authoritative researchers of the world drug mafia, John Coleman, conditionally calls them the "Committee of 300," which includes crowned heads, bankers, government and political figures — "the chosen few."

Drug trafficking allows the "Committee of 300" to solve such tasks as:

Who's Profiting From the Mexican War on Drugs?

1) obtaining money that is convenient to use for bribing politicians, statesmen, military, media representatives and other "right" people;

2) effective management of people's consciousness and behavior with the help of drugs;

3) reducing the population of the Earth to the required levels to make them easier to control;

We emphasize once again that banks are the key third-level institution and the main beneficiary. The owners of the largest of them are members of the notorious "Committee of 300."

Thus, the fight against drugs within the framework of the existing world political and economic model will continue to be decorative and more like a reality show than a real fight. The main beneficiaries of drug trafficking are the world elites and they will never destroy their own business, and will not allow others to do so. For example, one of the states that are now effectively fighting the spread of drugs is Iran. It not only prevents the spread of drugs within the country but also actively fights drug trafficking that passes through its territory from Afghanistan and other Asian countries to Europe. And look at what is happening with Iran. It has been declared the main enemy of civilization, which should be fought until complete destruction.

And if so, Mexico will continue bleeding, just as spectators will continue watching Netflix and Telemundo telenovelas and prestige dramas that further the idea that individual narcos are the real enemies of society, while at the same time ignoring the role of state authorities and systems on both sides of the border. We consume this entertainment passively and uncritically, as it deepens support for drug wars across the globe. And bankers and other beneficiaries will continue to get rich on blood and our naivety.

Author: USA Really