Mexican Drug Gangs Have 230 ‘branches’ in U.S. and Canada
A recent U.S. Army-commissioned study found that Mexican cartels have entered into 48 of the 50 U.S. states, and have opened up at least 235 sophisticated distribution networks throughout North America.
The study, carried out by the Washington-based Center for a New American Security, claims that Mexican drug trafficking organizations represent “a new form of widespread, networked criminal insurgency” and calls for a “comprehensive national strategy encompassing enforcement, treatment, [and] prison reform.”
The document claims that Mexican drug gangs have established operations in Washington, DC, as well as an unspecified number of provinces in Canada. The strongest presence is in Texas, with an estimated 32 drug distribution networks, followed by California with 31, and the state of Washington, with 24. The drug industry brings in, according to this study, 25 to 40 billion dollars a year, which is equivalent to 5 percent of Mexico’s GDP and twice the value of remittances sent by Mexican migrants annually. Perhaps the most alarming finding in the study is the degree of “spillover violence” in the southwestern states.