Monday, November 7, 2011

Calderón Strategy Against Drug Cartels Having Positive Impact in U.S., says DEA

By Edward V. Byrne for The Yucatan Times

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The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says that moving drugs into the U.S. has became more challenging for Mexico’s cartels since president Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.

"Our intelligence information, which includes intercepted communications between traffickers, corroborates the fact that president Calderon’s efforts have made it more difficult to supply the U.S. market with drugs," said Rodney G. Benson, DEA’s intelligence director, in testimony and a report presented to a House of Representatives committee on October 4. The report was released today.

From January 2007 to March 2011, the price of a gram of cocaine rose 87.2%, from an average of $101 dollars to an average of $189 dollars, according to the DEA. The agency attributes the increase to disruption of shipments north. "This is a positive impact without parallel," said Benson.

The DEA report said that "the battle against organized crime launched by Calderon is a heroic effort which has left the cartels wounded and vulnerable, but also more dangerous, (since they are) acting out of true desperation."

DEA claims that the cartels now supply drugs worldwide, including to Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as to the United States.

Benson argued against those who urge consideration of legalizing drugs in order to reduce violence. "History indicates that once traffickers leave the drug trade, they simply gravitate to other forms of crime," he told legislators.

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