Who or what can stop the drug flow into our country? President Donald Trump? Border Patrol agents? A wall? The answer is simple: nothing.
Trump has vowed to “destroy criminal cartels.” How is he going to accomplish such a feat? Hell, I don’t even know how any country can.
Cartels are an intricate and complex infrastructure with multiple leaders supervising numerous aspects of their trade.
A basic business plan for any cartel is drugs go in, money and guns come out. At the peak of his reign, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was worth $3 billion and made $8 million per day, according to forbes.com. Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel supplied 25 percent of all illegal drugs in the United States.
Trump wants to dismantle a multi-billion-dollar industry, but how? A border fence is useless and upping the number of Border Patrol agents won’t work either. The drug flow cannot be stopped when the Border Patrol is getting tricked into al lowing drugs to flow through checkpoints.
I met a man from Nogales, Arizona, who once packed for an associate of the cartel. He knows first-hand how cartels get drugs into the U.S. Using a tactic called “pick and roll,” the cartel recruits some poor person from the
street and offers $100. Cartel members fill a van with unconcealed marijuana and tell the driver to cross the border.
While the Border Patrol is unloading 100 kilos of cheap, renewable marijuana and celebrating the “biggest bust of the century,” the cartels are driving by in four more vans filled with meth, heroin and cocaine. Will a war on drugs work? Not likely. Just ask former Mexican President Felipe Caldron.
Caldron sent 6,500 soldiers to Michoacán in 2011. The action didn’t end cartels. Instead, 1,400 soldiers, cartel members and civilians died in April alone, according to PBS.
Trump wants to expand the border wall. That may slow the drug flow, but it won’t stop it. Cartels use a variety of inventive ways to get drugs into the U.S., including ramps, underground tunnels and catapults.
No matter what anyone does, they can’t stop cartels. As long as there’s money to be made, there will always be drug trafficking.
Rene Escobar is a journalism major. This is his first semester at the Aztec Press and his fourth semester at Pima.