At a time when the Trump administration’s border wall plan is questioning the effectiveness of joint efforts to deal with the menace of cross-border narcotic trafficking, William Brownfield, the head of counter-narcotics at the U.S. State Department, has expressed the pressing need to work with Mexico to counter the influx of drugs into American territory.
In the midst of the war against drugs, Brownfield, who happens to be one of the few senior Obama administration appointees still around, insists that the government today has an edge over the previous years because of mutual collaboration that includes joint military operations and intelligence sharing between the two countries.
While answering questions during a press conference marking the release of the annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report on March 2, 2017, Brownfield declared that the historical levels of counter-drug operations with Mexico were a sign of a hopeful future.
“In a sense, we have developed a law-enforcement cooperative wall at this point, without actually having the physical construction of a wall,” said Brownfield, assistant secretary for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs. “We will achieve our goal by cooperating with our counterparts in the government of Mexico.”
President Donald Trump firmly believes that a wall along the Southern Border will curb the flow of drugs, rising levels of crime, and the entry of illegal immigrants. Without making a direct comment on whether the wall would be effective in arresting the drug trafficking, Brownfield maintained that the President was clear that going forward any new tools or opportunities made available would be incorporated into the measures to prevent the illegal entry of drugs.
In the current political scenario, Ildefonso Guajardo, the Mexican economy minister, has been quite vociferous in stating his opinion. He believes souring of U.S.-Mexico ties will only result in fewer reasons to work together in areas of drugs and illegal immigration.
The unceasing threat of narcotics and illegal substances flowing across the U.S.-Mexico border looms large and contributes in great measure to exacerbate cross-border violence and instability. It is an undeniable fact that Mexico as a nation is a mecca of drug production and a convenient transiting country for numerous consignments of illicit drugs from other Central and South American countries.
Sinaloa Cartel, Juarez Cartel, Los Zetas Cartel and Arellano Felix Cartel are some of the major cartels, which pose a never-ending threat of illegal substances and narcotics flowing into the U.S. territory. In the recent past, with American support, Mexican authorities have succeeded in killing or capturing about 33 out of the 37 most deadly cartel kingpins. The recent extradition of dreaded Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States speaks volumes of the current high-level cooperation between the two nations.
Despite the new border realities, drug cartels continue to cope with the increasing pressures leveled against them. In the recent past, Mexican drug cartels have started to discover innovative ways of shipping untold quantities of drugs across one of the world’s most heavily guarded frontiers and into the most profitable drug market.
The U.S. government is leaving no stone unturned in combating the drug trafficking menace on both the supply and demand fronts in order to curb the ever-growing menace. Additionally, authorities are also working on relaxing several stringent drug laws to make a revolutionary transition from enforcement and penalization to education, treatment and prevention.
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