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Expert: Drug Cartels More Dangerous Than Terrorists

Which is the bigger threat to the United States: terrorists or Mexican drug cartels? Most Americans would probably answer that terrorists are a far bigger danger.

But violent drug cartels are deep inside our borders, reaching from New Jersey to California and many places in between, argues a former military investigator who is now a security consultant specializing in Mexico's war against illegal drugs.

In an opinion piece on CNN, the security specialist argues that the cartels are operating in over 270 U.S. cities, as well as in thousands of towns.

She says the cartels control large drug trafficking organizations in cities such as Newark, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, Houston and Detroit.

They sell a wide variety of drugs:

  • Crystal meth
  • Brown powder heroin
  • Black tar heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine

She says that just because we don't hear about the cartels in our cities doesn't mean they're not operating and thriving there. She says the cartel operatives keep low profiles in order to avoid not only arrest, but also publicity that could generate public calls for their eradication.

She argues that our spending on the war in Afghanistan is hundreds of times more than our spending on the drug war in Mexico. She notes that more than 30,000 people have been killed there since President Calderon took office four years ago.

She writes that, yes, most of those killed in the drug wars have been drug traffickers, drug manufacturers and drug runners, but there have also been innocent people caught in the crossfire between rival gangs and cartels.

Before that spills over to mainstream America, she argues that we should significantly increase our efforts to slow the spread of the cartels here and in Mexico.

Source: CNN: "Drug cartels in U.S. as big a threat as terrorism": December 9, 2010