The Mexican Drugs Cartels Are An Extension Of American Foreign Policy

By Theodore & Walid Shoebat

When we think of drug cartels, we automatically think of organized crime. But when we observe the realities that the US government worked directly with Mexican drug narcos to arm the Contras during the Cold War; that many Mexican narcos were trained by the US military; that US oil companies have no scruples in buying oil from Mexican cartels; that narco killers will slaughter villagers so that the Mexican military can help extract natural resources in the land where blood was spilt; and that narcos will murder political dissidents for exposing government corruption — when we look at all of these facts, what we then are looking at are not mere gangs, but major corporations that are simply an extension of government policy, for both the US and Mexico. The narcos, and those within governments who work with them, are those:

Hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil (Proverbs 6:17-19)

This article is not another description of narco violence, but an in depth look into the political dimension of the narocs and how they are not mere gangs, but paramilitaries that serve as an extension of government policy. But it is not everyone in governments who are involved in these nefarious activities, but states within states. While there are people within governments who really do try to fight the cartels, there are numerous officials within governments, intelligence apparatuses and the corporate world, who do not mind at all collaborating with Mexico’s criminal underworld. 

It was the year 1989. The leaders of the Mexican Guadalajara Drug Cartel convened a meeting in the resort city of Acapulco. The subject of the gangster summit was which leaders were going to rule over which drug operations in certain territories. Felix Gallardo, one of the founders of the Guadalajara Cartel, had just been arrested and it has been said that he was present at this conference through mobile phone. What was determined in this criminal conference was who was going to rule what. The drug empire within Mexico was broken up into cartels above which there would be leadership under specific cartel heads. The Tijuana Cartel was given to the leadership of the Arellano Felix clan, or the nephews of Felix Gallardo. The Sinaloa Cartel would be run by Felix Gallardo’s professional lieutenants, most notably Ismael Zambada and Joaquin Guzman Loera (better known as “el Chapo”).     

Felix Gallardo

But there was one cartel that was not rooted in the Guadalajara Cartel, and that was the Gulf Cartel. The criminal gangsters in the Acapulco summit were aware that the transit points of Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros (both on the border with Texas) were under the control of the Gulf Cartel. The origins of this criminal organization went back to the 1930s gangster Juan Nepomuceno Guerra, who made money off of smuggling alcohol across the border into America’s prohibitionist North. After Prohibition was done away with, he would turn to gambling, car theft, prostitution and smuggling other things.

Within the decade of the 1990s, all of these Mexican drug cartels hugely thrived financially, transporting tons of drugs into the United States and bringing billions of dollars back to Mexico. Soon they would eclipse the Columbian drug industry. In 1996, the Gulf Cartel kingpin, Juan García Ábrego, was arrested and extradited to the United States where he remains behind bars to this day.

Juan García Ábrego

His arrest led to infighting between the different leaders within the Gulf Cartel and one of them, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, slaughtered his own friend, Salvador Gómez Herrera — earning him the name “mata amigos” (friend killer) — and made his way to the top of the leadership chain. Guillen soon began to recruit people from the Mexican special forces or the Grupo Aeromovil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE), the Green Berets of Mexico. In the 1990s the GAFE had been trained at Fort Brag, North Carolina, and then sent by President Salinas to combat the Zapatistas who were militant far-Left Libertarian Marxists in Chiapas who had declared war against the Mexican government in 1994. The training was supposedly strictly for anti-narcotics operations, but the Mexican government used the GAFE to fight the Zapatistas. This was not the Mexican government countering US policy, but rather the opposite: this was a part of US policy. As we read in a report from Frontline:

U.S. military training and aid to Mexico during this period influenced the formation of an elite new special forces team known by its Spanish acronym, GAFE (Airborne Group of the Special Forces). I’d learned that between 1996 and 1999, some 3,000 GAFE soldiers attended courses in counternarcotics and special operations at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg, N.C. (When I asked, a senior officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City told me this type of training was intended strictly for counternarcotics purposes, and was provided only at the request of the Mexican government.)

During this period, the school published a news bulletin announcing the formation of “special forces” schools for GAFE soldiers, which would place a “particularly heavy emphasis” on preparing soldiers who were fighting in Chiapas. In January 1996, the bulletin (published by the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Ks.) noted criticism of U.S. involvement in the training in Mexico and elsewhere. Its authors added: “Other observers have hailed the professional-development process and what they hope will be an open and closer U.S.-Mexican military relationship that promotes cooperation in dealing with common security problems.”

Osiel Cárdenas Guillén

It was not just the US that was training GAFE soldiers. Israel as well took part in training these Mexican elite fighters. One of the Mexican special forces officers trained by Israel was Arturo Guzman Decena. He was ordered to fight the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas, but he was actually being bribed by Cardenas Guillen to allow their drug shipments to continue. Soon Guzman Decena would leave his barracks and join the Gulf Cartel, taking with him thirty other GAFE fighters. Initially they would serve as the bodyguards of the Gulf Cartel leaders, but after growing in numbers they would become the mercenary arm of the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas.

Arturo Guzman Decena

In 2002, Guzman Decena was gunned down by Mexican soldiers at a restaurant in Matamoros, and in 2003 Cardenas Guillen was captured. The Zetas would go under a new leader, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, nicknamed “El Verdugo,” or “the Executioner,” for his sadistic ways of killing (he was also a cannibal). Lazcano was another member of the Mexican GAFE, and he was trained at Fort Benning, in Georgia. What this means is that Lazcano trained at the School of the Americas (known today as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), a military training facility that was created to train Latin America’s elite soldiers so that they could carry out US policy in their countries. From the death squads of Central America, to doing a coup in Venezuela, to fighting the Zapatistas in Mexico, these fighters were trained as an extension of America’s Cold War policy, and much of their training was done in the School of the Americas.

Heriberto Lozcano

While the School of the Americas was setup to train Latin American soldiers to fight Communist groups, a trail of blood follows many of the soldiers who were trained by its instructors. Massacres, disappearances, rapes and executions riddle the history of the military units trained by the School of the Americas. Luis Bernardo Urbina Sanchez was a Columbian general trained under the School of the Americas. He headed the Department of Administrative Security (DAS), which was part of the Colombian army’s secretive intelligence apparatus.

Urbina Sanchez worked in tandem with the Americans in setting up a paramilitary network in Colombia that disappeared and murdered Left-wing guerrillas or people considered Left-wing guerrilla sympathizers. During this, Urbina Sanchez maintained a close connection with a former US colleague from the School of the Americas who operated from the US embassy. “The Americans,” Urbina Sanchez told Leslie Gill, “gave me cars. They equipped units, and they set up communications systems for me. We achieved good results.”        

Much of Sanchez’s time was spent working with specialized units that collaborated with brigades and battalions fighting viciously militant Left-wing organizations like the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and the ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional). The intelligence units acted as the liaison between the state security forces and the very violent Right-wing paramilitaries fighting very actively against Left-wing paramilitaries. Urbina Sanchez was involved in the disappearances and murders of numerous people. For example, paramilitaries and army intelligence agents, disguised with civilian clothing, murdered the mayor of Sabana de Torres, Alvaro Garces Parra. Urbina Sanchez was linked to the assassination, but no serious inquiry was done. Another example is that of Amparo Tordecilla. She was kidnapped by a group of men who ambushed her in a taxi. Her body, along with the corpses of others, were found in a secret cemetery on the outskirts of Bogota. One of the kidnappers later claimed that the taxi in fact came from Urbina Sanchez and belonged to the military.

The United States’ influence and leverage over Latin American politics cannot be considered small. In 1973, a military coup d’etat overthrew president Salvador Allende in Chile. Almost all of the officers involved in the coup were trained by the US military, and most of these had trained in the School of the Americas. Who replaced Allende was the notorious Pinochet, whose regime was responsible for the 1974 car bomb assassination of General Carlos Pratts and his wife in Buenos Aires; the 1974 attempted murder of Bernardo Leighton, the founder of the Christian Democratic Party, in Rome; and the 1976 car bomb killing of Orlando Letelier (former ambassador to the US under Allende) and his aide, Ronnie Moffat. The latter two killings took place in Washington, DC.

Since 1946 (when the school was initially called the Panama Canal Zone) to 2004, the School of the Americas trained over 60,000 soldiers. Some of its most notorious students were Honduran General Luis Alonso Discua, who led an army death squad called “Battalion 3-16,” and Salvadoran Colonel Domingo Monterrosa, who commanded the death squad known as “the Atlcatl Battalion” that butchered almost one thousand people in the El Mozote massacre. No prosecutions were done on the high ranking officers involved in butcherings like that of El Mozote, and when investigations did take place, the US embassy and the Salvadoran government would only allow for low ranking officers to receive prosecution.

El Mozote massacre

It was only when three American nuns and one American lay Catholic woman were raped and murdered in 1980 in El Salvador by soldiers under the command of Carlos Casanova, that the American public began to give attention to the US’ policy in Latin America (pretty much how ISIS’ brutally got Americans to think more deeply about the consequences of US policy in the Middle east). Vides Casanova ordered the murder of the four Catholic women under the belief that they were somehow political subversives (they were missionaries there to give humanitarian aid) and regardless of this he was invited as a guest speaker to the School of the Americas in 1985.

There is a parallel here between the American backing of the Central American death squads and the Gladio Operation in which the CIA collaborated with nationalist paramilitaries in Europe as part of Cold War policy. Within the Gladio operation, NATO worked with Guido Giannettini, an Italian secret service agent who himself was a nationalist (being a member of Young Italy). Giannettini was involved in the Bologna Massacre in 1969 in which dozens of people were slaughtered in a massive bombing attack (See Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, ch. 9, p. 120). Giannettini worked closely with NATO and in 1961 even gave a lecture in the United States at the Naval War College entitled, “Techniques and Possibilities of a Coup d’Etat in Europe”, similar to how Casanova was invited to speak at the School of the Americas.

Another murderer from the School of the Americas was Lieutenant Yushhy Rene Mendoza Vallecillos, who led the patrol that slaughtered six Jesuit priests. They did not even spare the housekeeper, nor her daughter. We also cannot forget Archbishop Oscar Romero, whose murder was ordered by Roberto D’Aubuisson. He was murdered because he had given a sermon, in the Cathedral in San Salvador, exhorting soldiers to cease the killings. (See Gill, School of the Americas) While Romero was standing near the altar, a gunman fired from the door of the chapel, and Oscar was martyred. The one behind the murder, Roberto D’Aubuisson, was backed by the US government and the one charged with overseeing US policy in Central America, Eliot Abrams, whitewashed his crimes in order to protect him. 

Archbishop Oscar Romero


Elliot Abrams

Murdering political dissidents is also something that has occurred many times in Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries on earth for journalists serious about exposing the connections between government and the criminal underworld. In 1984, there was a journalist by the name of Manuel Buendia. He was a reputable reporter who had good connections with sources from the higher echelons of government power which provided him a good stream of information on the collaborations between criminals and government officials. Buendia exposed the inner workings that took place between law enforcement, organized crime and the CIA. Buendia was close to revealing how the CIA, alongside the Mexican drug cartel, were backing the murderous Contras in Nicaragua. As he was leaving his office in Mexico City, Buendia was shot from behind and killed. The story behind his murder was left as an “unsolved” mystery, until in 1989 the former head of the Federal Security Directorate (by then defunct and rejected), Jose Antonio Zorilla Perez, was arrested and jailed for his planning of the assassination.

Manuel Buendia

Narcos also will murder political dissidents who work to expose the network between government and drug cartels. There was the story of the Mexican journalist and publisher, Jesus Blancornelas. He co-founded the Tijuana-based magazine, Zeta, and was very active in exposing both government corruption and drug trafficking. One day, in 1997, Blancornelas was in his car with a driver and bodyguard. Suddenly, a squad of gunmen ambushed them and filled the car with 180 bullets. The driver was killed and so was the bodyguard. Remarkably, Blancornelas did not die, but was only injured. It turned out Ramon Arellano Felix, one of the founders of the Guadalajara Drug Cartel, had ordered the murder after being enraged that the journalist had published his picture. Blancornelas did not cease exposing the narcos, but would live the rest of his life guarded in a brick home with a fortified office, surrounded by bodyguards.

Jesus Blancornelas

There was the 2009 story of Eliseo Barron Hernandez, a crime reporter in the state of Coahuila, who published a number of articles on a police corruption scandal. His publishing of the stories led to over 300 police officers losing their jobs. Barron Hernandez also reported on how eight of the over 300 cop were involved in kidnapping. One evening eleven masked men broke into his home and forced his wife and children to watch as they beat him. They then took Barron Hernandez away and his body was found twenty-six hours later. His corpse had five bullets and showed signs of torture. The murderers who did this did not even allow peace for his family during the funeral, since around the town they presented signs for the public view reading: “WE ARE HERE, JOURNALISTS. ASK ELISEO BARRON. EL CHAPO AND THE CARTEL DO NOT FORGIVE. BE CAREFUL, SOLDIERS AND JOURNALISTS.”

Eliseo Barron Hernandez

It was assumed, because of these signs, that El Chapo and the Sinaloa Cartel were responsible for the murder. But a few weeks later there were five Zeta members, arrested for other reasons, and three of them confessed to the murder of Barron Hernandez and said that they did the slaying under the orders of the Zetas. One of them also revealed that the murder was ordered by Raúl Lucio Hernández “Lucifer” Lechuga, a leader of the Zetas paramilitary cartel. The purpose of the signs, it appears, was to spread disinformation. One of the confessors said that the motive behind murdering the journalist was to instill fear into the hearts of other journalists to keep them from exposing the criminal activities of the Zetas. From this, it is obvious that Barron Hernandez was not just writing on mere police corruption, but collaboration between police and cartels. The Mexican government did nothing about the murder of the journalist .

Raúl Lucio Hernández “Lucifer” Lechuga

In 2010, in the city of Saltillo, there was a journalist named Valenin Valdes Espinosa who wrote for the local newspaper, Zocalo de Saltillo, in which he wrote a story on how a Zeta leader was arrested at a motel alongside a crooked cop who was being bribed by the Zetas. Just a number of days went by when Espinosa was kidnapped, tortured, and shot five times. His corpse was tossed next to the same motel where the Zeta member and corrupt cop were arrested, alongside a message: “This is going to happen to everybody who doesn’t understand, the message is for everybody.” The publication, Zocalo de Saltillo, terrified of the murder of their journalist, Valdes Espinosa, acquiesced to the fear the Zetas wanted to instill and announced, “As of today we will publish zero information related to drug trafficking to avoid situations like the one we went through today.”   

Valenin Valdes Espinosa

During the Calderon administration, 106 journalists were killed, or 17.7 a year. In 2012 the International Press Institute Death Watch labelled Mexico “the deadliest country in the world for journalists in 2011” and reported that arrests and prosecutions for those doing the killings were essentially nonexistent. The murders were done to stop journalists from exposing not only the cartels, but government officials as well. “The intent of this surge of attacks on the press by drug cartels and corrupt officials was clear enough: they were seeking silence,” writes Carmen Boullosa and Mike Wallace, “hoping to throttle the flow of unwanted information. And in large measure they succeeded.” In July of 2012, the major Mexican newspaper, El Manana, made the announcement that it would stop reporting on “violent disputes” after its offices were ambushed with grenades and rifle fire. El Manana in fact noted its reason for ceasing stories on narco violence: “lack of adequate conditions for freely exercising professional journalism.”  (Boullosa & Wallace, A Narco History, ch. 9, pp 125-127)

The Zetas have been doing the policy of persecuting journalists and whistleblowers that the very corrupt Mexican government wants done. Meanwhile, the state media of Mexico ran stories about “victories” over the Cartels, such as a kingpin getting captured or a large amount of drugs getting seized. But these were a show prop in order to maintain the narrative that the cartels were not with the government (see Ibid, p. 128)

The idea that the situation is merely ‘the State versus the Cartels’ is an over-simplification to the say the least, since it is ignoring the very veep interconnection between the criminal underworld and government. And not only this, but the use of cartels as a part of government policy. In 1982, the CIA and government officials (like Elliot Abrams), wanted to get US arms into the hands of the very violent Contras in Nicaragua without having to go through Congress. One of their ideas was to work with Felix Gallardo of the Guadalajara Cartel by allowing him to ship cocaine through the US border in exchange for him to ship arms to the Contras. Gallardo was transporting four tons of cocaine into the United States every month.

The US government looked the other way, because the Guadalajara Cartel was providing high-powered weaponry, hard cash, and even planes and pilots to the Contras under the guise of “humanitarian aid” (possibly why Maduro of Venezuela refuses US humanitarian aid). A ranch owned by Caro Quintero, the co-founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, was used as a training ground for the Contras. The training center was ran by the DFS (Federal Security Directorate) which was the CIA’s Mexican affiliate. The CIA, in conjunction with the DFS, worked with the Guadalajara Cartel to arm the Contras. The Cartel was being used as an extension of Cold War policy in Latin America.

One brave DEA agent, Enrique Camarena, who had been operating in Guadalajara since 1980, expressed to Washington his remonstrances about how the US was not being sufficient enough to stop the Guadalajara Cartel from shipping their drugs into American soil. Camarena bypassed the CIA in 1984 when he, along with agents from the Mexican Federal Judicial Police, raided Rancho Bufalo and destroyed ten thousand tons of marijuana. The Guadalajara Cartel kidnapped Camarena, tortured and murdered him.

Enrique Camarena

The story, at face value, just seems like one of criminals murdering an officer. But the details of the event are quite deserving of our attention. For one, Rene Lopez Romero, who was involved in the abduction, testified in court that an employee of the American Consulate pointed out Camarena to the drug traffickers who then ambushed the DEA agent. Lopez also testified (in the words of the LA Times) “that he saw two Mexican Cabinet members and the governor of the state of Jalisco enter or leave two meetings where another witness said the kidnaping and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique Camarena was planned.” While the Mexican government denied having anything to do with the murder of Camarena, one cannot ignore the reputable testimony of Phil Jordan, the former director of the DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center, that the CIA orchestrated the murder of Camarena, as we read in a report from El Pais:

“These CIA-connection claims are now being brought to light by Phil Jordan, the former director of DEA’s powerful El Paso Intelligence Center in Texas; former DEA agent Héctor Berrellez; and Tosh Plumlee, who maintained he was hired to fly covert missions on behalf of US intelligence. The three men spoke to Fox News in exclusive interviews broadcast last Thursday.

They claimed that Mexican police and agents working for the CIA participated in Camarena’s torture and murder.

“I know and from what I have been told by a former head of the Mexican federal police, Comandante [Guillermo Gónzales] Calderoni, the CIA was involved in the movement of drugs from South America to Mexico and to the US,” said Jordan, according to a transcript of the broadcast.

“In [Camarena’s] interrogation room, I was told by Mexican authorities, that CIA operatives were in there – actually conducting the interrogation; actually taping Kiki [Camarena],” Jordan claims.”

In the story of the CIA’s support of the Contras with the help of the Mexican drug cartel, one sees the use of the Narco underworld as a part of foreign policy. It is very interesting that Los Zetas consisted of Mexican special op soldiers trained by the United States and Israel, it is also quite fascinating that Guatemalan special forces soldiers, the Kaibiles (who, like the Mexican GAFE also got training from the School of the Americas) have worked closely with the Zetas in their operations. The Kaibiles (named after the ancient indigenous king, Kaybʼil Bʼalam), are also just as violent as the Zetas. The Zetas Cartel has been very active in Guatemala, working with Kaibiles and committing horrific massacres. Time Magazine has made the parallel between the two groups:

“In Guatemala’s northern Petén department, May 14, 2011, felt a lot like December 6, 1982. In May, on the Los Cocos ranch near La Libertad, 27 campesinos were slaughtered and decapitated by henchmen of a bloodthirsty Mexican drug cartel, the Zetas – whose ranks include former Guatemalan army commandos known as Los Kaibiles. That’s why, for Guatemalans, the Los Cocos massacre was all too reminiscent of another 29 years ago, when witnesses say Kaibil special forces murdered 251 people in Dos Erres, also near La Libertad. They wiped out virtually the entire village, including small children, whose heads were smashed, in what ranks among the worst butchery of Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war.”

So the Kaibiles who committed massacres have also been working directly with the Zetas. Both the Kaibiles and the Zetas consist of soldiers trained by the US.

There is another thing that must be mentioned here: the fact that the Mexican special forces still works with the Zetas to “depopulate” (read: slaughter) villages in order to clear them out so that certain corporations can exploit the resources of the land. This was recently discussed by Oswaldo Zavala, a professor at City University of New York, who said:

“If you follow the violence in Mexico, it usually coincides with extractive projects. In the state of Tamaulipas, for example, the Zetas will depopulate communal land to open it up for transnational companies. A lot of projects take place on ejidos, communal lands owned by farmers who do not want to give them up. So one easy way to handle that is just to flush people out. Scholars like George Mason University professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera have said the Zetas are a paramilitary force that do black ops to facilitate the arrival of the army, which then allows the engineers to begin exploration and extraction. This extractive model can be applied to other states in Mexico: You can see it in Guerrero, where mining companies have been linked to violence; or in Baja California, where water resources are under dispute and violence has skyrocketed. Energy or natural resources are always in the mix.”

The Zetas have had control over the mining industry in Mexico. For example, a 2013 report from IBT talks about the Zetas’ domination over the coal industry:

“The Zetas are said to hold influence at all levels of the mining industry, including the workers, mine operators, local and state officials and the state-owned company that buys up the coal and resells it at vastly marked-up prices — 30 times the initial cost of extraction, according to a Take Part report.”

The Zetas, according to former Coahuila governor Humberto Moreir, sold coal directly to Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). In the state of Coahuila, police officers have helped the Zetas take over mining and construction industries, as we read in My San Antonio:

“In exchange for the bribes, witnesses testified, the Zetas were protected as they took over the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas from just west of Laredo to the Big Bend region. Witnesses said state police helped gang leaders evade federal authorities, the gang was able to invest in construction and coal mining and the Zetas took control of state jails, where they had freedom to carry out an array of crimes.”

The ties between cartels and corporations is not only limited to Mexico; it also extends deeply into the corporate world of the United States. American oil corporatists are not naive nor innocent when they purchase oil from the Zetas cartel. Between the years 2008 and 2009, Zetas and other cartels sucked out $1 billion worth of oil directly from PEMEX (the national oil company of Mexico) and filled them into stolen tanker trucks and sold the fuel to Texas-based oil companies (see Boullasa & Wallace, Narco History, ch. 9, p. 123). According to a 2009 report from CBS News:

U.S. refineries bought millions of dollars worth of oil stolen from Mexican government pipelines and smuggled across the border, the U.S. Justice Department told The Associated Press – illegal operations now led by Mexican drug cartels expanding their reach.

Criminals – mostly drug gangs – tap remote pipelines, sometimes building pipelines of their own, to siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil each year, the Mexican oil monopoly said. At least one U.S. oil executive has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in such a deal.

In that case, Donald Schroeder, president of Houston-based Trammo Petroleum, is scheduled to be sentenced in December after pleading guilty in May.

In a $2 million scheme, Herrera said, Schroeder purchased stolen Mexican oil that had been brought across the border in trucks and barges and sold it to various U.S. refineries, which she did not identify. Trammo’s tiny firm profited about $150,000 in the scheme, she said.

And oil theft experts say that just like drugs, the crimes will be tough to stop as long as there’s money to be made.

“U.S. refineries willing to buy stolen crude don’t care where it comes from. Once the product is at their doorstep, the deal is done, and they can pay pennies on the dollar without taking the risk of getting it across the border,” said Kent Chrisman, director for global security with Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy.

Why do these criminal organizations get away with so much? With all of the billions of dollars they make every year, it is safe to say that they dominate Mexico’s economy. In fact, in 2010 when Mexico’s economy was in a weak condition, Mexico’s banks were very happy because investors’ confidence was still high due to the billions of dollars the narcos were investing. According to Antonio Maria Costa, who was head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it appeared to be “drugs money worth billions [that] kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis.” In a press conference on June 5th of 2010, Mexico’s Treasury secretary said that the forty-one banks active in Mexico had “ten billion dollars that cannot be explained within the proper dynamics of the country’s economic activity.” (ibid, p. 112) With such power over the economy of the country, it is easy to see how the cartels can enjoy such impunity.

So lets review what we know for a fact about the narco industryWe know for a fact that the CIA worked with the Guadalajara Cartel to arm the Contras as part of Cold War policy

1.We know for a fact that the Zetas were founded as a paramilitary group consisting of Mexican special forces soldiers trained by the United States (specifically in prestigious military academies like Fort Brag and the School of the Americas) and Israel.

2. We know for a fact that the Zetas have collaborated directly with the Guatemalan Kaibiles, elite soldiers who also have received training from the School of the Americas to fight as US proxies during the Central American Dirty Wars of the 1980s.

3.We know for a fact that Zetas will work directly with the Mexican special forces, slaughtering and clearing out villages so that Mexican forces can then help with “extraction” for natural resources for companies.

4. We know for a fact that Zetas sell oil to US oil companies.

5.We know for a fact that banks are more than happy to receive narco cash.

6. We know for a fact Narcos have murdered many political dissidents for exposing government collaboration with cartels.

With all of these facts about the Narco underworld, no one should be condemned or mocked for asking whether or not these groups are really just merely organized criminals or extensions of government policy. Groups like the Zetas are not simply gangs; they are very well armed paramilitary organizations and multi-billion dollar corporations. And like any other corporation, they will work with governments and other companies for profit, with none in these circles of financial power not caring about from where the money comes, all on an ocean of blood.