"Mexican drug cartels fight turf battles in Chicago"

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Hi Gang:
Here is another of my commentaries that is based on an article I wrote for the Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) website.  This time the predication for my CAPS commentary was a report that aired on The CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley on August 23, 2012. 
The focus of Pelley’s alarming report was how warring Mexican drug cartels are engaged in a blood conflict on the streets of Chicago, Illinois for control of the lucrative drug trade.  Shootouts are becoming so commonplace in neighborhoods in Chicago that Jack Riley the current Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) of the DEA’s Chicago field office was quoted in the CBS news report as saying:
 “Daily turf battles over drugs and distribution, he said, are turning parts of this Midwest city into a Mexican border town.”

Lest you think that he does not know what he as talking about, you should know that Jack Riley’s previous job was to head up the DEA’s field office in El Paso, Texas.  You may recall that El Paso is situated directly north of Ciudad Juarez- arguably Mexico’s most violent city!  

It is remarkable that while politicians such as New York’s Mayor Bloomberg are quick to denounce excessive use of sugar and salt in our diets and attempt to enact still more laws and regulations to outlaw “Big Gulp” sugary soft drinks- not one word is ever said about the threat posed to public health and public safety by the use of cocaine and heroin!  What is more dangerous, for a teenager to ingest too much sugar in a extra large cup of soda or to eat french fried potatoes that have been sprinkled a bit too much with salt or for that teenager (or anyone else) to inject heroin into his (her) arm, snort cocaine?

We have seen graphic commercials warning about the dangers of cigarette smoke.  I am certainly no fan of cigarettes.  My dad died of lung cancer at age 57.  In part I believe he was killed by his three pack a day addiction to Chesterfield Cigarettes and the synergistic impact of his exposure to asbestos in the Navy shipyards during the Second World War and in the construction trades where he toiled nearly his entire adult life to support me and my mom.  However, while cigarette smoking has been drastically reduced by creating “no smoking” laws in a wide variety of places including the workplace, restaurants and public transportation and backing up those tough laws with a massive advertising campaign to educate the public about the dangers of cigarette smoke and second hand cigarette smoke, not a single commercial has aired in many years warning about the dangers associated with smoking crack cocaine!

The proceeds from the drug trade flood into the coffers of transnational gangs, drug cartels and terrorist organizations!  Yet there are no commercials being aired to attempt to sway public opinion to discourage drug use!

We are told our borders are more secure than ever before.  Yet the drugs flow freely across our borders and not only along the US/Mexican border but at international airports and seaports!

Transnational gangs and criminal organizations including the extremely violent Mexican drug cartels have spread throughout the United States not unlike a malignant tumor spreading throughout the body of its hapless victim!  

Since the election of the previous president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, an estimated 50,000 Mexicans have lost their lives to the drug wars being fought on Mexican streets.  SAC Riley has compared parts of Chicago to a “Mexican border town!”  If the federal government continues to refuse to truly secure our borders and not just by empty words but meaningful deeds, how many Americans are likely to die in the next four years?

On August 2, 2012 Fox News Latino posted my commentary that was entitled:

In that commentary I noted what President Obama had to say about the issue of Border Security when he addressed a crowd of his supporters in, of all places, El Paso, Texas in May of last year.  Here is an excerpt from my commentary:

On May 10, 2011, President Obama addressed a crowd in El Paso, Texas, a city that’s located just north of what is arguably Mexico’s most violent city, Ciudad Juarez, where he said in part:

“…We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I suspect there will be some who will try to move the goal posts one more time (someone in the crowd yells “racists!”).” 

“They said we need to triple the border patrol. Or now they’ll say we need to quadruple the border patrol. Or they’ll want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat! They’ll never be satisfied, and I understand that. That’s politics. But the truth is the measures we’ve put in place are getting results.”

That event and the President’s remarks were noted in a news report posted by Fox News and included a video of that speech.  The article was entitled: “Obama: Republicans Want a ‘Moat’ With ‘Alligators’ on the Border.”

President Obama may think our borders and the immigration laws are fodder for humor but there is nothing funny about the current situation!

I am even more concerned about where our nation is headed as the cartels succeed in sending more of their thugs to the United States to expand the scope of their operations, ramping up the violence in a growing list of cities.  The same concerns certainly apply to the potential for terrorist organizations to similarly expand their numbers in the United States to either carry out terrorist attacks inside the United States or, at the very least, to commit crimes in the United States to fund acts of terrorism around the world!
Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts nearly every challenge and threat confronting the United States today!

If our government’s failures to protect American jobs by securing our nation’s borders and effectively enforcing our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 

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Mexican drug cartels fight turf battles in Chicago

A disturbing news report aired on CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley on August 23, 2012 began:

(CBS News) CHICAGO – Gun violence is out of control in Chicago. Just last night, there were eight shootings, two of them deadly.

That pushes the total so far in 2012 to 351 shooting deaths — up 30 percent from last year. Drug gangs are a big reason.

Both President Obama and Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano have often claimed that our borders are secure.  We have also heard Ms. Napolitano claim that “Spillover Violence” was not a problem.

Janet Napolitano herself has stated that more than two hundred American cities have been infested by Mexican drug cartels.  Additionally, other transnational gangs from Latin America as well as from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere have also set up shop in towns and cities in virtually every one of America’s 50 states.  Many of these gangs are known for their use of extreme violence to intimidate competitors as well as those who would cooperate with police and other law enforcement agencies.

Back in 1988 I was the first INS special agent to be assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division, where I conducted an analysis of arrest records to determine who was being arrested by the DEA in New York as well as across the United States.  I found that 60% of the defendants arrested by the DEA Task Force in New York City were identified as being “foreign-born” while nationally 30% of all such defendants were so described.

The August 23rd CBS news report included an interview with Jack Riley, the Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) of DEA’s Chicago Office:

Daily turf battles over drugs and distribution, he said, are turning parts of this Midwest city into a Mexican border town.

“One of the hardest jobs I’ve had in the past couple of years is to convince our law enforcement partners that we need an enforcement mentality as if we’re on the border,” Riley said.

Miles away, Riley says, Mexican cartels have a significant influence in Chicago’s gang violence problem.

“Let’s take the gloves off on that,” he said. “We know that the majority of the drugs here in Chicago, cartels are responsible for. We know that the majority of the murders are gang related. So it is very clear to see the connection and the role.”

As it stands now, at least three major Mexican cartels are battling over control of billions of dollars of marijuana, cocaine and — increasingly — heroin in this city. That includes the ultra-violent Zetas and the powerful Sinaloa cartel, run by its shadowy leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Clearly “Spillover Violence” from Mexico is not only commonplace but endangers Americans and members of immigrant communities- not only along the US/Mexican border but across America!

SAC Riley is absolutely correct in his assessment and his drawing the comparison between Chicago and a Mexican border town is particularly noteworthy because he was previously assigned as the SAC of the DEA’s El Paso, Texas office.  It is disappointing that he created a task force that includes the FBI, ATF and local police who have partnered with his agents in Chicago but absolutely no mention was made of incorporating ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) into this task force.

After having served for nearly 4 years with the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA in New York, I was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and assigned the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) where I worked in extremely close coordination with the DEA, FBI, ATF and local and state police for the balance of my career.  I found that my authorities as an INS special agent were often instrumental in conducting successful investigations of drug gangs- most of which had large numbers of aliens playing key roles in these pernicious gangs.  The effective use of immigration laws and procedures can provide law enforcement with ample and unique opportunities to convince aliens to become cooperators and informants to further drug investigations.  Immigration laws often provide important opportunities to bring additional criminal charges against alien gang members and make certain, that upon conviction, they are deported after they complete their prison sentences.

The effective enforcement of immigration laws should be a routine factor in law enforcement operations across the America so that the two primary objectives of our immigration laws can be realized- to protect American lives and protect American jobs.

The administration bolsters claims that the borders have never been more secure, pointing to Border Patrol arrest statistics.  Border Patrol agents have disputed these claims.

There is a far better way of determining if our borders are truly secure- simply ask if illegal drugs are still making their way onto street corners in towns and cities across America.  The answer to this question is self-evident!  Furthermore, the proceeds of the drug trade enrich the coffers of the drug cartels and terrorist organizations that have the United States in their sights!

The final sentence of the CBS report should get everyone’s attention:

More than ever, Chicago’s problem is turning into a Midwest problem. Cartel operations are also spreading to Milwaukee, St. Louis and Detroit.