Mexico’s attorney general on Wednesday demanded U.S. authorities do more to stop guns and drug money from heading south and fueling the drug violence in Mexico that left more 2,000 dead last year.
Eduardo Medina Mora told a business forum that the vast majority of arms used by the soldiers of drug cartels, including assault rifles and grenades, are smuggled from the United States.
“It’s truly absurd that a person can get together 50 to 100 high powered arms, grenade launchers, fragmentation grenades, and can transport this cargo to our country,” Medina Mora said. “It’s a task that needs a much more decided and determined effort from the U.S. government, and it’s one of the demands we have put on the table.”
President Felipe Calderón, who took office on Dec. 1, has waged a major offensive against the cartels, sending more than 24,000 troops to regions ravaged by drug-related beheadings and execution-style slayings. He also has extradited several alleged kingpins to the United States, winning the praise of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
But drug gangs have hit back, killing police officers across the country. Sometimes notes threatening the federal government have been left near the bodies.
Even Calderón has said that he has received threats, although he has said he can’t be sure if they are from cartels.
Medina Mora said U.S. users provide the cartels with huge amounts of cash to fund their killings.
“It’s unthinkable that organized crime can get these amounts of money,” Medina Mora said. “These transactions are not happening within the (Mexican) financial system. They are mostly from the flow of cash from the United States to Mexico.”
Analysts estimate that Mexican drug gangs make between $10 billion and $30 billion selling cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine to the U.S. market, rivaling the money Mexico makes from oil exports and foreign tourism.
Earlier this month, Mexican police found $205.6 million in dollar bills and $1.5 million worth of pesos hidden inside walls, suitcases and closets in one of Mexico City’s wealthiest neighborhoods.
DEA chief Karen Tandy called the haul “the largest single drug-cash seizure the world has ever seen.” She said the money came from the profits of methamphetamine sold in the United States and said U.S. and Mexican agents worked together to track down the house. SignOnSanDiego.com