The Mexican Border Threat
Yesterday's Daily Briefings highlighted an article discussing the use of vehicles displaying the "logos" of FedEx, Wal-Mart, DirecTV and the U.S. Border Patrol by the drug cartels to smuggle drugs, human cargo and weapons across the border into the U.S. This was based on a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Termed "cloned" vehicles, the report also warns that terrorists could use the same fake trucks to gain access to secure areas with hidden weapons. The report says criminals have been able to easily obtain the necessary vinyl logo markings and signs for $6,000 or less. Authorities say "cosmetically cloned commercial vehicles are not illegal."
This is not the first report of this type. In August 2006, over 3000 pounds of marijuana and more than 200 kilos of cocaine were seized from a cloned Wal-Mart semi driven by a criminal wearing a Wal-Mart uniform.
Last week when I posted Violence Spikes on the "Other Side" of the Border, one or two commenters objected to the premise that the violence on the Mexican side of the border was a threat to our National security. In fact, it was even posed that in some way, we were the cause for border crossovers. I don't think so.
Well, according to Stratfor, there's an undeclared war on the Mexican/US border between Mexican Federal forces and the drug cartels, with spillover into the United States. It impacts the cross border supply chain of NAFTA, has potential impacts on our energy markets (Mexico remains one of our primary suppliers of petroleum products), and raises the question of the safety of travel and tourism across the border. In this short video, Fred Burton of Stratfor describes what he calls the battle for turf between the Gulf and Sinaloa drug cartels.
Whether or not the violence is sporadic and whether or not the Mexican government is either attempting to break the cartels and quell the violence, or, as one other commenter implied, is in league with the cartels, is less the issue, then the actual threat to American security posed by the continuing narco-violence on the "other side of the border." To ignore the problem will not make it disappear, and to suggest that it doesn't exist, is even worse.