What Do Phoenix and Atlanta Have in Common?
By now the pattern is obvious. The surprising thing is that generally, we wouldn't connect U.S. cities like Phoenix and Atlanta with Mexican drug cartel violence, but, we need to change our context. Late last week, we learned that Phoenix was fast becoming a center of cartel related kidnappings. Now, thanks to a heads-up from reader Fred W., we hear of how the Mexican cartels now plague Atlanta.
Their presence and ruthless tactics are largely unknown to most here. Yet, of the 195 U.S. cities where Mexican drug-trafficking organizations are operating, federal law enforcement officials say Atlanta has emerged as the new gateway to the troubled Southwest border. Rival drug cartels, the same violent groups warring in Mexico for control of routes to lucrative U.S. markets, have established Atlanta as the principal distribution center for the entire eastern U.S., according to the Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center.
The LA Times has a great series on Mexico Under Siege - The drug war at our doorstep. Extracted from that is the following chilling map that shows just how far the influence of Mexican cartels has penetrated into the U.S.
Have your attention? I hope so.