Mexican Drug Cartels Affect The Desert Southwest

Mexican Drug Cartels Affect The Desert Southwest

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The violence in Mexico really hits home here in the Desert Southwest because our local law enforcement is concerned about the violence spilling over into border towns.  It's so important the Director of Arizona's Department of Public Safety came from Phoenix today to visit Yuma.

Several law enforcement agencies in Arizona are getting together for border violence meetings.  In case something happens on the U.S. side, law enforcement wants to be prepared.

Roger Vanderpool, the Director for Arizona DPS says, "the cartels are being squeezed so how do they react?  They react violently."

Vanderpool says for the first time, the Mexican government is putting pressure on the drug cartels.  The cartels aren't used to this and they're asserting their dominance by killing innocent people.  "undermine the confidence of the public that the government can't protect them."

But the Mexican government is trying and Vanderpool says that's a good thing because it's easier to fight the war on drugs deep into Mexico than on the border.

"[It's] better fought at the point of origin than it is once it gets in the U.S."

He says the solution is to support Mexico.  "We need to invest in Mexico, because Mexico is our neighbor."

By giving Mexico money and training their law enforcement, it may be possible to see the violence lessen.

Vanderpool points to Columbia, a country that with the aid of the United States, was able to improve the country's problem with drugs.

Vanderpool says it's all about money so the drug cartels are making sure the cargo is protected by using violence.