Or so purports a cache of leaked emails from the private U.S. security firm Stratfor. The correspondences cite a Mexican diplomat who claims that not only is the U.S. government working in cahoots with Mexican drug cartels to funnel product into America, but has even entered a sort of pact with arguably the most powerful cartel, the Sinaloa, in hopes of beating back narco violence that continues to wrack Mexico. Maybe all those new drug-plane-sniffing sensors and Swiss-cheesing virtual border fences really are just a front.
Now, I’ll be the first to say that Stratfor leaks are the new yawn. By this point, many people call Stratfor “a joke” and document-dumpers, like Wikileaks, chumps for not chasing any of it down with giant grains of salt. And I don’t entirely disagree. Still, collusion with mass murderers is a super-power government standby that’s nearly as age-old as getting stoned. To hear that the U.S. may be brokering deals with fugitive Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the folklorish, billionaire head of the Sinaloa, doesn’t exactly have me falling out of my chair.
It all traces to one MX1, a Mexican foreign service operative who apparently moonlighted as a confidential source on Stratfor’s rolls. MX1’s reports seem to jibe with recent chatter of an American hand in the northbound blow flow, and possibly corroborate accusations that El Chapo is working as an informant to the U.S. Even grimmer, yet, MX1’s word has Operation Fast and Furious, the botched U.S. gun-walking scheme, as being part of an agreement to throw cash and weapons at the Sinaloa as means to goad the trafficking outfit to spill the sort of intel that could then be used to bring down its rivals. An April 19, 2010, email – Subject: “Re: From MX1 — 2” – sent to Stratfor’s vice president bears reprint:
I think the US sent a signal that could be construed as follows: “To the [Juárez] and Sinaloa cartels: Thank you for providing our market with drugs over the years. We are now concerned about your perpetration of violence, and would like to see you stop that. In this regard, please know that Sinaloa is bigger and better than [the Juárez cartel]. Also note that [Ciudad Juárez] is very important to us, as is the whole border. In this light, please talk amongst yourselves and lets all get back to business. Again, we recognize that Sinaloa is bigger and better, so either [the Juárez cartel] gets in line or we will mess you up.” In sum, I have a gut feeling that the US agencies tried to send a signal telling the cartels to negotiate themselves. They unilaterally declared a winner, and this is unprecedented, and deserves analysis.
America sure loves drugs. That’s Sinaloa, variously known as Federation, turf to the west and southwest (via National Post)
Two months later, and another email report from MX1 to Stratfor – this time alleging that both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement agencies beamed their high-signs by quietly negotiating deals with cartels in Tijuana. The pacts, MX1 claims, put a significant damper on area violence.
It is not so much a message for the Mexican government as it is for the Sinaloa cartel and [the Juárez cartel] themselves. Basically, the message they want to send out is that Sinaloa is winning and that the violence is unacceptable. They want the CARTELS to negotiate with EACH OTHER. The idea is that if they can do this, violence will drop and the governments will allow controlled drug trades.
It doesn’t stop there. MX1 also opens up on supposedly U.S.-backed drug thoroughfares. “‘The major routes and methods for bulk shipping into the US’ from Ciudad Juárez, right across the border from El Paso, Texas, ’have already been negotiated with US authorities” and that large shipments of drugs from the Sinaloa cartel “are OK with the Americans,’” according to Business Insider.
The promised land? Chicago. As Jack Riley, the special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, recently told the Blaze, the new breed of Mexican crime syndicates are "the most organized, well-funded, vicious criminal organizations that we’ve ever seen. " Riley went on to describe El Chapo as the new Al Capone or Scarface of the City of Big Shoulders, saying that, "[Chapo’s] ability to corrupt, his ability to enforce his sanctions and to really do with an endless supply of revenue is in my opinion far greater than older Italian organized crime.”
As a Chicagoan, born and raised, I know that shit is totally fucked. I am not surprised to hear of freight cars rolling up, flush with drugs, to some of the city’s train yards. My city has always been a distribution hub. And so long as any joint U.S.-Cartel deals, if indeed the two are in bed together, continue to allow for carte blanche, armed inroads to providing America with its drugs – rather than just decriminalizing the stupid stuff – I question whether or not the narco wars will ever end. Because as one former DEA agent tells us, they won’t.