15 January, 07:09

US Government helped rise of Mexican drug cartel - report

US Government helped rise of Mexican drug cartel - report

The US government allowed the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel to carry out its business unimpeded between 2000 and 2012 in exchange for information on rival cartels, an investigation by El Universal claims. Citing court documents, the Mexican newspaper reports that DEA officers met with top Sinaloa officials over fifty times and offered to have charges against cartel members dropped in the US, among other pledges.

According to the report, US agents held more than 50 secret meetings with cartel operatives on Mexican territory between 2000 and 2012 without informing Mexican authorities.

El Universal writes:

"Without the presence of Mexican authorities, as bilateral agreements stipulate, without informing the Mexican government, the agents of the DEA met with members of the cartels in Mexican territory, to obtain information about their rivals and at the same time and establish at the same time a network of informants of narco-traffickers, who signed cooperation agreements, subject to results, so that they can obtain future benefits, including charges being dropped in the United States."

El Universal based its reports on extensive interviews, as well as official American and Mexican documents.

Several of the documents were related to the Chicago trial of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Sinaloa leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.

As Business Insider noted in 2012, Zambada-Niebla alleged while in detention in Chicago that the US government struck a deal with Mexico's Sinaloa cartel to finance and arm the drug traffickers in exchange for information. Zambada-Niebla was arrested after having met with DEA officials, and believed that the alleged deal implied he was immune from arrest or prosecution.

 

Dr. Edgardo Buscaglia, a senior research scholar in law and economics at Columbia University, says that the tactic has been previously used in Colombia, Cambodia, Thailand and Afghanistan.

“Of course, this modus operandi involves a violation of public international law, besides adding more fuel to the violence, violations of due process and of human rights,” he told El Universal.

Myles Frechette, a former US ambassador to Colombia, said while that the problem of drug trafficking in Colombia persists, the tactic of secret agreements had managed to reduce it.

The period when the relationship between the DEA and Sinaloa was supposed to have been the closest, between 2006 and 2012, saw a major surge of violence in Mexico, and was the time when the Sinaloa cartel rose significantly in prominence.

Voice of Russia, Time, Huffington Post

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