- In May 2011, Mexican investigators uncovered another
mass clandestine grave with dozens of mutilated corpses; bringing the total
number of victims to 40,000 killed since 2006 when the Calderon regime
announced its "war on drug traffickers". Backed by advisers,
agents and arms, the White House has been the principal promotor of a 'war'
that has totally decimated Mexico's society and economy.
- If Washington has been the driving
force for the regime's war, Wall Street banks have been the main instruments
ensuring the profits of the drug cartels. Every major US bank
has been deeply involved in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars
in drug profits, for the better part of the past decade.
descent into this inferno has been engineered by the leading US financial
and political institutions, each supporting 'one side or the other' in
the bloody "total war" which spares no one, no place and no moment
in time. While the Pentagon arms the Mexican government and the US Drug
Enforcement Agency enforces the "military solution", the biggest
US banks receive, launder and transfer hundreds of billions of dollars
to the drug lords' accounts, who then buy modern arms, pay private armies
of assassins and corrupt untold numbers of political and law enforcement
officials on both sides of the border.
- Mexico's Descent in the Inferno
- Everyday scores, if not hundreds, of corpses
appear in streets and or are found in unmarked graves; dozens are
murdered in their homes, cars, public transport, offices and even hospitals;
known and unknown victims in the hundreds are kidnapped and disappear;
school children, parents, teachers, doctors and businesspeople are seized
in broad daylight and held for ransom or murdered in retaliation. Thousands
of migrant workers are kidnapped, robbed, ransomed, murdered and evidence
is emerging that some are sold into the illegal 'organ trade'. The police
are barricaded in their commissaries; the military, if and when it arrives,
takes out its frustration on entire cities, shooting more civilians than
cartel soldiers. Everyday life revolves around surviving the daily death
toll; threats are everywhere, the armed gangs and military patrols fire
and kill with virtual impunity. People live in fear and anger.
- The Free Trade Agreement: The Sparks that lit the Inferno
- In the late 1980's, Mexico was
in crisis, but the people chose a legal way out: they elected
a President, Cuahtemoc Cardenas, on the basis of his national program to
promote the economic revitalization of agriculture and industry. The Mexican
elite, led by Carlos Salinas of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) chose otherwise
and subverted the election: The electorate was denied its victory; the
peaceful mass protests were ignored. Salinas and subsequent
Mexican presidents vigorously pursued a free trade agreement (NAFTA) with
the USand Canada, which rapidly drove millions of Mexican farmers,
ranchers and small business people into bankruptcy. Devastation led to
the flight of millions of immigrant workers. Rural movements of debtors
flourished and ebbed, were co-opted or repressed. The misery of the legal
economy contrasted with the burgeoning wealth of the traffickers of drugs
and people, which generated a growing demand for well-paid armed auxiliaries
as soldiers for the cartels. The regional drug syndicates emerged out
of the local affluence.
- In the new millennium, popular movements and a new electoral
hope arose: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). By 2006 a vast peaceful
electoral movement promised substantial social and economic reforms to
'integrate millions of disaffected youth'. In the parallel economy,
the drug cartels were expanding and benefiting from the misery of millions
of workers and peasants marginalized by the Mexican elite, who had plundered
the public treasury, speculated in real estate, robbed the oil industry
and created enormous privatized monopolies in the communication and banking
2006, millions of Mexican voters were once again denied their electoral
victory: The last best hope for a peaceful transformation was dashed.
Backed by the US Administration, Felipe Calderon stole the election and
proceeded to launch the "War on Drug Traffickers" strategy dictated
- The War Strategy Escalates the Drug War: The Banking
Crises Deepens the Ties with Drug Traffickers
- The massive escalation of homicides and violence
in Mexico began with the declaration of a war on the drug cartels
by the fraudulently elected President Calderon, a policy pushed initially
by the Bush Administration and subsequently strongly backed by the Obama
Clintonregime. Over 40,000 Mexican soldiers filled the streets,
towns and barrios violently assaulting citizens - especially young
people. The cartels retaliated by escalating their armed assaults on police.
The war spread to all the major cities and along the major highways and
rural roads; murders multiplied and Mexico descended further
into a Dantesque inferno. Meanwhile, the Obama regime 'reaffirmed' its
support for a militarist solution on both sides of the border: Over
500,000 Mexican immigrants were seized and expelled from the US; heavily
armed border patrols multiplied. Cross border gun sales grew exponentially
.The US "market" for Mexican manufactured goods and
agricultural products shrank, further widening the pool for cartel recruits
while the supply of high powered weapons increased. White House gun and
drug policies strengthened both sides in this maniacal murderous cycle:
The US government armed the Calderon regime and the American gun manufacturers
sold guns to the cartels through both legal and underground arms sales.
Steady or increasing demand for drugs in the US and the
grotesque profits derived from trafficking and sales--- remained the primary
driving force behind the tidal wave of violence and societal disintegration
- Drug profits, in the most basic sense, are
secured through the ability of the cartels to launder and transfer billions
of dollars through theUS banking system. The scale and scope of the US banking-drug
cartel alliance surpasses any other economic activity of the US private
banking system. According to US Justice Department records, one bank
alone, Wachovia Bank (now owned by Wells Fargo), laundered $378.3 billion dollars
between May 1, 2004 and May 31, 2007 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Every
major bank in the US has served as an active financial partner
of the murderous drug cartels including Bank of America, Citibank,
and JP Morgan, as well as overseas banks operating out of New
York, Miami and Los Angeles, as well as London.
- While the White House pays the Mexican state
and army to kill Mexicans suspected of drug trafficking, the US Justice
Department belatedly slaps a relatively small fine on the major US financial
accomplice to the murderous drug trade, Wachovia Bank, spares its bank
officials from any jail time and allows major cases to lapse into dismissal.
- The major agency of the US Treasury involved
in investigating money laundering, the Undersecretary for Terrorism and
Financial Intelligence, deliberately ignored the blatant collaboration
of US banks with drug terrorists, concentrating almost their entire staff
and resources on enforcing sanctions against Iran. For seven years,
Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey used his power as head of the Department
for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to pursue Israel's phony
"war on terrorism" against Iran, rather than shut down Wachovia's
money-laundering operations with the Mexican drug terrorists. In this
period of time an estimated 40,000 Mexican civilian have been killed by
the cartels and the army.
- Without US arms and financial services supporting
both the illegitimate Mexican regimes and the drug cartels there
could be no "drug war", no mass killings and no state terror.
The simple acts of stopping the flood of cheap subsidized US agriculture
products into Mexico and de-criminalizing the use and purchase of cocaine
in the US would dry up the pool of 'cartel soldiers' from the bankrupted
Mexican peasantry and the cut back the profits and demand for illegal drugs
in the US market.
- The Drug Traffickers, the Banks and the White House
- If the major US banks are the financial
engines which allow the billion dollar drug empires to operate, the White
House, the US Congress and the law enforcement agencies are the basic protectors
of these banks. Despite the deep and pervasive involvement of the major
banks in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit funds, the
"court settlements" pursued by US prosecutors have led to no jail
time for the bankers. One court's settlement amounted to a fine of $50
million dollars, less than 0.5% of one of the banks (the Wachovia/Wells
Fargo bank) $12.3 billion profits for 2009 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011).
Despite the death of tens of thousands of Mexican civilians, US executive
branch directed the DEA, the federal prosecutors and judges to impose such
a laughable 'punishment' on Wachovia for its illegal services to the drug
cartels. The most prominent economic officials of the Bush and Obama regimes,
including Summers, Paulson, Geithner, Greenspan, Bernacke et al,
are all long term associates, advisers and members of the leading financial
houses and banks implicated in laundering the billions of drug profits.
- Laundering drug money is one of the most
lucrative sources of profit for Wall Street; the banks charge hefty commissions
on the transfer of drug profits, which they then lend to borrowing institutions
at interest rates far above what if any they pay to drug trafficker
depositors. Awash in sanitized drug profits, these US titans
of the finance world can easily buy their own elected officials to perpetuate
- Even more important and less obvious is the
role of drug money in the recent financial meltdown, especially during
its most critical first few weeks.
- According to the head of United Nation's Office
on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, "In many instances,
drug money (was) currently the only liquid investment capital. In the
second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main
problem and hence liquid capital became an important factorinterbank loans
were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal
activities (there were) signs that some banks were rescued in that way." (Reuters, January
25,2009. US edition). Capital flows from the drug billionaires
were key to floating Wachovia and other leading banks. In a word: the drug
billionaires saved the capitalist financial system from collapse!
- By the end of the first decade of the 21st century,
it has become clear that capital accumulation, at least in North America,
is intimately linked to generalized violence and drug trafficking. Because
capital accumulation is dependent on financial capital, and the latter
is dependent on the industry profits from the multi-hundred-billion dollar
drug trade, the entire ensemble is embedded in the 'total war' over drug
profits. In times of deep crises the very survival of the US financial
system and through it, the world banking system is linked to
the liquidity of the drug "industry".
- At the most superficial level the
destruction of Mexican and Central American societies encompassing
over 100 million people is aresult of a conflict between drug
cartels and the political regimes of the region. At a deeper level there
is a multiplier or "ripple effect" related to their collaboration:
the cartels draw on the support of the US banks to realize their profits;
they spend hundreds of millions on the US arms industry and others
to secure their supplies, transport and markets; they employ tens of thousands
of recruits for their vast private armies and civilian networks and they
purchase the compliance of political and military officials on both
sides of the borders
- For its part, the Mexican government acts as a conduit for
US Pentagon/Federal police, Homeland Security, drug enforcement and political
apparatuses prosecuting the 'war', which has put Mexican lives, property
and security at risk. The White House stands at the strategic center of
operations the Mexican regime serves as the front-line executioners.
- On one side of the "war on drugs"
are the major Wall Street banks; on the other side, the White House and
its imperial military strategists and in the 'middle' are 90 million Mexicans
and 40,000 murder victims and counting.
- Relying on political fraud to impose economic
deregulation in the 1990's (neo-liberalism), the US policies
led directly to the social disintegration, criminalization and militarization
of the current decade. The sophisticated narco-finance economy has now
become the most advanced stage of neo-liberalism. When the respectable
become criminals, the criminals become respectable.
- The issue of genocide in Mexico has
been determined by the empire and its "knowing" bankers
and cynical rulers.