Mexico’s Cartel Crisis
The Mexican government has lost control of most of its populated territory. Eighty percent of Mexico’s most important districts are now controlled or contested by dangerous cartels.
Mexican news source Contralínea published a color-coded map showing which districts the government has lost. The map was commissioned by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration as part of a government effort to start reclaiming its territory.
According to the map, nearly 60 percent of the 266 high-population districts are completely seized by organized crime, while a little over 20 percent are disputed by the government and cartels. Only 20 percent of cities and districts, such as Mexico City, are solidly in the hands of the Mexican government.
But Mexico’s drug and violence problem hasn’t affected only the government’s territorial sovereignty. People’s lives have been severely impacted. Since the escalation of the government’s war on drugs, the nation has seen a significant slowdown in its life expectancy growth. According to the American Journal of Public Health, from 1995 to 2005, a man’s life expectancy increased by 1.17 years; the next 10 years saw a growth of only about half a year.
The study attributed this life expectancy trend to Mexico’s rising murder rate. “Importantly,” the study stated, “homicides declined in 1995 to 2005, which accounted for about 38.5 percent (0.45 years) of the overall gain in life expectancy in this period. … By contrast, the slowed-down improvement in life expectancy in 2005 to 2015 was mainly the result of rising homicides and heart diseases.”
Mexico’s increased homicide rate, which more than doubled between 2007 and 2012, has been linked to violence between the government and drug cartels—and citizens who are caught in the crossfire. The study continued, “This increase has been associated with more enforcement operations trying to mitigate drug cartel activities, increased territorial competition, and higher profitability in the drug-trade flow with the United States. This led to a cycle of violence—the so-called war on drugs—and the spillover onto civilians ….” The Mexican drug war—marked by the government amping up its efforts to eliminate organized crime and drug rings—began in late 2006 but has done little to actually stop cartels.
The American Journal of Public Health report stated that an important aspect of the cartels’ operations is “the drug-trade flow with the United States.” The cartels are a problem for not just Mexico, but America as well. And it all has to do with the border.
Cartels control nearly every major area along the U.S.-Mexico border, and those they don’t completely control are still in dispute. These regions along the border are used to smuggle illicit drugs, such as heroin, fentanyl and other opioids, into the U.S. Shamefully, there is a direct correlation between lax immigration policies enacted by the American government and a sharp rise in opioid overdose.
The Obama administration greatly relaxed America’s immigration laws in 2012 when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy went into effect. This policy enabled hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and obtain work permits. It also encouraged cartel members to take advantage of U.S. laws, sending unaccompanied minors across the border as drug smugglers.
At that time, deaths from fentanyl overdoses hovered around 2,100 deaths per year. After the new policy was enforced, fentanyl deaths soared from 2,139 in 2012 to 26,211 in 2017—an increase of more than 1,225 percent.
Daniel Horowitz wrote for Conservative Review, “What happened circa 2013 and just before? As I have noted before and will write extensively about in the coming weeks, this was the result of suspending our borders, the promise of amnesty, and the surge of hundreds of thousands of young Central American males who served as drug mules, enriching the drug cartels who control the smuggling routes ….”
Thanks to smuggling over the southern border, America’s drug problem has become so bad that it is the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old.
And drugs are not the only harmful things that illegal immigrants are bringing into the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of migrants come from countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that these migrants are at “high risk for neglected tropical diseases.” Many immigrants travel all the way from Africa and Asia to cross into America via the southern border. Since the beginning of October 2018, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz said, “So far, here in south Texas, we’ve apprehended folks from 44 different countries. These are from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, you name it.” According to the World Health Organization, Yemen alone suffers about 10,000 cases of the deadly cholera virus per week.
According to Border Patrol Chief of Operations Brian Hastings, Customs and Border Protection is sending an average of 63 illegal aliens in for medical treatment per day. If so many infected people from around the world with diseases like tuberculosis, hiv/aids, measles, mumps and more are being caught and treated by our border security, how many more are being smuggled into our country by the cartels with no medical screening whatsoever?
The violence, drugs and diseases that cartels smuggle into the U.S. are part of a horrific, deadly curse. You need to know where Mexico’s—and America’s—cartel crisis is leading. This trend has everything to do with prophetic passages in your own Bible.
Ezekiel 5 describes devastating curses that are about to hit our nation. This prophetic message is addressed to the people of end-time Israel (Ezekiel 2:3). In Bible prophecy, “Israel” primarily refers to the United States and Britain. (Request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong, for proof.)
The Bible describes this violence escalating dramatically, not just in Mexico, but in the United States. “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee …” (Ezekiel 5:12). This is a terrible plague that is going to hit America. Even more than just a plague of disease, it is a plague of violence! In his free book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry shows that “pestilence” refers mainly to widespread violence within our borders. He writes:
The word pestilence just means destruction or death (see the Gesenius’ Lexicon). One definition of the root word is “to lay snares, to plot against, to destroy.” So this pestilence could be a plague of violence or burning—not necessarily a physical disease at all! It can be defined as a plague of violence or rioting—such as the Baltimore riots in 2015 or the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks! …
The pestilence, or plague of violence, will cause many health problems that lead to famine. Sewage disposal will be disrupted. Gas lines will be broken. Jobs will be lost. Society will unravel and the collective panic will bring a stock market disaster! It will get so bad that violence and famine will take millions of lives!
Certainly, disease will follow the violence, just as in any war-torn country like Yemen. But the “main thrust of the pestilence,” as Mr. Flurry writes, will be “terrorist attacks, rioting and burning.” When tensions escalate and riots in America become more and more common, the weapons and military-like tactics that the cartels have brought into the States could be a major contributor to the violence.
For years, Mexican cartels have been inserting agents into our cities and developing ties with dangerous gangs such as MS-13. The Texas Department of Public Safety reported in 2017 that “as long as illicit cross-border crimes are profitable, the relationship between cartels and gangs will continue.” Along with building racial tensions, this is the beginning of the Ezekiel 5 pestilence that will lead to the deaths of one third of those living in the United States—more than 100 million people! A violent decrease to life expectancy, similar to Mexico’s, is coming to America—but it will be much worse and far more sudden.
Why would God not only allow this to happen, but specifically prophesy its occurrence? The answer is found along with Ezekiel’s commission to send his message to Israel: “And he [God] said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day” (Ezekiel 2:3). The curses coming upon the modern Israelites are far from unmerited. They are a result of the sins of the people.
Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 are known as the “blessings and curses” chapters. God promises to bless the nations of Israel if they obey His laws—but to curse them for disobedience and rebellion. Among these curses is pestilence (Leviticus 26:25; Deuteronomy 28:21-22).
Deuteronomy 28:43 states, “The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.” What a fitting description of the illegal alien cartel members actively working to undermine our safety.
America’s weak defense of its southern border has allowed cartels to send drug-smuggling aliens, diseases and violence into our nation. The unrest and murder that has led to Mexico’s life expectancy stagnation and the instability of 80 percent of its populated territory is seeping across the porous border. America, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen, could easily rid itself of this problem if it had the gumption. But along with the other curses in Leviticus 26, God says to Israel: “I will break the pride of your power” (verse 19).
The U.S. Congress has consistently refused to grant President Donald Trump the necessary funds to build a border barrier that would impede cartel smuggling. Mr. Trump himself refuses to designate the drug cartels as terrorist organizations, which would grant the military authorization to step in and attack the cartels’ operations. As Daniel Horowitz pointed out, fighting the cartels in cooperation with the Mexican government would be beneficial to both America and Mexico—yet we don’t do it.
America no longer has the will to use its power—not even to protect its people from the violence, drugs and diseases that are crossing the border through points controlled by cartels.
Why is God sending these curses on our nation? We know already that the curses are a result of the people’s sins (Leviticus 26:14-16; Deuteronomy 28:15; Ezekiel 2:3), but are these terrible curses really what a loving God would do? In fact, they are!
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Hebrews 12:6-8). God sends correction because He loves us. He knows that correction is not pleasant at the moment it is delivered, and He does not enjoy having to administer it. But it does yield positive results (Ezekiel 33:11; Hebrews 12:11).
What are those positive results? They are repentance of sin and the resulting peace and prosperity. If we hear God’s warning message and allow it to motivate us to change, God will spare us from the coming curses. “Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live” (Ezekiel 33:14-16).
God’s correction of America and the other nations of Israel will lead to their widespread repentance and, eventually, the coming Kingdom of God—the greatest hope this world has! Read Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet to understand Ezekiel’s urgent warning message.
Our nations will have to suffer through these curses in order to come to repentance. But individuals can respond to this message and turn away from the common, rebellious ways of this world. You can escape the pestilence to come. Request a copy of Mr. Flurry’s free booklet Repentance Toward God to learn how.