Chicago: the windy city. As one of the landmark cities of America, it is known for its deep-dish pizza, iconic sports teams and unique accents. But there’s one other thing Chicago is quickly becoming known for: Mexican drug cartels.
In Chicago, cartels are becoming so prevalent that officials say it’s starting to look like Texas. Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago office, warned, “People think, ‘The border’s 1,700 miles away. This isn’t our problem.’ Well, it is. These days, we operate as if Chicago is on the border.” The city recently named one of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords the city’s public enemy number one, even though the man has never set foot inside Chicago.
Chicago is just one of the many American cities plagued by the influx of the cartels. As many as 1,286 cities in America are reported to have some kind of cartel presence. In the past, Mexican cartels were content to make deals with American drug runners, saving them the danger of having to traffic the drugs themselves. But a study by the Associated Press found that cartels are starting to send their own agents into America to oversee drug operations because they’ve become so massive.
The drug market in America continues to be lucrative, drawing more drug cartels across the border. Last year, drug cartels made $64 billion from their sales in the United States. The National Football League, the most profitable sports league in America, only made $9.5 billion.
While the Republicans and Democrats wrangle over border security with the upcoming immigration bill, Mexico’s drug cartels are not waiting for a decision. Across America, more and more Mexican cartels are surfacing. According to the National Post, only 12 states haven’t reported the presence of one of the four Mexican cartels: Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Even states that don’t typically see much drug activity are seeing an uptick. In May, law enforcement officials in Oregon foiled a drug operation run by a Mexican cartel. Twenty-three homes were raided and 38 people were arrested in what was the largest drug bust in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Justice Communications director, Jeff Manning, told reporters, “There is a clear connection to Mexican cartels, and this narcotics ring was an active dealing operation on a scale we have not seen previously in Oregon.”
With increased cartel presence comes increased violence. AP reported that in Chicago, “street-gang disputes over turf account for most of the city’s uptick in murders last year, when slayings topped 500 for the first time since 2008.” While the cartels aren’t the ones engaged in the territorial wars, their drugs are fueling a lot of them. Cartel hit men are also becoming a growing problem. A recently apprehended Mexican cartel member confessed to killing 30 individuals on U.S. soil.
But it isn’t just cartel members who are acting as hit men. Cartels are now working to recruit U.S. soldiers. Not only are the soldiers effective assassins, but cartels are also interested in soldiers sharing their skills with cartel members in Mexico. Ex-Lt. Kevin Corley, charged last September for conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire for the Los Zetas Cartel, admitted that he told his contact he could provide military training for members of the cartel and purchase or steal weapons for them. Also, an increasing number of U.S.-based gang members are entering the U.S. military. As of April 2011, the fbi National Gang Intelligence Center reported that at least 53 gangs have members who serve in or are affiliated with the U.S. military.
As more and more cartels infiltrate America, many fear that the U.S. will become the next Mexico. When the cartels first began to establish themselves, Mexican authorities failed to dislodge them from their country. They “didn’t nip the problem in the bud,” said Jack Killorin, head of an anti-trafficking program in Atlanta for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “And see where they are now.” If America too fails to “nip the problem in the bud,” it faces becoming the next Mexico.
The U.S. has tried desperately to stem the flow of drugs into the country through tougher laws and tighter security. But nothing has worked. Why? While America looks to limit the flow of drugs through tighter border control, it fails to realize that this is not the real issue.
The reality that America refuses to admit is that it is hooked. America loves its drugs. Society idolizes them. Time and time again you hear about a movie star or a politician being involved with some kind of drug. High schools and colleges are rife with them. Today it’s normal to use illegal drugs “socially.” As long as this problem persists, so will the cartels.
America’s addiction to drugs has already caused Mexico to fall to the cartels. Ignorant of what their habit costs, Americans continue to selfishly consume billions of dollars’ worth of drugs at the expense of thousands of individuals whose lives are wrecked serving drug lords or by getting caught in the crossfire of drug wars. Now those problems are starting to get closer to home. As cartels strengthen their presence in America, everyone will begin to feel the effects.
As Trumpet columnist Brad Macdonald wrote last year,
The government can throw trillions of dollars at the problem, but America’s desire for drugs will never be quenched as long as its culture considers drug use trendy and sophisticated!
Most importantly, America’s cultural acceptance of illicit drugs is a function of its overall rejection of absolute law and morality. …
For most Americans, recreational drug use simply isn’t morally or spiritually wrong.
As long as society’s “do what feels good” mentality remains, America will never truly solve the problem of cartel thugs invading the streets. And that mentality won’t be changed by implementing tougher drug laws.
Man has tried with thousands of laws to control human nature. But human nature is naturally selfish. That is what your Bible teaches. But that selfishness––the root of so many of the world’s problems––isn’t going to be around much longer. At Christ’s return, man’s innately selfish nature will begin to be changed. At that time, man will be taught the right way to live; the right way to bring peace to the streets. Man can’t have that now because he has rejected the one thing that will bring about this kind of peace: God’s law. It is only when that law is enforced that America’s, and the world’s, drug problem––and all problems for that matter––will be solved.
Be sure to read the article “Beheading Mexico” to understand the terrifying reality that will undoubtedly spread to America from the growing number of cartels reaching into the country. But also read The Wonderful World Tomorrow for the exciting, peace-filled reality that is about to come to this Earth. ▪