4 years, 10 months ago
While the Obama White House and some of his disciple politicians disagree that Texas border counties may be in a growing “war zone,” the impact of drug cartel violence and power in Mexico could be affecting American households in more direct means than generally believed.
For instance, avocados and lime costs imported into the U.S. from Mexico are subject to a drug cartel tax, or “la cota,“ said a former cartel member, who talked with the Examiner, provided we did not reveal his real name.
Carlos is a 28-year-old Mexican national moved to the San Antonio area to escape cartel torture, death and “before they killed the only family I have left.”
“They charge those farmers and packers ‘la cota’ for each truck they send out,” Carlos explained. “And before the trucks make it to the distribution, they might get stopped three or four times for la cota.”
Carlos described what happens to anyone that doesn’t pay the tax.
“They call it Mexican insurance,” he said. “They tell you they know who your wife is, or your mother, or your daughters and you better pay or we will rape and kill them.”
“They pay the cartels what they want, like a toll road,” Carlos observed. “We charged about 600 or 700 pesos for each truck about five years ago, but I don’t know any more what it is. It’s a common thing.”
“Americans think the drug gangs just make their money from the drugs, but they make money off of your food and imports that come from Mexico too,” claimed Carlos.
“Sometimes those terminals in Mexico and even here in Texas wait for the trucks to get there, but if the drug gangs don’t get paid, those trucks will not get there,” Carlos observed. “You ask any of them (distributors or terminals) and they will tell you this is more common than people think.”
I advocated against the war on poppy in battling the Taliban; the Taliban make their money by various means, including (but not limited to) precious metal mines, pomegranates, timber, and extortion. I advocated against the war on poppy for the same reason that I advocate seeing the war against the cartels and other insurgents as a border war. Drugs isn’t the defining characteristic of the warlords and insurgents in Mexico (and increasingly North of the border), just as the Taliban won’t cease to exist if we destroy all of the poppy crops in the Helmand Province.
I have little vested interest in the final disposition of a war on drugs or whether drugs are legal, except as follows. Drug users have hitched me to their wagon, just like 48% of the balance of the (non-tax paying) American public. If the pro-legalization forces would simply unhitch the rest of the tax- and rate-payers from their wagon, we might be persuaded to side with them. To do this, ensure that I don’t have to pay one cent of welfare for lost work time or support of out of work drug users, or one cent of medical costs associated with drug use, or any other cost not being discussed here but associated with drug use. After pro-legalization advocates do this, then – and only then – will I consider supporting their cause. Until then, I have a right and vested interest in the behavior of anyone and everyone whom my tax monies support. If you don’t approve of my meddling, neither do I. Remove my support and I won’t meddle. It’s a win-win proposition. You make the first move.
I will consider supporting their cause (and delaying my support until such time as my preconditions obtain), because drug legalization, or lack thereof, won’t significantly affect the insurgency to the South. I can’t possibly lose in this deal.
See also Border War.