Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Is the CIA Supporting the Sinaloa Cartel? Part 2
Why the U.S. doesn't want to stop the Drug War...
Representations of the war on drugs are also complicated by the participation of capitalists, for whom the drug trade has been immensely profitable. The aerospace industry (which supplies drug enforcement planes, helicopters, and other technology), chemical companies (which produce the poisons that are dropped on drug fields), and the prison industry directly benefit from the drug war and hence actively lobby for its continued expansion. Capitalists profit from the drug war in other ways as well. It is estimated that illegal drug traffic generates about $400 billion a year, accounting for roughly 2 percent of the global economy.
Transnational corporations headquartered in the United States profit from this economy by serving as formal and informal laundries for drug money. Simply put, as Miguel Ruiz-Cabanas suggests, the process of generating surplus value from the drug trade could be described in this way: poor peasants cultivate drugs in return for very little; highly organized traffickers process and distribute the drugs for sale; the traffickers then in turn launder their profits through U.S. banks and through "legitimate" investments in the U.S. economy more generally.
Every year, the black market in pesos alone funnels roughly $5 billion in drug money through U.S. companies. Whereas merely being suspected participation, however indirectly, in drug traffic has been enough to justify the seizure of assets from individuals, corporations successfully (if implausibly) plead ignorance concerning their participation in drug money laundering.
And rather than prosecuting corporations that profit from laundering drug money , state drug enforcement efforts instead focus on controlling the poor. By policing the poor but leaving untouched corporate drug profiteering, the state has tended not to prohibit drug traffic but rather to manage drug flows in ways that support capitalist interests. By dramatically increasing transborder trade, NAFTA has further encouraged the shift of banks to international trade for laundering drug money. Because of the massive volume and velocity of capital flows, J. Patrick LaRue argues, it has become nearly impossible to stop "the transfer of billions of 'narco-dollars' back and forth across the U.S. and Mexican border."
He concludes that Mexican drug traffickers are riding the wave of state-sponsored globalization and liberalization, "taking advantage of open borders, privatization, free trade zones, weak states, offshore banking centers, electronic financial transfers, smart cards and cyber banking to launder millions of dollars in drug profits each day. In these and other ways, the U.S. war on drugs "regularly serves the interests of private wealth."
Read more here:
Drug Wars by Curtis Marez
Why Mexico doesn't want to stop the Drug War...
One facet of this buffer is corruption, which is endemic in Mexico, reaching all the way from the lowest municipal police officer to the presidential palace. Over the years several senior Mexican anti-drug officials, including the nation’s drug czar, have been arrested and charged with corruption.
However, the money generated by the Mexican cartels has far greater effects than just promoting corruption. The billions of dollars that come into the Mexican economy via the drug trade are important to the Mexican banking sector and to the industries in which the funds are laundered, such as construction. Because of this, there are many powerful Mexican businessmen who profit either directly or indirectly from the narcotics trade, and it would not be in their best interest for the billions of drug dollars to stop flowing into Mexico. Such people can place heavy pressure on the political system by either supporting or withholding support from particular candidates or parties.
Because of this, sources in Mexico have been telling STRATFOR that they believe that Mexican politicians like President Felipe Calderon are far more interested in stopping drug violence than they are in stopping the flow of narcotics. This is a pragmatic approach. Clearly, as long as there is demand for drugs in the United States there will be people who will find ways to meet that demand. It is impossible to totally stop the flow of narcotics into the U.S. market.