Mexico’s cartels are corrupting US law enforcement

If you think the extent of Mexico’s cartel incursion into the US is limited to increased violence in border towns, think again.
<blockquote>…less widely reported is the infiltration and corruption of American law enforcement, according to Robert Killebrew, a retired U.S. Army colonel and senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security. “This is a national security problem that does not yet have a name,” he wrote last fall in The National Strategy Forum Review. The drug lords, he tells me, are seeking to “hollow out our institutions, just as they have in Mexico.</blockquote>
Sounds a bit “Robbian” doesn’t it?

While it’s difficult to imagine US law enforcement succumbing to an infestation of corruption to the degree that their Mexican counterparts have, the increase in corruption in the last few years is a worrying trend. Especially worrying is the fact that in at least one case a corrupt border patrol officer was on the take <i>before</i> she applied and was accepted as a border inspector. Had it not been for the ill timed breakdown of a smugglers van she might still be waving drug ladened vehicles across the border.

With roughly eight border patrol officers per linear mile along the Mexican border, a little bit of corruption goes a long way. Which lends one to wonder why, in it’s infinite wisdom, the Obama administration is, in fact, decreasing the number of border patrol officers.

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7 Responses to Mexico’s cartels are corrupting US law enforcement

  1. Chief Wiggum says:

    This is not surprising. Drug trafficking generates a huge amount of money. Starting pay for Border Patrol agents is $36K per year. Also, BP agents must be fluent in Spanish to work on the southern border. According to a BP FAQ, non-Spanish speakers attend an eight week Spanish language class after hire. At the end of the eight week class, they must pass a series of Spanish language proficiency tests in order to be allowed to work. I’d imagine the job attracts people who already have some Spanish language skills, and that many applicants are hispanics. Some may be more tolerant of south of the border-style corruption.

    Years ago I read a description of how drug money corrupted cops, judges and other public officials in Colombia. The joke was they would be paid in silver or lead, their choice! That seems to be what’s happening in northern Mexico as I’ve read about chiefs of police, mayors and other public officials being killed by drug gangs. At some point, it arguably becomes more sensible to take the money and ignore the illegal activity.

    Here is a working for the Border Patrol FAQ:

    http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/customs_careers/border_careers/bp_agent/faqs_working_for_the_usbp.xml

  2. UNRR says:

    This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 11/1/2009, at The Unreligious Right

  3. Thanks for the info Chief. Another thing to consider is the proximity of Mexico allows corrupt agents to lead a “double life” of sorts. Within the means of a $36k salary stateside, while (as the agent mentioned above did) buying homes, cars and other niceties in Mexico. Makes it even harder to catch them.

    Thanks for the link, UNNR

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  5. Given the lack of mainstream coverage I’d confidently guess most people are unaware of the issue.

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