The Mexican drug cartels have established distribution networks and supply lines in 230 American cities -- up from about 50 in 2006 -- and their violence has been brutally incessant in Phoenix, Atlanta and Houston. Finally recognizing the national security threat posed to the United States -- a topic the Los Angeles Times long has been covering in depth -- the New York Times today begins "a series examining the impact of Mexican drug cartels on both sides of the border," and its first article focuses on their increasing violence in the United States:
In the past few years, the cartels and other drug trafficking organizations have extended their reach across the United States and into Canada. Law enforcement authorities say they believe traffickers distributing the cartels’ marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs are responsible for a rash of shootings in Vancouver, British Columbia, kidnappings in Phoenix, brutal assaults in Birmingham, Ala., and much more.
The "much more" includes includes kidnapping children and raping women by to enforce the payment of drug debts by their relatives. Local law enforcement is quoted as stating "the amount of violence has drastically increased in the last 6 to 12 months," and "the problem is only going to get worse."
New York Times Caption For Above Photo: "Agents at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy ran an exercise called active shooter response training. The training helps prepare law enforcement agents to deal with scenarios like the open gun battles that have been raging south of the border, scenarios that officials fear will be migrating north with the drug trade."