YOU SAY THERE WAS A POSSIBILITY OF A DRUG CONNECTION TO RAUL
SALINAS'S 100 OR 120 MILLION. MY UNDERSTANDING IS THE DEA WAS INVOLVED RIGHT AT
THE BEGINNING IN TERMS OF THE POSSIBILITY THAT IT WAS DRUG MONEY.
|Doug Wankel is former head of DEA operations|
Absolutely. Well any time you have that amount of money seized in an account
that moved from Mexico through various transactions into Switzerland from a
Mexican citizen using a phony name, immediately your antennae go up as to what
generates that kind of money. And of course when you think of Mexico, drugs is
one of the things that immediately comes to mind. It turns out it's Raul
Salinas, the brother of the former president. So you begin to look at
determining whether or not you can ascertain or find that connection.
IT WAS A SUSPICION THAT THIS WAS DRUG MONEY?
Well I think there was a suspicion in DEA's mind right away. Any time you have
that amount of money moving to Switzerland in what looked to be a circuitous,
or if not circuitous, at least in a manner not consistent with normal banking
practices, it's noticeable. And then we immediately get suspicious that this
is drug money because what clearly comes to our mind that generates money like
that from a country such as Mexico is drugs. So that immediately comes to our
attention. Right away we thought of drugs but it's a far cry from thinking or
having suspicions and actually having evidence that you can lay on the table.
YOU WERE HEAD OF DEA OPERATIONS WHEN THE REQUEST CAME IN TO YOUR
OFFICE IN SWITZERLAND. TELL US WHAT HAPPENED?
Well essentially it never came to my attention because it was not at the level
to come to my attention at that time. But just to sort of capture what went
on, essentially the banking industry in Switzerland contacted the local
authorities in Switzerland and said that we have what appears to be a
suspicious account, a customer, and there is something suspicious about this
individual. The police investigated, got a copy of a passport in particular a
name, Gutierrez I believe it was. It was from the country of Mexico, a Mexican
passport. So they went to DEA there because they knew DEA had connections in
Mexico. DEA had an office in Mexico and they thought that perhaps DEA could
assist them in getting connected to the Mexican authorities to investigate this
passport. That happened. DEA Switzerland sent a copy of the passport with
whatever information they had to the DEA office in Mexico City. Mexico City
DEA discussed it with the authorities in Mexico, I believe the PRG.
THE PRG IS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL?
Yes, the attorney general's office there in Mexico, and passed that information
to them. Mexican authorities came back and said, hey we know this person. This
is Raul Salinas. This is an alias that we know from time to time he has used,
and that information was passed back to the authorities in Switzerland and then
the DEA in some sense helped to arrange a face to face meeting between the
Swiss authorities and the Mexican authorities to begin the two countries'
investigation of this incident.
THE DEA NOTIFIED THE SWISS THAT THERE WAS INFORMATION LEADING YOU
TO BELIEVE THAT RAUL SALINAS HAD A CONNECTION TO DRUGS?
Well at some point, I'm not sure exactly when this would have transpired, but
at some point obviously Raul Salinas's at least personal relation with people
such as Juan Garcia Abrego and others was made known to the Swiss authorities.
I'm not sure what time frame that happened in.
BUT ONCE YOU KNEW IT WAS RAUL SALINAS, I ASSUME THAT SOMEBODY PUT
THE NAME INTO YOUR COMPUTERIZED FILES, AND CAME UP WITH SOME INFORMATION?
Yeah I'm sure they did just exactly that. But Raul Salinas has not been
convicted of any drug crime in Mexico that I'm aware of, and our system doesn't
show that. There was obviously some relationship shown at least on a personal
level between he and some major drug figures such as Juan Garcia Abrego so that
would have come to our attention. But there was no evidence per se of his
involvement with that.
DESCRIBE MEXICO'S DRUG EMERGENCE......
It started out moving most of that volume of cocaine through the Caribbean into
the United States, through Miami, Florida and other areas. But through a lot
of effort by the Americans and others, that was curtailed a great deal. And
then in the late '80s, around '90 you begin seeing an awful lot of the cocaine
coming into the United States via Mexico into Central America moving from
Colombia. Colombia was where the cocaine ended up being finally processed into
hydrochloride - cocaine hydrochloride, then moved from there into Central
America, through Mexico into the United States.
SO IT'S IN THE LATE '80s, BECAUSE OF ENFORCEMENT PRESSURE IN THE
SOUTHEAST, THAT THIS MOVEMENT HAPPENS INTO MEXICO?
AROUND THE TIME THAT CARLOS SALINAS ACTUALLY BECAME PRESIDENT OF MEXICO?
Yes whenever that was. I'm not sure now.
Okay that would have been - or shortly thereafter in the '90s, and I'm not
drawing any relationship to that. But certainly in the '90s, since in the '90s
you've had a lot of the movement, the majority of the movement of the cocaine
coming from Colombia into the United States moved through Mexico. Originally
that started out with Colombia.
So probably the last figures I saw, somewhere between 60 and 70%
of all the cocaine coming into the United States comes through Mexico and it's
handled by Mexican organizations in Mexico and then turned over to Colombian
organizations or Mexican organizations in the United States.
So it's a serious problem. Couple that with the fact that now you see so much
more of the money derived from drugs being centered in and collected in and
around Los Angles, California, because much of the control mechanism for the
Mexican organizations especially, centers in Los Angeles. So the money moves
to Los Angeles. Then Los Angeles trafficking groups connected to the Mexican
groups have to get the money moved back into Mexico which they do through - a
lot of it that I'm familiar with actually goes by bulk shipment of millions of
dollars at a time in cash back across the border into Mexico in cars.
SO IF WE STAND AT THE BORDER AND SEE ALL THE TRAFFIC GOING INTO MEXICO -- ONE
OF THOSE VEHICLES GOING SOUTH -
Has millions of dollars of green U.S. dollars going to Mexico. And once it
gets to Mexico it then has to be laundered, converted, whatever. Much of it
stays in Mexico. Some of it goes on back to Colombia for payment, whatever.
AND HOW HAS THIS CHANGED THE ATMOSPHERE IN MEXICO? HAS IT MADE
MEXICO A GREATER THREAT?
Well Mexico, yeah it's a greater threat because of the volume of drugs now
coming through Mexico. It's a greater threat because of the violence
associated with the Mexican trafficking in Mexico along our borders. It's very
difficult for the Americans now to get the type of work and support they need
from the PRG, the attorney-general's office in Mexico, the authorities, the
government of Mexico, because the traffickers are much more powerful now than
they were. They have much more money now to use for their operations. They
have more money to use for corruption which has long been a problem in Mexico
HAS THE CORRUPTION TAKEN ON A SUBSTANTIALLY LARGER PART OF SOCIETY? TEN YEARS
AGO THINGS WERE BAD IN MEXICO.
Corruption was a very serious problem in Mexico 10 years ago. It remains, 10
years later, a serious problem today. I think the difference that I see is
that more money is available for corruption. Also when we look at the Mexican
traffickers, based on the Mexican traffickers' relationship with the Colombian
traffickers, the major guys there, Miguel Rodriguez Awayla who is the big guy
operationally as far as the Cali cartel had a direct relationship with
Amado Carillo Fuentes and others.
There has been no more organized a criminal syndicate probably that the world
has ever seen but certainly not in drug crime activity than what the Cali
cartel put together as far as how structured, how sophisticated, how much
technology they used, how compartmentalized they were. I mean the way they
conducted business was better than anything we've seen in the criminal
syndicates in the past. Colombian traffickers as they worked with and through
the Mexican criminals also imparted a lot of that knowledge to them.
So the Mexican criminals have gotten smarter, they're wiser about how they use
telephones, about how they compartmentalize their business and so they're a
much more formidable threat than they were before. Couple that with the fact
that they now have more money available to pay off or to spread around and they
probably learned from the Colombians. Colombians actually set aside great
portions of their profit to be used to corrupt or to pay off the various people
within government, within law enforcement, wherever that was needed. The
Mexican criminals I think have learned from that also.
SO IF YOU WERE LOOKING AT THE FUTURES MARKET IN COCAINE YOU'D BET THAT THE
MEXICANS ARE GOING TO BECOME -
Well it's something I'd be very concerned about. I don't know - look, it's
still principally the way I described it earlier with Bolivia - yeah Bolivia,
Peruvian production of coca leaves, conversion to base, base to Colombia,
Colombia through Central America into Mexico, from Mexico to the United States.
But the thing that concerns me is number one, at least those two incidents
we're aware of where the Mexicans went and did it and secondly, when one looks
at the international criminal capability south of the border of the United
States - I mean in the United States we've got our own international criminals,
Canada has got a few, all this stuff. But when you look south of the United
States, the real potential for international criminal activity as it relates to
drugs is really limited, or is only seen in two countries and that's Colombia
Mexico has probably even more potential for criminal activity. Mexico has a
potential to supply drugs to Europe if they decide to do so or try to do so,
much like Colombia did. And Mexico and Colombia are the only two countries I
see with international traffickers at that level that have the background, that
have the money, that have the sophistication, if you will, to do
THE NUMBER ONE INTERNATIONAL CRIME PROBLEM IS ALSO A MAJOR
NATIONAL SECURITY PROBLEM....?
Without a doubt.
FOR THIS COUNTRY?
Yeah it is, it is. There's no doubt about it right now. I think that if you
talk to a number of leaders in Washington, you'll hear them say it's either
number one or thereabouts, close to it.......drugs as a crime in the United
States probably is, from a crime standpoint , the national security threat to
the United States right now.
YOU SAY WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MEXICANS TO
INCARCERATE MAJOR TRAFFICKERS BUT WHAT WE'VE SEEN OR WHAT WE SEEM TO UNDERSTAND
IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO IS MORE IN THE HANDS OF THE TRAFFICKERS THAN
Well I don't know, I've always been concerned about that potential. I'm not
going to jump quite that far and say that yet, but it's certainly a possibility
that there's always been corruption in Mexico. There's corruption in the
police, there's corruption in the government. Otherwise how far that goes I
can't comment on. I don't have specifics to get into on that.
But I know it's very large, it's very significant. It impacts the ability, the
capability of the Mexican government to act. I'm more concerned with the fact
that for the last two years the United States has made more overtures and has
been more forthcoming to the government of Mexico in trying to work with them
to try to establish a real meaningful relationship on this issue than ever
before. In the last two years I've seen the United States government talk with
Mexico whereas in the past sometimes they talked to Mexico which didn't pay
very much dividends and caused a lot of animosity, a lot of sovereignty issues,
a lot of sensitivities that end up being negative as far as the progress you
try to make in this business.
But when you look at the last two years at things that have gone on, when you
look at the personal attention that attorney-general Reno has spent on
bettering relations between United States and Mexico, the fact that she sends
down her personal emissary, the person who is most responsible for
administering the Department of Justice under the attorney-general's programs
on drugs, to go down and meet regularly with Mexican officials to try to build
this relationship, to try to improve the law, to try to get the training, to
try to get the operational relationships necessary to move forward on this. And
then you see that at this juncture, at this point in the game it doesn't seem
to be paying the dividends that we expect.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN ? ?
We're not seeing the laws. Certainly they've got a money laundering law and
they've made some progress on laws going into play there but the money
laundering law didn't go far enough as far as the currency transaction
reporting requirement not being the way it should be, and certain other things.
The training hasn't come along as quickly as it should have. The operational
ability of the law enforcement entities of United States - DEA, FBI, Customs -
linking up with the PRG and whoever else in Mexico is not moving as quickly as
it should be from a law enforcement standpoint.
THE FORMER MEXICAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES TOLD US THAT DURING THE
SALINAS ERA, WHICH WOULD BE UP TO 94, THE PRESIDENT OF MEXICO REALLY DIDN'T
TAKE DRUGS SERIOUSLY.
That's probably - I wouldn't doubt that, it's probably correct, you know. And
that's the fault of the United States government as much as anybody. Because
if you go back to that era and beyond, drugs wasn't that high a priority in
foreign policy considerations between the United States and Mexico, let's face
it. It really wasn't. So I think the United States government historically
and traditionally probably has problems in being tough with Mexico. Now, you
know, I'm not naive enough to sit here and to say that one has to go in and
beat up the government of Mexico because of the drug issue. I realize it's a
lot more complex than that and you have to work with them to do that. But in
the last two years, I have seen the U.S. government through my direct knowledge
and dealings there go forward and offer to work and attempt to work and to do
anything and everything to forge a real partnership with Mexico on this issue,
unlike anything that had been attempted or done before. And I've seen very
little come from that, and there should have been a lot of progress from that.
And I will say this, that unless that happens, unless the Americans are there
to help the government of Mexico, to work with the government of Mexico which
also helps the United States on this issue, you're going to have very little
success and very little chance of success because the government of Mexico does
not have the expertise. They are just getting the laws. They don't even have
them sufficient yet. They don't have the training, they don't have the
resources, they don't have a professional police at this juncture. They just
don't have the capability of pulling this off by themselves.
So all these people that argue sovereignty, we'll handle it, forget it, all
right? Certain people within the government of Mexico are still in denial.
They don't want to admit that the problem exists to the magnitude, to the
extent that it does, coming through Mexico, coming from Mexico into the United
States. They don't want to admit that they have Mexican international criminal
organizations, all right? They get very sensitive about calling them Mexican
criminals. They want to call them international criminals that operate from
Mexico. Give me a break. They're Mexican criminal organizations.
HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THE FIRING OF LOZANO, THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL?
Well it's significant certainly from the standpoint of a new person comes in
and that person also then gets rid of the head of the PRG. You get a new
person that's also then in charge of PRG so you have to start over from that
standpoint. I don't know the new person. I don't know the budding
relationship. But I do know that you start almost at square one again with
some of the initiatives, with some of the issues that you've been dealing with.
So it's just troubling.
BUT IT SEEMED THAT LOZANO WAS PERCEIVED AS BEING LET'S SAY A STEP IN A
DIFFERENT DIRECTION, AN OUTSIDER WHO WAS BROUGHT IN.
Well an outsider from the standpoint that he wasn't from the PRI. I guess in
60 some years you hadn't seen somebody like that be named to a cabinet level
position. In fact he's in the attorney-general's office, able to have a lot of
latitude to do these things. Certainly the people that dealt with Lozano and
with President Zedillo as well have always been struck by their integrity,
their intent, their commitment, their public statements. The problem is now
that we've been involved in this process for some time there has not been that
much in the way of follow-through that has resulted in actions, that has
resulted in positive developments as far as major investigations, and major
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT, THEY'RE NOT BEING -
Well they had a problem, for example, right now, we have bilateral tax forces
and other things existing in Mexico that have been set up in the last few years
or have been conceived of and are in the process of being implemented. And with
DEA, the FBI, and Customs, working there hand in hand with the government of
Mexico law enforcement to do major investigations, to travel around . . . to
work for the government of Mexico. I mean the government of Mexico, certainly
it's their country. It has to be, they have to be the lead and we have to fall
within the constraints and under the policies and procedures of Mexico.
But in this day and age with the violence that is now going on in Mexico which
is probably a little bit worse than normal or worse than the past when you look
at some of the targets, some of the commandants, some of the prosecutors and
others that have been killed and assassinated including in Mexico City which
had been somewhat unheard of in the last year or so, it has heightened the
level of awareness and probably security concern to Americans that are
operating as investigators in Mexico. And for them to be precluded, for
example, from carrying a firearm for their own protection or self-defense by
the government of Mexico, which is the situation right now, that's just not
conducive to having the relationship and the investigative activity you need.
Well what's changed, look, Mexican criminals and traffickers have always been
violent. They're very much like the Colombians in that regard. They don't
hesitate to deal with silver or lead. Take the pay-off, take the corruption or
we'll kill you. You get too close to us in your investigative processes,
whether you're a prosecutor or you're police, if we can't buy you, then we will
resort to violence and often that means killing you.
YOU DON'T TAKE THE SILVER? YOU MEAN IF YOU DON'T TAKE THE MONEY?
If you don't take the silver you get the lead. This has long been something
that was very prominent in Colombia and we see it in Mexico as well too. So
it's a serious problem now when you look at the numbers of incidents of senior
people, mid-level people involved in the prosecutor's office in the government
of Mexico, the law enforcement officials at senior levels in Mexico that have
been assassinated and killed, and the threats to others, it's a very serious
thing. And this has heightened, it does happen more and more today at those
levels than it did in the past.
IS MEXICO BECOMING THE NEW COLOMBIA?
Well this goes back to the situation in Columbia, you're right. There was a
cardinal assassinated, there was a presidential candidate that was
assassinated. As far as I know, neither of those crimes have been adequately
investigated and solved. So yeah, that's a serious problem and you have that
sort of thing that takes place in Mexico and it's not satisfactorily brought to
a conclusion as far as what happened, or people aren't brought to justice for
it. And then you couple that with the whole drug angle, the violence
associated with that, the seeming wanton retribution or retaliation or going
after by the Arellano-Felix brothers or whoever else in Mexico against people
that they perceive as their threat, whether it's a competing trafficker or
whether it's a police officer or whether it's a prosecutor. Well when that
type of thing happens with almost like wanton abandon and nothing comes to
light, nothing comes to the end nobody is brought to justice, then it certainly
causes a lot of concern.
WHAT ABOUT MEXICAN BANKS AND THE SUBJECT OF DRUG MONEY?
I'm certainly not here today trying to imply, state, or insinuate in any sort
of way that major banking institutions in Mexico are willingly involved in the
laundering of drug proceeds. There is no doubt in my mind, with the billions
of dollars going into Mexico that have to be laundered either to stay in Mexico
or to move somewhere else, that they do pass through some banking institutions.
They certainly pass through the Casa di Cambio.
I think that when you look at the situation, the billions of
dollars moving from the United States into Mexico, some of which remains in
Mexico, some of which moves on. Once it gets to Mexico, it has to be laundered
in some fashion, whether it's through Casa de Cambio, whether it's through a
bank, like it could happen in United States, whether it's through the purchase
of land or the purchase of companies or business, whatever. That type of thing
is taking place in Mexico. I mean it is, it just stands to reason it has to
happen. You don't just have rooms full of money acquiring dust in Mexico. They
put that to use, they clean it in some way so that they can bring it back in
some other form.
WILL MEXICO GET CERTIFIED?
I think Mexico will either be certified or certified with national interest
waiver. And if I was a betting man, probably certified, just because of the
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
Well like I said, drugs and crime aren't the only issues. And aren't
necessarily the major issues between Mexico and United States. And I'm not
saying they should be. But as you look at the drug issue, as you look at the
drug problem with Mexico, I think that you look at what's transpired in the
last 12 months and what's likely or unlikely to transpire in the next two
months or month and half before certification has to be considered one way or
the other. I think it's going to be very difficult for one to point to
successes, for one to point to movement in the direction necessary to attain
And frankly I think that if you look at some of the down side of what's
gone on with the killings of the police, the killings of the prosecutors, the
lack of movement on that, the lack, the fact that no major trafficker has been
apprehended or prosecuted in Mexico. I think it's very difficult to look at
that, to look at what exists or to look at what doesn't exist and to come to
the conclusion that Mexico, with all the resources that the United States has
tried to pour that way, with all of the efforts that the United States has made
in a bilateral relationship with Mexico, then it's very difficult to say that
Mexico has been forthcoming and has done what it could and what it should in
So I'm saying they don't meet the test from an operational standpoint on drugs.
But what I'm saying is that because of other issues and concerns, trade,
economic, other bilateral relations, that they will probably, they will get
certified either full certification or certification national interest
.......THE CRIME PROBLEM TAKES A BACK SEAT......
Well historically that's been the case between United States and Mexico. It
hasn't had the same priority. It hasn't been at the level of priority in my
estimation that it should be in our foreign policy determinations and
considerations with Mexico.
NO BUT WE'RE TALKING IN AN OVERALL SENSE.
In the overall sense, at the macro level and at the level of government , it's
not what it should be, no. It's not the same, it's not the priority it should
be in the government of Mexico, but that's a bit because the United States
hasn't really caused it to be in a sense, that you know, at the national level
we haven't really focused on that I think in a meaningful way. Certainly the
attorney general has, but I don't think that beyond the attorney general we've
seen that. Certainly Barry McCaffery as a drug czar is trying to do that, but
I think that trade, economic issues, those sorts of things, certainly are
I KNOW THAT YOU DON'T KNOW ANY DETAIL ON IT, BUT IN THE COURSE OF THAT
INVESTIGATION AND IN HEARING ABOUT MEXICO, THE NAME OF THE HANK FAMILY HAS
TURNED UP. WHAT, IN WHAT CONTEXT?
Well the Hank family has turned up as some sort of relationship, as I
understand it. The Hank family turns up quite often in Mexico anyway because
of the fact that it's a family of one or more billionaires. But anyway, it's a
family that has amassed billions of dollars in a relatively short period of
time, I guess, less than a generation or so, in Mexico and so one always
scratches one's head and says how did this happen, among other things, where'd
this come from?
But the Raul Salinas relationship with the Hank family, which has come to
light, certainly causes one some concern and then you see Raul Salinas's
relationship with Juan Garcia Abrego, a very large drug trafficker in Mexico
that was later brought to justice. Actually the Mexican government did arrest
him a year or so ago and deliver him to the United States because he is an
American citizen and he was then prosecuted for crimes in the United States and
is now, I don't know if he's been sentenced, but he's probably going to get
YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE MEXICANS NOT HAVING THE POLICE FORCE, THE ABILITY TO
INVESTIGATE, THE TECHNICAL SKILL, OR THE INVESTMENT IN MONEY FOR A PROPER
POLICE FORCE, FOR A CIVIL SERVICE POLICE FORCE. ONE ANSWER IS LET'S USE THE
Well the military is not an answer to this. I have only recently, in
the last year, felt that perhaps in the case of Mexico there could be some
utilization or some opportunity to use military force in Mexico for short term
under limited situations. And by that I mean given the violence, given the
power that these people have amassed and control certain cities if not states
in Mexico, there could be a time if you need to go arrest a major trafficker
who is in a particular location, city or ranch or whatever when there might be
a military operation necessary to apprehend or to detain that person. But
beyond that the military, first of all the military is even less trained. They
have no idea of the rule of law, of evidence, of procedures. I mean they're
trained like the military of United States. Go out, destroy, kill, do that.
That's not what we're looking for here and that's not going to work in a
democratic form of government and certainly it's not what we subscribe to in
this country nor do we want to see happen in a country such as Mexico. And to
say that one reason they want to use them is because they are highly trained in
military operations and they are not believed to be as corrupt as the police,
well I can tell you this, that in the past when they have gotten
involved in these sorts of ventures in Mexico they have become as corrupt as
the police and they will become as corrupt as the police again. Also the
military in Mexico has very little control exerted over it. You don't have the
same ability of even the president, or whoever else to maintain the necessary
controls over the military. But most importantly it's the whole rule of law
process. The whole ability to investigate, the ability to gather evidence, the
ability to prosecute once you arrest, and to obtain convictions. That's what
we have to build up to do. So I think that the military is a quick fix or a
solution only in that isolated instance that I just described.
DESCRIBE WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN LOS ANGELES.....
Moving car loads of money in boxes, in suitcases from Los Angeles south
into Mexico whether it's across the border at Tijuana or whether it's over
through Arizona and down into Mexico that is a serious, serious problem. And
that is why you're seeing Los Angeles now getting to be more and more of a
money laundering center in the United States, or the movement of money cashed
in United States. It's because of the Mexican involvement, because of criminal
activity in Mexico. The fact is that much of the control that exists in the
United States as far as Mexican organizations throughout United States emanates
from Los Angeles. So money comes back there and then they have to get it into
Mexico. One of the favorite means of getting it into Mexico is in bulk cash
shipments concealed in four wheel drive vehicles, cars, whatever, moving back
across the border to Mexico.
HOW DO YOU LAUNDER MONEY IN MEXICO? WHAT KIND OF INSTITUTIONS WOULD YOU USE?
Well look, let me just talk about it as a rational, prudent person. I think
from my knowledge, being involved with the DEA for as long as I was, the money
going into Mexico either goes through casa de cambio and moves on then into
some other arena and then is shipped elsewhere in Mexico or to another country.
You buy a business where you can take cash in and trade it whether it's to get
into a trucking company or to smaller regional airlines within Mexico. I mean
any place where you can take in a large amount of cash and convert it into an
asset without getting asked a lot of questions which, I think, you can do now
in Mexico. Or any place that you can go through gambling or whatever else to
move money or ostensibly shift or change the color of money. Anything like
that fits the needs of the individual moving the money.
WE INTERVIEWED ONE OF THE MORE PROMINENT AND WEALTHIEST PEOPLE IN
MEXICO . HE SAID NOTHING HAS REALLY CHANGED. EVERYTHING IS FINE IN MEXICO AND
THIS HAS ALL BEEN GOING ON FOREVER.
Let me leave you with this. When you look at what's transpired in Mexico in
the '90s vis a vis the cocaine business with the Colombians moving through
Mexico and then the Mexican traffickers wresting control of that which moves
through Mexico, the cocaine, and generating more criminal activity because they
set up more organizational elements in Mexico, and within the United States as
well, which they are doing more so now than they did in the past. They're
generating hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions of dollars more in
criminal proceeds than they did in the past, and the money is going right back
to these international criminals that are Mexicans, operating in and from
Mexico. Now if that doesn't change the problem in Mexico, if that doesn't add
to the crime, if that doesn't add to the violent situation that the media is
painting or portraying then I'm out of touch. This is just not possible.