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Paramilitary: The Snakeheads Go Latin

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June 25, 2019:

In 2019 American investigators found that international people smuggling syndicates had expanded into Central America and Mexico. The evidence was the appearance of hundreds of African and Middle Eastern illegal migrants into the United States. That turned the Mexican-Central American people smuggling operations into an even bigger business that was apparently now earning the local and international smuggling syndicates over two billion dollars a year.

The Mexican connection was made possible by the power, and international connections, of Mexican drug cartels that control illegal operations along the U.S. border. Another assist came from American NGOs (non-government organizations) that support unrestricted migration into the United States. Similar NGOs in Europe had cooperated with smuggling gangs to get people into Europe. International criminal syndicates that specialize in smuggling people (who can pay) long distances are nothing new. This began in the 1990s with Chinese syndicates nicknamed “snakeheads” operating in East Asia and the North America to move the illegals in large numbers. Nearly three decades later the mechanics of these international people smuggling operations were well known and when the conditions were right the international angle showed up again, at least until local government became less cooperative and more aggressive in making the smuggling business less profitable and more dangerous (for the gangsters).

In Mexico the illegals were, until the last few years, almost all Mexicans and others from Latin American nations. But now over a third of the illegals coming across the Mexican border are from much farther away and paying large fees to international criminal syndicates to travel long distances to reach Mexico and then across the border into the United States. Even before this Mexico had found itself unable to control the drug cartels that now are the real power on the Mexican side of the U.S. border. Anyone who wants to move illegal migrants across that border must pay the cartels for safe passage. The cartels can also arrange for easy entry into Mexico via airports or ship by bribing border and customs officials. The Mexican cartels make over $100 million a year from the fees the illegal migrants (via the groups moving them) pay to get across the border and that does not include the lucrative fees for helping get international illegals into Mexico. The cartels make far more moving drugs but the people smuggling fees are another income source and confirm which cartel controls which segment of the border.


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