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Mexico: Terrorism and Organized Crime
The convergence in numerous means of organized criminal activities that include terrorism and drug trafficking is a developing concern in the United States and the entire world. Some professionals in this filed imply that the increasing number of cases of terrorism and organized crime groups are jointly coordinated and the trend is increasingly developing into a worldwide phenomenon (Rollins 2). These occurrences pose a great and novel challenge from national security and law enforcement perspectives. Even though the convergence between terrorism and organized crimes is not interlinked in a direct and immediate contractual manner, the reality seems to imply that terrorism and drug trafficking in a coordinated manner is incredibly present (Rollins 2). Terrorism and drug trafficking are unlawful, concealed operations, and they hold numerous common needs. These needs include weapons acquisition, maintenance of anonymity, a steady cash flow, hiding assets and the two crimes strengthen their hands through their capacity to function transnationally. It is imperative to note that for various reasons, including the declined and collapse affluence of some governments, state terrorism financing is declining and as a result, terrorist organizations are considerably seeking other crimes such drug trafficking for funding.
Defining Terrorism and Drug Cartels
Terrorism refers to the action of deliberate inflict performed to instigate grave destruction or demise to persons with the main objective of overawing or pleading with a person, local or global organization or a given country's administration to adopt a certain policy. Following the 9/11 terrorist attack, FBI defined terrorism as, "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment therefore in furtherance of political or social objectives" (Christop 14). On the other hand, Cartels refers to an organization of suppliers or manufacturers that upholds higher prices and limit competition. In this regard, drug cartels are illegal unions created to control and manage the formation and distribution of sedative drugs. Most drug cartels are linked to terrorism and their links are enhanced through financing terrorists groups. While most terrorist groups have a spread out portfolios of fundraising, some of these groups partially depend on drug revenues.
Convergence between Terrorism, Drug Castles and Other Organized Crimes
Convergence between terrorism, drug cartels and other organized crimes is already happening in Mexico. Violence linked to drug trafficking in the country started in mid 2000s. Narco-terrorism, violence and intimidation from illegal drug dealers put at risk the security stability of the country. The government of Mexico, police, judicial infrastructure and politicians face sustained pressure and assault from criminal gangs and drug cartels. International criminal organizations that convergence via drug cartels in Mexico spawn massive amount of corruption, intimidation, violence, and threatens the security of towns and cities across America (Shanty and Mishra 187). While organized criminal organizations in Mexico are not terrorist in conventional sense, they are effective at employing terrorists tactics to develop [p their drug business. These groups avoid arrest and carry on their activities through intimidating witnesses, killing and corrupting public officials. For instance, in 1999, members from the Gulf Cartel Group detained and attacked two United States agents, an FBI agent, and a DEA agent in Matamoros (Innes 103). Moreover, there are numerous tortures, murders and kidnappings of judicial and police officials in Mexico. While these actions do not amount to conventional terrorism, they illustrates terrorism affects the ability of the government to handle Mexico-based illegal; drug traffickers.
According to Camp, an author, the most significant security concern in Mexico is the increased presence of drug cartels and the degree to which cartels affect Mexico and the other parts of North America. Modern drug cartels in Mexico are a wider reflection of organized crime. These cartels have expanded into dozens of other activities ranging from kidnapping, bribery, money laundering and extortion in legal organizations such as the Mexican soccer teams (Camp 9). Given the temperament of their business, to produce drugs and transport them via and from Mexico to the United States of America, drug cartels have augmented their competition for management and control of the border (Alexander and Kraft 217). One of the focus of the Homeland Security in the United States is that international terrorists uses the Mexican border which is controlled by drug trafficking institutions that includes Zetas, one of top ten leading drug trafficking organizations, to cross clandestinely into the United States (Camp 9). However, the only recognized ties between a designated terrorist organization and drug cartels are the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the United Self-Defense of Colombia (AUC). The two organizations have been linked to Colombian drug traffickers (Alexander and Kraft 217).
Given that Mexican drug cartels have to trade most of the illegal drugs in the United States, they have built up several linkages to criminal components north of the Mexican border. One of the most powerful connections is to juvenile gangs functioning in most metropolitan areas. Drug cartels are also linked with gangs in key Mexican borders cities such as Ciudad Juarez (Camp 9). As a result, an acknowledged concern on the part of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. is the degree in which drug cartels are controlling and financing terrorists groups and those of juvenile gangs in the country. Drug cartels comprise of numerous government officials in the United States (Camp 10). Persons working for the government of the United States including in the American embassy in Mexico City and former director of the Nogales Immigration and Naturalization service have been in the pays of these cartels.
The cartels support crucial criminal activities such as terrorism in the United States apart from sale of illegal drug, money laundering and sale of illegal weapons in the United States. The presence of criminal activities goes beyond the critical threat against the sovereignty and weakening of the Mexican governmental institutions on the state, local and national levels. Profits from drugs are so huge in Mexico, an estimated 25 billion dollars to 40 billion dollars a year, that these cartels are bribing government officials at all levels (Camp 10). These cartels are also engaging themselves directly in funding electoral campaigns. For instance, the Nation Action Party, elected its gubernatorial candidate for the Tamaulipas border state from central party headquarters to block any undue effect by potentially compromised politicians in 2010. The capacity of the political leadership in Mexico and the sovereignty of governmental organizations is at stake given that these institutions cannot protect the general citizenry and lower the increased levels of perceived insecurity that impacts a huge percentage of the population.
The convergence or nexus between terrorist groups and transnational crime has its foundation on the symbiotic link between the two. The convergence entails a dynamic that allows both entities to benefit financially. This convergence, which entails long-term and short-term agreements, exists along a continuum and its aim is to exchange expertise such as counterfeiting, bomb-making or money laundering, or operational support that enhances access to the smuggling routes (Piazza 299). A study carried out by the Library of Congress regarding criminal and terrorist organizations realized that the convergence between the two entities comes in three wide blueprints. The first form of contact between terrorist and criminal organizations is alliances of mutual benefit. In this view, terrorists enter into agreement with transnational criminals to gain funding without engaging directly into the business actions or compromising their dogma.
The second blueprints in which terrorists engage in other organized crimes is through removing the intermediary and uphold the ideological premise of their policy. The third blueprint entails the replacement of their ideology through profit as the major reason for their operations. The most apparent convergence is predominately in the filed of transnational smuggling operations involving drugs, people and illegal weapons. This synergistic unification of the international groups of terrorists' organizations and drug traffickers illustrates a well-organized web of terrorist groups and drug cartels, which include narcotics in Colombia, weapons in Mexico and Cuba and money laundering in Panama. The convergence within the web of organizations engages in money laundering for drug traffickers, terrorists and arms traffickers. Despite the expectation of mutual benefit, the convergence takes place for the purpose of profit. While transnational criminal groups have acknowledged the value of mobility, pragmatism, and flexibility, terrorists with powerful ideologies are trying to diversify. Whether the motive behind their actions is ideology, profit, or both, the result is destabilization and disruption through violence.
Interactions between drug trade and terrorism also go through subscript narco-terrorism. Narco-terrorism refers to the activity through which organized groups or individuals engage in not only abetting or aiding trafficking efforts through provision of security, but also become engaged in the cultivation, production, distribution and transportation of narcotic substances to fund their terrorist activities. The term also refers to efforts of narcotics traffickers to influence government policies through the systematic threat or violence use (Piazza 299). There are circumstances where criminal organizations run the operations of drug trafficking while the terrorist organizations control the boundaries…[continue]
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Latin America American terrorism issues and possible convergence with drug cartels in Central and South America Terrorism in Latin America Columbia The leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) The leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Cuba Venezuela Mexico Iranian Activity and Sponsorship Focus Tri- Boarder area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay Regional Overview and Criminal Activities and Concerns Parallel developments of Terrorism and Organized Crime Poverty, Discrimination and Relative Denial Interconnections between Terrorism and Organized Crime Groups Abu Nidal organization (ANO) The