US counterterrorism officials continue to be increasingly concerned about the growth of Mexico’s narco-cartels and the Mexican military’s inability to substantially break up their operations.
Officials who spoke on background said the cartels and their “enforcers” have become emboldened and have less fear than they did several years ago to directly confront Mexican federal police and military forces, and that they no longer have hesitation about using violence to protect – and project – their operations there and in the United States.
Incidents of cartel-related violence north of the border have steadily increased over the last year. Authorities had earlier told HSToday.us that they expected the cartels would begin to step up enforcement of their operations in North America, where the bulk of their criminal activities are concentrated.
“We’re going to see much more violence, there [Mexico] and here very soon, I’m afraid,” said a federal Latin American cartel authority on background.
As Homeland Security Today reported this month, authorities also are increasingly worried about the ties between the cartels and the Muslim businessmen who’ve provided them with laundering and smuggling services. These same businesses also are tied to jihadist terrorist organizations that have established a foothold throughout Central and South America, counterterrorist intelligence authorities disclosed.