Borderland Beat reports that Mexico's drug cartels are using Caribbean countries as trans-shipment points for drugs bound for either the United States or Europe. VOXXI (Voice of the Hispanic 21st Century) — a multimedia site for topics relevant to Hispanic Americans — noted that on December 15 analysts with the State Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency, as well as independent analysts, told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on drug trafficking that the Sinaloa Cartel, Mexico's largest and most powerful group, is establishing drug routes with the Dominican Republic as the command center.
An earlier VOXXI report on January 3 gave this excerpt from remarks to the committee:
As international pressure continues to ramp up against Mexican drug cartels, the response by U.S. officials will almost certainly be to evaluate and reprise Caribbean drug trafficking routes that were popular in the 1980s.
Those drug routes were shut down when law enforcement began to dismantle the Colombian cartels. William Brownfield, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State in charge of international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, said that trafficking activity then shifted to Mexico to “age-old smuggling routes along the porous overland border.”
Increased violence in Mexico, however, has placed U.S. law enforcement pressure squarely on the cartels, which are consequently developing alternate drug-trafficking routes to more southern Latin American countries and — in anticipation of intervention efforts targeting Central America — to the Caribbean.
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Photo: Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic