Chicago, IL—Recent events which include the election of a PRI President Enrique Pena Nieto back into the political power in Mexico, the problems with Venezuela with Hugo Chavez not being able to take office, the problems in Peru with the resurgence of some terrorists groups, all these playing a significant role in the drug war. However, without going into too much into foreign policy, let’s talk about Brazil, Mexico and Chicago.
Even with all the pressures by Mexico against the drug cartels, in the first moth of the new presidency, the killings and the level of criminal activity has not slow down. As the matter fact, it appears that the drug cartels are actually increasing their attacks against each other, and the authorities. The drug trade in Latin America has been going into a significant change in the last few years.
While the drug cartels from Colombia in the 80’s and 90’s were more interested in bringing the drugs into the United States, today the focus that began with the Mexican Drug Cartels of controlling domestic distribution channels and drug routes with bullets, appears now to be going to South America as well. It is simple. When something is putting money on criminal organizations the ideas can be copied by others. Just like any other marketing effort in any legal business.
Brazil is the largest country in South America and it is surrounded by three of the biggest producers of cocaine in the world, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. Today, an explosion of the domestic drug trade is taking a center stage, just like in Mexico. It is important to note that there different drugs that are consumed by domestic consumers. Furthermore, domestic consumers are consumers that are found hundreds of miles or within a thousand miles from the manufacturer and producer.
As in Mexico, Brazil is now experiencing a major outbreak of crack users and dealers. According to Gustavo Nascimento, Intelligence Analyst for Contingent Security Services, Ltd. assigned to InterPort Police, the crack traffickers are using the drug, which is a byproduct of cocaine, to increase their clientele. In the process, the consumers of crack are going and committing crime to sustain their addiction.
Analyst Nascimento adds that in Brazil, users of most drugs are not incarcerated as in the United States, but they are treated just like a health problem. Therefore, the criminal activity around the drug use is what causes these drug users to end up in jail i.e. robbing someone, killing someone, kidnapping someone, etc.
Analyst Nascimento adds that there are signs of an aggressive marketing by the drug dealers and the gangs are capitalizing in the opportunity. One of the gangs known as “Primeiro Comando da Capital” has been executing rival gang members and many police officers, in a similar ways as the Mexican Drug Cartels.
Analyst Nascimento concludes that the Brazilian authorities have a big job on their hands as they prepare the country for the upcoming World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016. With the highest homicide rate in the region and increasing, corruption at all time high, and the domestic consumption of narcotics in the increase to the point of “epidemic proportions” the situation in Brazil as in Mexico is beginning to show up in other Latin American countries and that should be an alarm to the United States that it is time to change the tactics.
As far as the United States, it is just a matter of time before the United States cities begin to see the same bloody wars for territorial control as in Mexico and Brazil. Containment of the drug war south of the U.S. border is highly unlikely.
Or perhaps, we are all beginning to see this drug war beginning to show its signs as in Chicago and other large cities with all the shootings and turf wars, all as the result of the drug trade and the appetite by the consumer.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is right to begin his fight against guns as the guns are preferred by the gangs to fight their turf wars just like in Mexico and Brazil.
If in fact the drug war is moving into Chicago and other U.S. cities, then the alarm is sounding and the gun manufacturers and illegal drug manufacturers/traffickers/gangs/drug dealers should take note that the authorities are acting now, even if it means they will not profit just like they do in Latin America.