Monday, October 23, 2006

Law Enforcement Corruption along the border with Mexico

The Los Angeles Times reports in-depth that corruption of Federal, state and local law enforcement officials along the U.S.-Mexico border is growing.

This corruption is most acute in regard to expediting and protecting the shipment of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs from Mexico into the United States.

A parallel story tells specifically about Cameron County, Texas Sheriff Conrado Cantu who started selling favors and protection almost as soon as he was elected four years ago.

The most dramatic crime created by drug prohibition is the widespread violence which is part of the managment of conflict in the business -- there is no legal dispute resolution mechanism

Corruption is the most insidious crime created by drug prohibition because is hidden and limitless. Once a law enforcement officer is corrupted, the criminal capability of the criminals who purchased a cop's loyality is unlimited. The fear of exposure and being cut off from the addiction to bribe money is usually so great that the cop will do anything that he is asked to do. The criminals have a very wide range of threats available. Many corrupt cops might give up the illegal stream of money that have started taking if that were the only consequence of abandoning their criminal allies. But a corrupt cop is not a resource a criminal organization is willing to lose. Both the cops and criminals know that the cop can be exposed and destroyed. Once fired or prosecuted a cop that has turned on his former cartel masters faces death in prison, or innocent family members can be threatened with murder.

Like the worst drug addictions, the temptation of drug corruption looks attractive. Enormous sums of cash, jewelry, real estate, vacations, expensive cars are easy to get. But the down side begins with the constant risk of exposure, shame, imprisonment and family estrangement and ends with murder and torture of family members.

For honest citizens, the corrupt cops at the border can be pressured to let anything in, even if the contraband is more dangerous than drugs, e.g. weapons of mass destruction.

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