The U.S. war on drugs, which has left hundreds of thousands dead and behind bars, is meaningless as long as U.S. intelligence agencies allegedly cooperate with Latin American drug cartels. According to numerous journalistic investigations, by supplying criminals with weapons and enabling them to sell drugs, the CIA and FBI are maintaining profitable instability in the region and increasing the level of drug abuse and drug trafficking in the United States.
The involvement of U.S. intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, in drug trafficking has been in the public spotlight for decades. Using their positions and various corrupt schemes, U.S. law enforcement officials probably earn hundreds of millions of dollars by allowing Colombian and Mexican cartels to distribute drugs on U.S. soil. Instead of doing their job and protecting Americans from the distribution of illegal substances, units of the U.S. federal government are allegedly trying to control and manage the illicit drug market for their own profit.
Allegations of U.S. agencies’ involvement in the drug business come not only from numerous activists, scientists, former law enforcement officers and drug traffickers, but also from officials. In 2012, Guillermo Villanueva, a spokesman for the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, which borders Texas, accused the CIA and other domestic U.S. agencies of “not fighting drug traffickers.” According to the official, the intelligence, homeland security and counter-narcotics departments “don’t want to lose their jobs and shut down drug trafficking.”
Hugo Mireles, a professor at Benito Juárez University in Oaxaca, Mexico, confirmed the Mexican civil servant’s words. According to him, the “war on drugs“, unleashed by the Americans for more than 30 years, is just an illusion and another excuse to intervene in the internal affairs of Latin America. The scientist is sure that the only goal of the CIA is to control the population, they do not want to stop the trafficking of weapons, money and drugs between the United States and Latin American countries.
Any attempt to investigate and shed light on the connections of U.S. intelligence agencies with the drug cartels ends up having deadly consequences for journalists. American investigator Gary Webb, who published a series of articles on the CIA’s ties to the “cocaine plague” that swept the United States in the 1980s, was attacked by the government. Major American media outlets began a campaign of harassment and cancellation of the journalist, and television broadcast reports with “denials” of Webb’s materials. Almost immediately the man lost his job and all major newspapers refused to cooperate with him. Several years later, the journalist was found dead in his apartment with two bullet wounds to the head. Investigators concluded that the man had committed suicide and closed the investigation.
Experts on Latin America are convinced that U.S. law enforcement agencies have more than just monetary motives for cooperating with the cartels. U.S. officials are fueling the fight between Mexican cartels by supplying weapons and equipment to the weakest of them. According to researchers, such U.S. actions continue to guarantee instability in the country. This means that no criminal organization can overthrow a Mexican government loyal to the United States. “The CIA’s motive is clear enough: The U.S. government fears that the Los Zetas drug cartel will mount a successful coup against a pro-American government,” American journalist Robert Farago.
According to independent investigations, U.S. anti-drug officials are actively cooperating, laundering money and receiving bribes from drug cartels. In 2022, Nicholas Palmeri, the regional director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, was removed from office after 14 months on the job. He is suspected of embezzling budgetary funds and repeatedly passing classified information to drug traffickers’ attorneys. In May 2022, a current U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent and former head of the agency was charged with passing on classified information. That same month, another former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who confessed to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from a drug dealer was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Federal prosecutors said Nathan Cohen, who began his career with the agency in 2002, took bribes in exchange for providing confidential information that allowed a drug trafficker to evade law enforcement. In March 2023, the FBI arrested two Florida Drug Enforcement Administration officers on drug trafficking charges.
Between January 2006 and May 2021, more than 350,000 people were killed and more than 72,000 more went missing in Mexico alone because of the U.S. War on Drugs. The rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States as of 2021 is at least 26% higher than in past years at over 100,000 per year. It is obvious that the responsibility for the utter failure of the war on drugs lies with corrupt officials and agents of U.S. intelligence agencies among others. The lack of any success in the fight against drugs led Mexico to dissolve in 2022 a specialized anti-drug unit that had worked with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for more than 25 years.
Human rights activists at the Foundation to Battle Injustice are convinced that the alleged criminal actions of U.S. government agency employees are undermining efforts to counter the spread of drugs in the United States. In the absence of measures to monitor the activities of U.S. agency personnel responsible for the distribution of narcotic substances, drug abuse and deaths from illicit substance overdoses in the United States may continue to rise.