Mexico ‘ungovernable’: drug traffickers control up to 35% of the country, says US

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WASHINGTON, DC- The head of the United States Northern Command (US Northcom), General Glen VanHerck, estimated that transnational organized crime cartels operate in about 30 to 35 percent of the Mexican territory, “in areas that are frequently ungovernable ”, causing many of the problems that the American authorities are facing on the border with Mexico.

VanHerck, who spoke to reporters at the Pentagon after appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, addressed questions to the Biden administration about the causes that are generating record arrivals and arrests of migrants on the border with Mexico.

“I would say that it is a symptom of a problem that has manifested itself since last year. I’m not going to get into politics on whether this is a crisis or not. The fact is that we need a secure border and understand who crosses the border, ”he said.

“Drug trafficking, migration, human trafficking, are symptoms of transnational criminal organizations that are frequently operating in ungovernable areas, 30 to 35 percent of Mexico, which are creating some of the things that we are working with. dealing with the border, “he said.

In the opinion of the military chief, the “instability” created by transnational criminal organizations, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and two major hurricanes, are indicators and reasons why migrants from Central America, South America and Mexico are trying get to the United States.

For VanHerck, the problem must be viewed from a holistic perspective by Washington.

“I think it is a national security imperative that we must address. Why do I think it should be seen from a national defense perspective? Because it creates potential vulnerabilities and opportunities for surrounding actors, ”he said.

The Northern Command is responsible for the defense of the territory of the United States, support to civil authorities and cooperation in regional security with Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas.

In his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, the general noted that the Mexican military faces “significant challenges,” including the onslaught of “violent drug cartels” and the effects of COVID.

But he assured that the United States military forces continue shoulder to shoulder with their Mexican counterparts to strengthen the defense of North America.

In addition, VanHerck said that Mexico is a vital partner in the defense and cooperation structure of the United States, and that the relationship between the Northern Command and the Mexican Armed Forces continues to be “robust.”

Source: El Financiero

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