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In the vast landscapes of Mexico, the battle against the cartels is not just about law enforcement and drug busts. It's about understanding the deep-rooted connections, the geopolitics, and the intricate networks that sustain organized crime. Ed Calderon, a former Mexican Officer with over a decade of experience in counter-narcotics and organized crime investigation, delves into the complexities of the situation.
"We were hunted, they would hunt us. Everybody was armed, always."
Having worked alongside the Mexican army, patrolling and facing the direct threats of the cartels, Ed's experiences are not just about the confrontations. They are about the revelations, the understanding of how deeply intertwined various interests are, especially when it comes to the influence of foreign nations like China. China has long been identified as a significant player in the global drug trade, particularly concerning the production and distribution of synthetic drugs. Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid linked to a surge in overdose deaths in the US, has its roots in China's vast chemical industry.
"Nothing comes out of China without China knowing.There's no Chinese underworld that works outside of the view or influence of the government."
One of the significant revelations from Ed's insights is the role of China in the drug trade. With Mexico being a significant transit point for fentanyl, a deadly drug that has wreaked havoc in the U.S., understanding China's role is crucial. The relationship between some cartel groups and China has been long-standing, with the latter playing a pivotal role in the drug trade's financial aspects.
"If you want to make your money disappear, you don't need to grab your money and bury it somewhere. You can give it to a Chinese middleman."
With Mexico currently under a populist leftist presidency, the approach towards cartels has seen a shift. From a hands-off approach to now taking on some of the smaller cartel groups, the dynamics are changing. However, the challenges remain, especially with the U.S.'s foreign policy and the increasing influence of cartels in human trafficking.
"Right now, Fentanyl is being pumped into Mexico that makes its way to the United States, obviously. But their biggest money maker right now, for cartels at least, is people, people being taxed as they cross the border. It's Christmas for them right now."
Beyond the drug trade and human trafficking, Ed's insights shed light on the broader challenges Mexico faces.From the increasing violence to the geopolitical dynamics with nations likeChina, his experiences provide a unique perspective on the intricacies of organized crime and its implications on a global scale.