Photo: DEA Chief Michele M. Leonhart
As international media continues to keep a watchful eye on the drug war in Mexico, the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is reminding everyone that the world, especially Central, South, and North America needs to be concerned with the events of the troubled country.
For the U.S., the concern is in part due to the fear of violent reach of the drug cartel known as Los Zetas, said DEA administrator Michele M. Leonhart. The Mexican drug gang has been blamed for the killing of a U.S. immigration agent this past February, and also for the massacre of 72 migrants in close to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We are always concerned about the Mexican drug cartels and the influence that they have,” Leonhart said at the opening of the International Conference for Drug Control. Adding that those present at the annual conference support Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon and his fight against the cartels and said they were joined in wanting to be “part of the solution.”
Since Calderon began the “war on drugs” in 2006, more than 34,600 people have been killed by drug related violence.
The conference at which Leonhart was speaking was started by the DEA in 1993. It was created to bring countries together and share information and effective techniques in fighting drug trafficking. Leonhart said that just as the U.S. worries about the influence and reach of Los Zetas and other cartels, so should the rest of the world.
In Ecuador, the commander of Colombia’s navy told reporters that his country is no longer the only one finding semisubmersibles used to transport drugs. Colombia seized twenty submarines in 2009, three in 2010, and so far this year, they have found four.