Sunday, June 20, 2010
Harry Chapin warbles in the background as I thumb through this week's Economist.
"It seems like I've been here before;
I can't remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we'll all be together again."
Fitting lyrics for pyrrhic news.
According to The Economist, the Zetas (formerly the strong arm of the Gulf cartel, and now a force unto themselves -- almost as if Goering had split off of the Nazis to form a rival -- and scarier -- terror force) have started setting up shop in poor little Guatemala. Recruiting strong arms.
It was inevitable. I was part of a very successful operation to cut off the flow of drugs from South America to the United States through the Caribbean. Successful because the stream stopped -- through the Caribbean.
If the goal is restated as stopping the flow of drugs -- it was a disastrous failure. Because, like any other stream of commerce with a supply on one end and a strong demand on the other, the flow will find a way.
And it did. Right up Central America, through Mexico, and across the border.
For a moment, let's assume President Calderón will be successful in beating the snot out of the drug cartels in Mexico (something I find inconceivable -- even with my hypothetical-besotted legal mind). Will the drugs stop? Of course not. The operations will move elsewhere.
And it appears poor war-ravaged, corruption-infused Guatemala is a great spot to set up alternative operations. Mexico will then simply become part of the drug freeway.
But, the drug market is just like life. Simply another circle.