UPDATED 1:25 PM PT — Monday, February 4, 2019
Gang-related violence in Tijuana is making its way north of the border. Residents in New Mexico, who live within a 50-miles of the border are saying they are afraid to report crimes in the area due to the threat of retaliation from cartel members.
One rancher recalled turning in 700-pounds of marijuana that was found on his property, and waking up to vandalism and major damage to his ranch.
The president has repeatedly highlighted the threat of traffickers entering the U.S. as he continues to fight for border wall funding.
“Absolutely vital, will not work without it, this crisis threatens the safety of our country and thousands of American lives,” stated President Trump. “Criminal cartels, narco-terrorists, transnational gangs like MS-13 and human traffickers are brazenly violating U.S. laws and terrorizing innocent communities.”
The cartel is also an increasing concern in Mexico, with the number of homicides increasing at a record rate. Mexican law enforcement officials said many of those homicides are linked to drug trade, most of which involve opioids.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Mexican cartels are responsible for most of the production of methamphetamine and heroin. They are also the leading manufacturer of fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid many times more potent than heroin.
While former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and his predecessor have both waged war against criminal gangs in the country for more than a decade, the push has shown little results.
According to President Trump, increased border security would help stop the drugs and violence from entering the U.S.