U.S. Government and Mexican drug cartels go deep

Yesterday I filed a story with Examiner about how the U.S. Government is supplying drugs and weapons to the Mexican drug cartel.  Individuals who naively believe in the “rightness” of America took me to task for it.  Here’s evidence that the corruption at the highest levels goes even further back in time.


It was a hot and sticky night when Kevin Ives and Don Henry picked up their hunting rifles for a night of deer hunting in the remote Saline County in Arkansas.  When the sun would come up the next morning it would rise on the bodies of these two teenagers.  They had been run over by a northbound Union Pacific freight train as they lay on the tracks.


The resulting inquiry, cover-up and follow-up would expose corruption in the highest level of American government, but it would be a story that most Americans would never hear about and unless you read the inside pages of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, you probably missed what has become known in Clinton-speak as the “boys on the tracks case.”


“The boys were in a deep sleep as a result of smoking marijuana,” said Arkansas State Medical Examiner Fahmy Malak who was appointed to his position by Governor Bill Clinton.


That story didn’t add up to Kevin’s mother who challenged the finding and when a grand jury began investigating, the boy’s bodies were exhumed.


An autopsy selected by the grand jury revealed that Don Henry had been stabbed in the back and Kevin Ives had been beaten with a rifle butt.  In other words – the kids had been murdered; murdered in an area known as a drop zone for drug smugglers.


In 1990, Jean Duffey headed a drug task force in the area and began to piece together evidence connecting narcotics, public officials and the train deaths. Shortly afterward, she was threatened with death and run out of town.


“I didn’t understand the power of the political machine back then, but after being persuaded by the FBI to assist in an investigation they opened in 1994, I learned of connections to the CIA, Mena, and drug-smuggling,” she wrote in a recent letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal. “I finally understood; to solve the train deaths case would be to expose the crimes of Mena, and no government agent who has come close to doing either has survived professionally.”


The coordination between U.S. Government agencies and the Mexican drug cartels goes beyond the “boys on the tracks case” and the drug smuggling coming through Arizona.


A spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera that “they [the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency] try to manage the drug trade. 


Accusations of government complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials.  What makes this accusation unique is that it comes from an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico’s most violent states.


“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”


This stretch of desert between Tucson AZ and the U.S. Mexican border is the busiest corridor for drug smuggling in the country

 Jerry Nelson is a nationally recognized photojournalist who covers social justice issues.  He currently is on assignment in Arizona and Texas for American Border Support.

2 thoughts on “U.S. Government and Mexican drug cartels go deep

  1. Thanks for the kind words Missy! Hope to see you and Joe when I get back to Asheville around November. Thanks again the support and for being a reader. Stay in touch!

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