Administrator Thomas A. Constantine
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Senate Drug Caucus
February 24, 1999

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Senate: I appreciate this opportunity to
appear before the Committee today to discuss the issue of drug
trafficking in Mexico and the existence of the powerful organized
criminal syndicates headquartered in Mexico. As I have done in past
years, I will provide the Committee with information on how these
major drug trafficking organizations impact on the United States, and
present you with an insight into why these trafficking groups have
become so powerful in a relatively short period of time. The
information that I will provide is based on a comprehensive and
detailed analysis of every major narcotics investigation conducted by
the Drug Enforcement Administration that involved organized crime drug
trafficking activity in Mexico. In addition, we have consulted with
Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies prior to preparing
this report for you today.

The organized crime syndicate leaders, who are currently based in
Mexico, pose the greatest challenge to law enforcement agencies in the
United States that are enforcing narcotics laws today. Since the
mid-1990's we have watched with concern as powerful organized crime
syndicates based in Mexico began to dominate the distribution of drugs
within virtually every community in the United States. Through the
dedicated efforts of Federal, state and local law enforcement
agencies, we now have a clear picture of how these drug lords direct
the sale of drugs within the U.S., how they collect their billions of
dollars in drug profits, and how they arrange for the assassination of
witnesses in both Mexico and the United States. These Mexico-based
criminal organizations have rapidly become the primary entities
responsible for distributing drugs to the citizens of the United

We have not only identified the drug lords themselves, but in most
cases, the key members of their command and control structure. The
combined investigations of DEA, FBI, the U.S. Customs Service and
members of state and local police departments have resulted in the
seizure of hundreds of tons of drugs, hundreds of millions of dollars
in drug proceeds and most importantly, the indictment of virtually
every one of the leading drug lords. In fact, some of the leaders of
these organizations -- Ramon and Benjamin Arellano-Felix, Jesus
Amezcua, Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes -- have become almost household
names in every major law enforcement department in the United States.
Despite this evidence of the crimes they have committed within the
U.S., and the notoriety these traffickers have gained, they have been
able to continually evade arrest and prosecution. The primary reason
they have been able to avoid arrest and continue to ship drugs into
the United States is attributable to their ability to intimidate
witnesses, assassinate public officials and, as is well-documented,
their ability to corrupt many of the civilian law enforcement agencies
in Mexico on a systemic basis and often at the command level.

Unfortunately in the past, my testimony on the subject of organized
crime in Mexico has been misinterpreted by some as a criticism of the
people of Mexico, and of the Government of Mexico. That is not true. I
have great respect for the citizens of Mexico and the public officials
I have met. However, I have taken an oath to protect the citizens of
the United States and over my thirty nine year career in law
enforcement, I have dedicated my life, and sometimes risked it, for
these principles. As a result, my primary concern has always been what
these vicious, amoral criminals have done to the citizens of the
United States. When they order members of their criminal organizations
to distribute tons of drugs into our nation, they are directly
involved in the addiction, injury and death of our citizens. My
intention today, as it has been in past appearances before the U.S.
Congress, is to shed some light on the power of these organized
criminal groups in Mexico, and to provide testimony on how these
organizations have transformed many Americans communities into places
of despair.

The Damage to the United States

Most Americans are unaware of the vast damage that has been caused to
their communities by international drug trafficking syndicates, most
recently by organized crime groups headquartered in Mexico. In order
to understand the extent and nature of this damage, it is instructive
to look at how these organizations work, and how they infiltrate and
establish themselves in U.S. communities in order to further their

On any given day in the United States, business transactions are being
arranged between the major drug lords headquartered in Mexico and
their surrogates who have established roots within the United States,
for the shipment, storage and distribution of tons of cocaine and
hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and heroin to trafficking groups
in the United States. In the past, Mexico-based criminal organizations
limited their activities to the cultivation of marijuana and opium
poppies for subsequent production of marijuana and heroin. The
organizations were also relied upon by Colombian drug lords to
transport loads of cocaine into the United States, and to pass on this
cocaine to other organizations who distributed the product throughout
the U.S. However, over the past five years, Mexico-based organized
crime syndicates have gained increasing control over many of the
aspects of the cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana trade,
resulting in increased threats to the well-being of American citizens
as well as government institutions and the citizens of their own

In the recent past, traffickers from Mexico had maintained dominance
in the western part of the United States, and in some midwest cities.
Today, after several years of amassing critical investigative
information, the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with other law
enforcement agencies, has developed convincing evidence that
surrogates of organized crime groups in Mexico have now established
themselves on the East Coast of the United States, and for the first
time, virtually dominate the nationwide drug trade.

Statistics tell part of the story. From 1994 to 1998, Mexican citizens
detained by U.S. authorities at the Southwest Border in connection
with drug seizures increased dramatically from 594 in 1994 to 4,036 in
the first ten months of 1998. DEA arrests of Mexican nationals within
the United States increased 65% between 1993 and 1997. Most of these
arrests took place in cities that average Americans would not expect
to be targeted by international drug syndicates in Mexico -- cities
such as Des Moines, Iowa, Greensboro, North Carolina, Yakima,
Washington, and New Rochelle, New York.

The damage that these traffickers have caused to the United States is
enormous. Cities and rural areas from the east coast to the west are
living with the havoc and erosion of stability that these individuals
and organizations have caused. By understanding how organized crime
groups in Mexico have infiltrated communities here, it is helpful to
examine their role in the distribution of cocaine, and in the
production, trafficking and distribution of heroin, marijuana and

Approximately two-thirds of the cocaine available in the United States
comes over the U.S.-Mexico border. Typically, large cocaine shipments
are transported from Colombia via commercial shipping and "go fast"
boats and off-loaded in Mexican port cities. The cocaine is
transported through Mexico, usually by trucks, where it is warehoused
in cities like Guadalajara or Juarez, for example, which are operating
bases for the major organizations. Cocaine loads are then driven
across the U.S.-Mexican border and taken to major distribution centers
within the U.S., such as Los Angeles, Chicago or Phoenix. Surrogates
of the major drug lords wait for instructions, often provided over
encrypted communications devices -- phones, faxes, pagers or computers
-- telling them where to warehouse smaller loads, who to contact for
transportation services, and who to return the eventual profits to.
Individuals sent to the United States from Mexico, often here
illegally, contract with U.S. trucking establishments to move loads
across the country. Once the loads arrive in an area which is close to
the eventual terminal point, safehouses are established for workers
who watch over the cocaine supplies and arrange for it to be
distributed by wholesale dealers within the vicinity. These
distributors have traditionally been Colombian nationals or
individuals from the Dominican Republic, but recently, DEA has
evidence that Mexican nationals are directly involved in cocaine
distribution in New York City.

A recent DEA case illustrated just how broad-based and well-organized
and efficient traffickers from Mexico have become in the cocaine
trade. The operation targeted a Mexicali-based transportation and
distribution organization associated with the Arellano-Felix
organization. They arranged for the shipment of ton quantities of
cocaine from Mexico, operating from safe locations in Tijuana and
Mexicali, Mexico. They delivered multi-ton amounts of cocaine to
Mexican and Colombian traffickers in Los Angeles, Tucson, Chicago,
Detroit, New York and Greensboro, North Carolina. The investigation
ended this past summer with the seizure of 3,500 kilograms of cocaine,
$15 million and the arrest of 55 defendants. Additional documentary
evidence that was discovered as part of this investigation revealed
that one facet of this trafficking organization had distributed
approximately 7 tons of cocaine and returned $90 million dollars to
Mexico within a 90-day time frame.

Methamphetamine trafficking works in a similar fashion, with major
organized crime groups in Mexico obtaining the precursor chemicals
necessary for methamphetamine production from sources in other
countries, such as China and India, as well as from "rogue" chemical
suppliers in the United States. "Super" methamphetamine labs, capable
of producing hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine on a weekly basis,
are established in Mexico or in California, where the methamphetamine
is provided to traffickers to distribute across the United States. It
is common now to find hundreds of traffickers from Mexico, again, most
of them illegal aliens, established in communities like Boise, Des
Moines, Omaha, Charlotte and Kansas City, distributing multi-pound
quantities of methamphetamine.

The impact of methamphetamine on numerous communities has been
devastating. In Iowa, health experts have expressed grave concerns
over the 4000 infants affected by drugs, ninety-percent of which were
exposed to methamphetamine. An expert associated with Marshall County
Iowa's Juvenile Court Services estimated in 1998 that one-third of the
1,600 students at Marshalltown High School have tried methamphetamine.

The public safety is also affected by methamphetamine production.
There have been numerous incidents where children have been injured or
killed by explosions and fires resulting from their parents'
methamphetamine cooking. In a major DEA case, a working
methamphetamine lab established by traffickers from Mexico was
discovered in an equestrian center where children were taking riding
lessons. In another case investigated by the DEA, an operational
methamphetamine lab, capable of producing 180 pounds of
methamphetamine, was discovered within a thousand feet of a junior
high school.

Just two weeks ago, the DEA office in Fresno, working with the
California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, discovered working
methamphetamine laboratories in Squaw Valley and Fresno. Six Mexican
nationals were arrested, only one of whom was in the United States
legally. Over 46 pounds of methamphetamine were seized, and we learned
that the ultimate destinations for the methamphetamine were Oregon,
Washington and states in the midwest.

Heroin from Mexico now represents 14% of the heroin seized in the
United States, and it is estimated that organized crime figures in
Mexico produced 6 metric tons of heroin last year. A current study
being conducted by DEA indicates that as much as 29% of the heroin
being used in the U.S. is being smuggled in by the Mexico-based
organized crime syndicates. Mexican "black tar" heroin is produced in
Mexico, and transported over the border in cars and trucks. Like
cocaine and methamphetamine, it is trafficked by associates of the
organized criminal groups in Mexico, and provided to dealers and users
in the southwest, northwest, midwest areas of the United States. At
one time it was commonplace for couriers to carry two pounds or so of
heroin into the United States; recently, quantities of heroin seized
from individuals has increased as is evidenced by larger seizures in a
number of towns in Texas. This heroin is extremely potent, and its use
has resulted in a significant number of deaths, including the deaths
of 25 individuals in Plano, Texas in the last 18 months.

Mexican black tar heroin is also common in the Pacific Northwest. Last
January, officers from the California Highway Patrol working near
Sacramento, stopped a speeding car driven by a sixteen year old
Mexican national. He and a passenger were from Michoacan, Mexico. A
search of the car yielded six kilogram packages of Mexican black tar
heroin intended for distribution in Yakima, Washington.

Seattle, Washington has suffered from a dramatic increase in heroin
overdose deaths. According to health experts, heroin deaths increased
in 1998 to a total of 138. This figure represents triple the number of
heroin deaths in Seattle during the 1980's. Experts also estimate that
there are 20,000 heroin addicts in Seattle and the surrounding area.
Traffickers from Mexico use the I-5 highway to bring their product to
cities and suburbs in Washington State.

Marijuana from Mexico dominates the U.S. import market. Seizures of
Mexican marijuana have increased from 102 metric tons in 1991 to 742
metric tons in 1998. Marijuana organizations from Mexico are very
powerful and violent. In some places, traffickers from Mexico have
established growing operations within the United States. In a recent
case in Idaho, the DEA Boise office, working with other Federal, state
and local law enforcement, arrested a group of illegal aliens from
Zacatecas, Mexico. 114,000 marijuana plants, weighing almost 20 tons,
were seized. This operation represented the largest marijuana seizure
ever in Idaho.

It is important to note that although many of the transactions
relating to the drug trade take place on U.S. soil, the major
international organized crime bosses headquartered in Mexico direct
the details of their multi-billion dollar business step by step. They
are responsible not only for the business decisions being made, but
ultimately for the devastation that too many American communities have
suffered as a result of the influx of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin
and marijuana.

Violence Associated with Traffickers from Mexico in the United States

Organized crime groups from Mexico rely on violence as an essential
tool of the trade. Much of the drug-related violence which has become
commonplace in Mexico has spilled over to communities within the
United States. Listed below are a few examples of recent violence
committed by traffickers associated with major organized criminal
groups in Mexico. Many of these acts of violence have been aimed at
U.S. law enforcement personnel working along the Southwest Border.
Since September 1996, DEA has recorded 141 threats or violent
incidents against U.S. law enforcement personnel, their Mexican
counterparts, public officials, or informants in Mexico or on the
Southwest Border. Of this number, 93 were received between March 1997
and January 14, 1999.

-- The international border separating Cochise County, Arizona and the
State of Sonora, Mexico, has developed into a most hazardous area for
law enforcement officers operating on the Arizona border. The
traffickers in this area are bold and confident and less hesitant to
confront law enforcement officers. Since 1992, there have been 23
documented assaults and threats against law enforcement officers in
the border area of Cochise County.

-- The El Paso Intelligence Center reports that from January 1998
through November 1998, there have been a total of 54 incidences of
violence or threats against both USG and GOM law enforcement officials
and their sources of information along the Southwest border. During
1998, a relatively new trend involving armed attacks by Mexican
traffickers on U.S. law enforcement officers continued with fatal
consequences. Over the last two years, there have been many reports by
U.S. law enforcement officials of gun battles between Mexican drug
traffickers and U.S. law enforcement officials stationed along the
border. These armed encounters always developed during the drug
traffickers' attempts to avoid arrest while fleeing back to Mexico.
Increasingly, these attacks have become more brazen and have resulted
in fatalities.

-- On June 3, 1998, along the Mexican border near Nogales, Arizona two
miles north of the border, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Alexander Kirpnick
and a fellow agent were attempting to arrest five Mexican males who
were transporting marijuana north across the border when he was shot
and killed. The suspect responsible for the murder of USBP Agent
Kirpnick was later apprehended and confessed to the murder. The
suspect is a member of a marijuana smuggling organization based in
Mexico. He has been extradited to the United States and this action is
much appreciated by law enforcement.

-- On June 6, 1998, U.S. Customs Service agents were assaulted by drug
traffickers when attempting to stop a vehicle they observed entering
the U.S. illegally at the Naco, Arizona Port of Entry. Several shots
were exchanged between the vehicle fleeing back to Mexico and the
pursuing agents. No law enforcement officers were injured and
approximately 1,000 pounds of marijuana was recovered from the
abandoned vehicle.

-- U.S. Border Patrol Agents were threatened in August, 1998 as they
attempted to stop a pick-up truck approximately one mile northwest of
San Luis, Arizona. As the vehicle was stopped, four suspects fled from
the vehicle towards the Colorado River/Mexican border. As Border
Patrol agents gave chase on foot, one suspect reportedly pointed an
Uzi-type automatic weapon towards the agents. All suspects were able
to escape into Mexico. No USBP agents were injured. During a search of
the suspect truck, Border Patrol agents discovered marijuana concealed
in the bed of the vehicle.

-- On December 27, 1998, Mexican law enforcement officials, Eleazar
Hernandez-Pena and Joel Raul Rodriguez-Hernandez were abducted from
the streets of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, reportedly by a group of
at least ten armed men. On January 8, 1999, the bodies of Hernandez
and Rodriguez were found in a sand pit on U.S. soil, in an area of
Brownsville, Texas which is a notorious corridor for alien and drug
smuggling. Both men appeared to have been tortured before being
executed. Hernandez is a former Matamoras commander for the INCD, the
former federal agency that was disbanded due to systemic corruption.
He was reportedly a close associate of a Mexican trafficker from the
Matamoros area. Rodriguez, a nephew of Hernandez, was an active
official of the Federal Judicial Police (PJF), although he is not
documented as being associated with drug trafficking.

The American Experience with Organized Crime

The United States' experience with organized criminal activity
provides some useful parallels to the situation we are currently
facing as we deal with international organized criminal drug
trafficking syndicates based in Mexican cities. Since the 1950's,
American law enforcement, and the American public began to understand
how organized crime groups operating in the United States used
violence, intimidation and corruption to achieve their ends. During
the 1963 Senate hearings conducted by Senator McClellan, and later in
the 1986 report of the President's Commission on Organized Crime, it
was obvious that organized crime could not flourish in America without
the collaboration of corrupted law enforcement officials who protected
the criminals and condoned their criminal activities. The 1986 report
states that: "Corruption is the central tool of the criminal
protectors. The criminal group relies on a network of corrupt
officials to protect the group from the criminal justice system. The
success of organized crime is dependent upon this buffer, which helps
to protect the criminal group from both civil and criminal government

Through our long history with organized crime, it was also apparent
that violence and the threat of violence were essential tools of these
criminal organizations. The 1986 Presidential report also noted that:
"Both are used as means of control and protection against members of
the group who violate their commitment and those outside the group to
protect it and maximize its power. Members were expected to commit,
condone or authorize violent acts."

Under the leadership of Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the 1960's,
the U.S. Government launched a major attack on organized crime through
a series of important measures, including toughening laws, providing
law enforcement with essential tools such as wiretap investigations,
and establishing multi-jurisdictional law enforcement approaches to
ensure that organized criminal groups could not find safehavens
anywhere in the United States. Through diligent and consistent law
enforcement actions, American organized crime has for all intents and
purposes, been reduced to a shadow of its former self. It is important
to note that it took U.S. law enforcement several decades to eliminate
the once-powerful American organized criminal groups, whose existence
was denied until 1957.

While there are major parallels between American organized crime and
today's international organized criminal groups based in Colombia and
Mexico, there are some important differences. Even at the zenith of
their power, American organized crime leaders did not wield the power
and influence that the international drug trafficking organizations do
at the current time. Unlike the American organized crime leaders,
organized crime figures in Mexico have at their disposal an army of
personnel, an arsenal of weapons and the finest technology that money
can buy. They literally run transportation and financial empires, and
an insight into how they conduct their day-to-day business leads even
the casual observer to the conclusion that the United States is facing
a threat of unprecedented proportions and gravity.

Organized Criminal Drug Trafficking Syndicates Based in Mexico

In my view, the Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations operating
today are a perfect model for the description of organized crime that
was offered in the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and
Justice in 1967: "a society that seeks to operate outside the control
of the American people and their Government. It Involves thousands of
criminals working within structures as large as those of any

A brief review of how these organized crime groups rose to power
testifies to their adaptability and ruthlessness, two traits essential
to their success. Traffickers from Mexico have traditionally been
poly-drug smugglers, operating heroin and marijuana distribution
organizations in the midwest and southwest regions of the United
States. After a sustained period of intense law enforcement pressure
during the 1980's, cocaine traffickers from Colombia entered a
partnership with drug traffickers in Mexico who agreed to transport
loads of cocaine into the United States, thus insulating Colombian
traffickers from law enforcement attention. Eventually, traffickers
from Mexico demanded payment in cocaine, rather than cash, from their
sources in Colombia, and then assumed a direct trafficking role which
they retain today. After the incarceration of the leaders of the Cali
criminal group in 1995 and 1996, traffickers based in Mexico assumed
positions of major suppliers of cocaine in numerous U.S. cities.
Additionally, Mexico-based traffickers also began producing
methamphetamine on a very large scale, establishing production
facilities in Mexico and California.

The organizations based in Mexico work much the same way that their
predecessors and mentors from Cali worked over the years. By
maintaining their headquarters in foreign countries, and by conducting
all the details of their business in a protected environment, the
heads of organized criminal drug trafficking organizations in Mexico
have been able to avoid arrest in the United States. Like their Cali
counterparts, Mexico-based traffickers have developed an intricate
system of cells within the United States through which the day-to-day
operations in the U.S. are carried out.

Thousands of employees within the U.S., many of them here illegally,
are responsible for transporting and storing drugs, distributing and,
in some cases, manufacturing the product, and returning the
organizations' profits to Mexico and Colombia.

The Arellano Felix Organization

The Arellano-Felix Organization (AFO) remains one of the most
powerful, aggressive and arguably the most violent of the drug
trafficking organizations in Mexico. From strongholds in Tijuana and
Mexicali, the AFO orchestrates the transportation, importation, and
distribution of multi-ton quantities of cocaine, marijuana and large
quantities of heroin and methamphetamine into the U.S. Violence,
intimidation and corruption are the AFO trademarks. Utilizing these
"tools of the trade," the AFO has developed an internal security
apparatus to ensure not only the loyalty of fellow AFO members, but
also to ensure compliance by non-AFO traffickers operating in Baja
California corridor. Reportedly, in addition to being responsible for
the murder and intimidation of numerous informants, Mexican law
enforcement officials, rival drug traffickers and innocent citizens,
the AFO's aggression has also crossed over the border into the U.S.

The Arellano-Felix family, headed by Benjamin, has evolved into one of
Mexico's most powerful criminal drug enterprises responsible for
smuggling multi-ton quantities of drugs yearly. While Benjamin manages
this multi-million dollar business, his brother Ramon heads
security-related operations. His functions include the recruitment of
enforcers and killers from the streets of San Diego, such as the
"Logan Calle 30" street gang, as well as Tijuana's affluent youth,
known as the "Narco Juniors" and "Los Culiches", a group of prominent
AFO assassins with roots in Culiacan, Sinaloa. For his notoriety,
Ramon has been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list since September 1997.

The AFO's cocaine and marijuana distribution network has expanded to
U.S. cities in the mid-west and the East coast during recent years. A
recent DEA investigation revealed that a single AFO cell group based
in Los Angeles, California was responsible for the distribution of
cocaine in over 14 cities throughout the U.S. During raids executed in
June 1998, the manager of this cell, Jorge Castro, and five of his
associates were arrested by DEA in Los Angeles. These arrests followed
the nationwide seizures of 3,500 kilograms of cocaine, $15 million
USD, and the arrest of 55 organizational members. Beyond Mexico, the
AFO has extended its ever growing sphere of influence into source
countries in South America such as Colombia and Peru, as well as
transhipment countries such as Panama.

In spite of existing U.S. warrants, Government of Mexico indictments
and actionable investigative leads being provided to the GOM by US law
enforcement, limited enforcement action has taken place within the
last year against the AFO. The problem as it relates to the AFO is a
consistent lack of success in gaining evidence, locating those already
indicted, and arresting any major figures. The few arrests to date
have not included the leaders and command structure of the AFO
syndicate. The truly significant principals have not been arrested,
and appear to be immune to any law enforcement efforts. Additionally,
the DEA requested the Mexican Government's assistance in apprehending
another GOM and U.S. target, however, law enforcement officials told
U.S. investigators that it would be difficult to apprehend this
individual because he was too dangerous to pursue due to the number of
bodyguards and corrupt law enforcement officials he employs.

In addition to this lack of effort or willingness on the part of law
enforcement in Mexico to target the leaders of the AFO is the lack of
prosecution or extradition for those that have been arrested. Despite
numerous promises, the extradition case of Arturo Paez-Martinez, an
AFO lieutenant, languishes on appeal in Mexico. Additionally, in an
effort to assist law enforcement in Mexico, on May 8, 1998, AFO
Associate Oscar Compillo-Valles was extradited from the U.S. to
Mexico, for his involvement in the conspiracy to off-load 17 tons of
cocaine in La Paz, Baja California Sur, in November 1995. Compillo was
sent from San Diego, California to Almoloya high security prison in
Mexico City for only a few days, before being released by a Mexican
judge in Toluca, Mexico for "lack of evidence" linking him to the
indictment in Mexico.

News Accounts, as well as sources of information for U.S. law
enforcement, indicate that an estimated one million dollars per week
is paid to Mexican federal, state and local officials to ensure the
continuous flow of drugs to gateway cities along the Southwestern
border of the U.S.

The Carrillo Fuentes Organization (CFO)

The remnants of the Carrillo-Fuentes Organization (CFO) continue to be
one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations operating in
the Republic of Mexico, despite the untimely death of its leader,
Amado Carrillo-Fuentes, in July 1997. The CFO has maintained its
influence in drug smuggling operations throughout Mexico and the
United States. Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes, brother of Amado, is now
considered the leader of the CFO, or Juarez cartel. Intelligence
sources indicate that Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes now oversees cartel
operations, in association with regional managers who were loyal to
the cartel before Amado's death. Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes is wanted in
Mexico and is under indictment in the Western District of Texas in the
United States for operating a Continuing Criminal Enterprise.
Unfortunately, he has not been located or arrested.

In January 1998, the Government of Mexico secured arrest warrants
against 65 members of the CFO under the 1996 Mexican new Organized
Crime Law. Further, in March 1998, the Mexican Government announced a
reward offer for the capture of six of the Juarez cartel main leaders.
However, since the issuance of these arrest warrants, no significant
cartel manager has been apprehended. Arrests have been limited to
lower-to mid-level organizational members. U.S. law enforcement and
Mexican investigations indicate that the Yucatan peninsula has become
the gateway for drugs transiting Mexico en route to the United States
by the Juarez cartel. Intelligence gained in these investigations
shows that Alcides Ramon-Magana, "El Metro," and other former CFO
associates have become increasingly powerful within the cartel and now
controls the resort area of Cancun, Mexico. Due to increased cocaine
trafficking in Cancun, the Government of Mexico has focused recent
investigative efforts there. In June 1998, Mexican authorities
conducted a series of raids in Cancun, which led to the seizure of
documents that corroborated the fact that this organization was
transporting multi-ton quantities of cocaine via Mexico to various
U.S. cities. One of the documents seized was a faxed copy of a
criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court and made by a New
York City detective assigned to the DEA New York Task Force. The
complaint outlines three seizures of cocaine totaling 1,892 kilograms,
and the arrest of four Mexican nationals which occurred in the New
York area in February and March of 1997. These documents illustrate
the magnitude of the Juarez cartel operations and their impact on the
United States.

Despite the Mexican Government's counterdrug efforts in the Yucatan
area, the organizational leaders have yet to be apprehended.
Additionally, on more than one occasion, officials observed Ramon
Magana and other significant cartel members, but failed to take any
type of enforcement action against them. Information also indicates
that Ramon Magana has gained strength by corrupting numerous police,
military and political officials at various levels.

Despite the death of Amado Carrillo-Fuentes in July 1997, his
organization has continued to flourish. This organization's drug
shipments to the U.S. continue unabated under the leadership of his
brother, Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes. The proximity of cities such as
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and Reynosa, Mexico to the United States allows
the CFO command structure to maintain a "hands on" approach in
conducting cross border operations. Lower-echelon members travel back
and forth between Mexico and the U.S., while the leaders rarely
venture into the U.S., preferring the sanctuary that Mexico provides.
The CFO controls a significant portion of cocaine through Mexico into
the U.S. This organization continues to maintain drug transportation
and distribution cells in U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Houston,
Chicago and New York, with which it distributes its cocaine, or
delivers the drug shipments to Colombian groups operating in the U.S.

Caro-Quintero Organization

Miguel Angel Caro-Quintero became the head of the Caro-Quintero
organization after the 1985 imprisonment of his brother, Rafael
Caro-Quintero, on drug violations and his involvement in the murder of
Special Agent Enrique Camarena. In 1992, MCQ was charged in Mexico
with Federal drug trafficking violations. This prosecution was to be
conducted under the Article Four provision of the Mutual Legal
Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which allows the Government of Mexico to
prosecute Mexican nationals in Mexico for violations occurring outside
of Mexico. After the U.S. Department of Justice provided the Mexican
Government with valuable evidence to prosecute their case, it is
alleged that Miguel Caro-Qunitero was able to use a combination of
threats and bribes to have his charges dismissed by a Mexican Federal
Judge in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Since thwarting the prosecution
in 1992, he has operated freely throughout northwestern Mexico, and
runs his drug smuggling activities from Caborca, Sonora, Mexico. U.S.
investigations have corroborated the fact that Miguel Caro-Quintero
collaborates with some Mexican law enforcement officials as evidenced
by photographs which have shown him meeting with police officials at
his residence.

Miguel Caro-Quintero's actions over the past several years indicate
that he apparently fears no repercussions from law enforcement in
Mexico. In May 1996, during the 14th International Drug Enforcement
Conference (IDEC) in Mexico City, Caro-Quintero was identified as one
of several major drug traffickers in Mexico. Shortly thereafter, he
called a local radio station to complain that his reputation was being
tarnished. He then reportedly gave his address and invited law
enforcement officials from Mexico and the U.S. to visit him.
Furthermore, in February, 1997 he granted an hour long interview with
the Washington Post during which he claimed to be an innocent rancher.
In the article he said "every day, I pass by road blocks, police,
soldiers, and there are no problems. How can they not find me? Because
they are not looking for me."

Miguel Caro-Quintero controls the areas of Caborca, Sonora, Mexico,
and works in conjunction with his brothers, Jorge and Genaro
Caro-Quintero, and his sisters Maria Del Carmen Caro-Quintero and
Blanca Lili Caro-Quintero. The organization also has strong ties in
Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico where two of Miguel's sisters, Melida Caro
de Arce and Maria Manuela Caro de Sesteaga, reside with their
husbands, who also participate in the activities of the MCQ
Organization. The Caro-Quintero organization cultivates cannabis
throughout Mexico, and smuggles marijuana, heroin and cocaine from
Mexico into the U.S. To date Miguel Caro-Quintero has not been

The Amezcua-Contreras Organization

Prior to their arrest by the Government of Mexico, the
Amezcua-Contreras brothers operated from Guadalajara, Mexico, and
managed a methamphetamine production and trafficking organization with
global dimensions. The organization was directed by Jesus Amezcua, and
supported by his brothers, Adan and Luis. During the height of the
organizations existence, the Amezcua drug trafficking organization was
considered one of the world's largest smugglers of ephedrine and
clandestine producers of methamphetamine. Information developed by
U.S. and GOM investigations indicate that the Amezcua organization
obtained large quantities of the precursor ephedrine, utilizing
contacts in Thailand and India, which they supplied to methamphetamine
laboratories in Mexico and the U.S. The organization utilized trusted
associates in the U.S. to distribute ephedrine to Mexican
methamphetamine traffickers operating in the U.S. The Amezcua brothers
were also known to supply methamphetamine to the Tijuana Cartel run by
the Arellano-Felix Organization.

Because of their direct impact on the United States, DEA financially
supported the Government of Mexico's investigation in Guadalajara for
over three years. As a result of this investigation, in January 1998,
the Mexican Attorney General's office issued a warrant for the arrests
of 17 members of the Amezcua Organization on charges of Organized
Criminal Activity, and Operating with Resources from Illicit Gains.
Mexican arrest warrants were issued for Luis, Jesus, and Adan Amezcua
and several Amezcua family members. Following the arrest warrants, 103
properties belonging to various members of the Amezcua Organization
were reportedly seized by Mexican authorities.

On June 1, 1998, Jesus and Luis Amezcua were arrested by Government of
Mexico officials for Organized Criminal Activity and Operating with
Resources from Illicit Gains. This was an important step on the part
of the Mexican Government. However, no drug charges were ever filed
against Luis and Jesus by the Government. Following their arrest, by
October 1998, all criminal charges were dismissed against Jesus and
Luis by a Guadalajara judge. The Government of Mexico re-arrested
Jesus and Luis Amezcua on the USG Provisional Arrest Warrants. These
warrants are based on the June 1998 indictment originating from the
Southern District of California which charges Jesus and Luis Amezcua
with operating a Continuing Criminal Enterprise to Manufacture and
Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess Ephedrine.

The Government of Mexico's efforts against the Amezcua brothers are
noteworthy and they should be commended. It is essential that the
progress in this case be followed up with extradition to the United
States. Despite lengthy and expensive investigations, there are no
existing prosecutable cases in Mexico.

The ultimate success of the commitment to the prosecution of the
Amezcua brothers will be the extradition of these criminals to the
United States to face the pending federal indictments. To date, the
Mexican Foreign Ministry has approved the extradition of Jesus Amezcua
but has yet to rule on Luis Amezcua. The Amezcua brothers have filed
appeals in Mexican courts fighting the extradition order and this
matter will most likely be a lengthy process with an uncertain result.

What is Required to Deal with Mexico-Based Organized Crime Syndicates
that Commit Massive Criminal Activity in the United States

As our nation learned during the long reign of the American mafia, it
is imperative to have strong institutions in place to minimize the
damage that organized crime can inflict on a society. Aggressive,
honest law enforcement, sophisticated legal tools and the will to
mount a sustained attack against organized crime are essential to
combat organized crime. History has taught us that organized crime
groups depend on an environment of corruption and intimidation to
thrive. Until the environment is changed -- as it was in the United
States, Italy and Colombia when the Colombian National Police emerged
victorious in their long-term campaign against the Cali mafia --
leaders of organized criminal drug trafficking syndicates are able to
insinuate themselves into national institutions, and damage the
foundations of any society they target.

There are numerous conditions in Mexico today that, unfortunately,
have allowed the organized criminal drug trafficking syndicates to
grow even stronger than I predicted a few years ago. It is almost as
if members of the Arellano Felix, Amado Carrillo-Fuentes,
Caro-Quintero and Amezcua organizations have little to fear except the
slim possibility that they will be extradited to the United States to
face justice at the hands of a jury of their victims' peers. Because
there is little effective law enforcement activity leading to the
arrest of major traffickers in Mexico, investigations have been
compromised in some cases, U.S. law enforcement must be and has been
more aggressive in identifying, targeting and arresting the highest
level drug traffickers who are working in the U.S. at the behest of
Mexican drug lords and their Colombian counterparts.

The U.S. was successful in attacking organized crime over a period
which spanned several decades. This was done through a committed
effort to professionalize law enforcement organizations and ensure
that corrupt officials were weeded out; passing and enforcing laws
which allowed us to mount effective investigations; and working
closely with other governments, where necessary, to ensure that there
were no safehavens for the heads of these criminal organizations.

Although I am not an expert on other nations, I am an expert on
organized crime and know what is required to improve the dangerous
environment we face today. If the Government and people of Mexico are
to be successful in their efforts to eliminate organized crime from
Mexico, it will take time, and many changes need to be made in law
enforcement institutions in order to ensure that the rule of law is
paramount in their struggle against these criminals. As I have said on
past occasions, law enforcement reforms can take many years, and even
under the best of circumstances, such change can be exceedingly slow.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recognizes the contributions that
have been made by the Government of Mexico to this difficult struggle.
The arrest of the Amezcua brothers is a good indication that action
can and will be taken against the heads of the major organizations in
Mexico. DEA was also initially optimistic about the prospects for
long-term change after the arrest of General Rebollo in 1997, and the
subsequent establishment of mechanisms within the law enforcement
infrastructure, such as Binational Task Forces and the vetted unit
program. We supported these programs financially and with other
resources in the hope that our efforts would result in a successful
attack against the drug lords who are creating so much damage to the
citizens and communities within the United States. However, continuing
reports of corruption and the rapidly growing power and influence of
the major organized criminal groups in Mexico cause us great concern
about the long-term prospects for success.

In February 1997, General Gutierrez Rebollo, the Director General of
DEA's chief counterpart agency in Mexico, the INCD, was arrested for
collusion with top echelon Mexican traffickers. As a result, the INCD
was completely disbanded. At that time, we believed that with the
dissolution of the INCD, and the subsequent creation of the elite
FEADS and the vetted unit program, a new era of successful
investigations between the U.S. and Mexican Governments would emerge.
We worked diligently to train and equip these elite vetted units in
support of the new Government of Mexico's counter-narcotics
initiative. Accordingly, to date, DEA and the FBI have conducted 539
polygraph examinations of FEADS personnel which has resulted in 343
FEADS personnel being vetted under U.S. standards. DEA and the FBI
working together have provided training in the U.S. for 176 vetted
agents and prosecutors during five separate four-week schools. As of
this date, 70 of these vetted and trained personnel have been assigned
to the eleven vetted units in Mexico. In our attempt to improve
cooperation and successful apprehensions, DEA has invested $4.5
million in these programs.

However, because of recent allegations of corruption involving vetted
unit personnel, the ability of U.S. law enforcement agencies to share
sensitive information with these officials has again been adversely
affected. Future attempts to share information and sensitive
investigative information will depend on elimination of corruption in
these key law enforcement units.

In 1997, we entered into a joint agreement between the DEA, FBI, U.S.
Customs and federal law enforcement in Mexico to establish joint
binational task forces. Because we could not provide the U.S.-based
agents appropriate physical and legal protections, this concept has
been disbanded. In place of that program, the Government of Mexico has
set up unilateral programs called BIU's. The Base Intelligence Units
(BIUs) operate in nine locations throughout Mexico. The BIUs were
originally envisioned and created to identify, investigate and arrest
leaders and members of major drug trafficking organizations operating
on both sides of the U.S. and Mexican border. In an effort to assist
these units, DEA has provided extensive funding from our budget for
screening and equipment. In addition, as a further attempt to improve
cooperation, we have offered to make space available at our key border
offices to improve joint investigations.

The BIU's achievements in attaining investigative goals to date have
been minimal. Although the original purposes of these units was to
target the major traffickers -- Arellano-Felix and Amado Carillo
Fuentes -- there has yet to be a successful investigation or arrest.
Several of the BIUs collected useful intelligence information against
the Amezcua-Contreras methamphetamine trafficking organization, but
unfortunately all of the charges in Mexico were dismissed for

The Organized Crime Units' Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU) was
created with a similar mission in mind: to identify, investigate and
arrest leaders and members of the major drug trafficking organizations
operating throughout Mexico. Although the SIU was one of the first
counter-narcotics units to conduct court-authorized telephone
intercepts under the new Organized Crime Law, there has been little
success. The discovery during the last several months that significant
drug-related corruption existed among law enforcement officials
working in Mexico's OCU and SIU has been a major setback. These
allegations of corruption were further corroborated during recent
polygraph examinations which reflected deception on the part of the
OCU and SIU members. Such corruption has damaged drug investigations
in which the DEA provided support to the vetted units. This represents
a serious setback to the vision of rebuilding the counter-narcotics
units from the defunct units of the past, and causes great concern for
the sharing of sensitive law enforcement information.

Anti-Corruption Initiatives: The ability of any government to attack
powerful criminal organizations is dependent upon the existence of
honest, dedicated law enforcement professionals. To attain this goal,
meaningful anti-corruption initiatives which lead to sound criminal
investigations and prosecutions of corrupt officials must be
aggressively pursued. Only when implementation of these measures
results in widespread behavioral changes can success be realized by a
honest cadre of law enforcement officials against the major Mexican
drug trafficking mafias.

Last year we were hopeful that a number of integrity assurance
programs initiated in concert with law enforcement officials in Mexico
would improve our ability to share information. In fairness, we also
recognized that this was a difficult undertaking and would require a
substantial period of time. Regretfully, when it became known that
high level officials of the vetted Organized Crime Unit were
associated with key lieutenants of one of Mexico's most powerful drug
trafficking organizations, the Carrillo Fuentes Organization, it was a
major setback for our efforts.

Examples of corruption include:

-- In June 1998, four MFJP agents were arrested near Reynosa,
Tamaulipas after they were found to be protecting tractor trailer
loads of marijuana destined for the U.S. The agents admitted to
providing protection to a Mexico-based drug syndicate responsible for
the importation of approximately 10 tons of marijuana per week.

-- Drug trafficking suspects arrested and held under the custody of
law enforcement officers are frequently able to secure their release
by paying a bribe. One illustrative case occurred on October 11, 1998,
when two elite FEADS agents allowed major trafficker, Gilberto
Garza-Garcia, an associate of Alcides Ramon-Magana, to escape from
their custody for an alleged pay off of $38,000 USD. He has
subsequently been arrested due to the continuing efforts of the PGR
and the Mexican Military.

-- In February, 1998, a FEADS commandante in Juarez, Mexico, was
removed from his position as the lead investigator for the murders and
kidnappings surrounding the drug war that erupted between rival groups
following the death of Amado Carillo Fuentes. The commandante was
arrested after GOM officials learned that he was associated with
Rafael Munoz Talavera, the leader of one of the drug syndicates he was
sent to investigate.

-- During February, 1998 Fernando Gastellum-Lara, Chief of Public
Safety for the State of Baja, California Sur, Mexico was arrested by
PGR officials. His arrest stemmed from his involvement in the
November, 1995 importation of 17 tons of cocaine just north of Cabo
San Lucas, belonging to the Arellano-Felix organization. During the
offload of the 17 tons of cocaine from an aircraft, Gastellum-Lara and
three other police officials provided security to the traffickers.
Gastellum-Lara is currently on trial in Mexico for his involvement in
this operation.

In 1997, the Government of Mexico, as a result of continuing incidents
of corruption in the civilian law enforcement institutions,
transferred much of the narcotics enforcement efforts to the
Government of Mexico military. We interact only with civilian law
enforcement agencies and are not able to evaluate properly the success
of this transfer of responsibility. There are numerous reports of
drug-related corruption involving military units and at least to date,
they have not been successful in locating and arresting the leaders of
the criminal organizations.

Elimination of Violence against Law Enforcement Officials and others:
As long as an environment of intimidation and corruption exists,
traffickers are able to prevent effective law enforcement efforts,
silence witnesses and exact revenge on rivals and sources of
information. In 1998, several incidents involving violence in Mexico
were reported.

-- Attempt on the Life of the Tijuana Police Chief: On May 17, 1998,
AFO assassins, under the direction of AFO lieutenant Efrain Perez,
attempted to kill Tijuana Police Chief, Jose Manuel Nieves-Retas.
Chief Nieves' bodyguards were able to avoid the blockade of the
assassins' vehicles and escape the potential assassination before any
shots were fired. Nieves had received four telephone threats on May
16, 1998. The threat on Nieves' life stems from a seizure of two tons
of marijuana taken from Perez, who was a lieutenant in the AFO, and
the arrest of 10 of his associates on April 7, 1998. During the arrest
of Perez's associates, several federal, state and local police
officers who were providing an armed escort to the marijuana
traffickers shot and killed a Tijuana police captain when he tried to
arrest the criminals. Subsequent to the arrests, Perez sent emissaries
to negotiate the release of the drugs and those arrested. Nieves
refused to release either.

-- Murder of Federal Transit Police Vice Commander: On July 7, 1998,
Juan Manuel Garcia-Medrano, Vice-Comandante for the Federal Transit
Police in the state of Chihuahua, was murdered in front of his house
in Ciudad Juarez. He received multiple gun shots to the body.
Witnesses stated that three young suspects waited for him in a
neighboring unoccupied residence.

-- Tamaulipas State Police Comandante Dies in House Bombing: A
bombing/explosion occurred at the Reynosa, Mexico residence of Raul
Ruiz-Guerra, a comandante of the Tamaulipas State Police stationed in
Camargo. Tamaulipas, on August 25, 1998. Comandante Ruiz died in the
bombing along with a female, presumed to be the house maid. Ruiz's
pregnant wife and young son were seriously injured. Mexican law
enforcement personnel stated that there were unconfirmed rumors that
Ruiz was murdered as a result of a 600-kilogram cocaine seizure, which
occurred approximately a month before in Mission, Texas.

-- MFJP Agents Murdered in Mexico City: On January 3, 1999, police
commander and his associate were murdered in an ambush in front of the
MFJP Headquarters in Mexico City. Jose Francisco Sanchez-Naves and one
of his MFJP associates Gerardo Valderrama-Aguilar were killed while
sitting in a PGR Suburban in front of the PGR parking lot in downtown
Mexico City. Sanchez had worked for the MFJP for many years, and as a
First Commander in MFJP offices in the States of Chihuahua, Guerrero
and Mexico, D.F. since 1995. Valderrama was identified as an Agent
assigned to the MFJP Plaza in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua and allegedly
associated to members of the CFO and supported drug trafficking

-- Officer Killed, Another Afraid for his Life, after Revealing
Corruption in PFC: On January 14, 1999, the Mexican press reported the
assassination of Mexican Highway Police (PFC) official Luis Antonio
Ibanez in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. Ibanez death came
approximately one month and a half after he had given an official
statement to PGR officials, in which Ibanez implicated his superiors
and peers within the PFC of assisting drug traffickers. Based on this
statement, it was reported that PGR officials in Mexico City had
initiated an investigation of the alleged corrupt practices of the
implicated PFC officials. Ibanez was threatened with criminal
prosecution and on November 17, 1998, and he decided to cooperate with
the investigation. He provided Internal Affairs with a six-page
statement detailing the manner in which Ibanez and his PFC associates
received bribe payments for allowing drug loads to be transported
through the State of Chihuahua, as well as providing escort services
for these loads.

-- Jaime Olvera-Olvera: Former MFJP officer and bodyguard for ACF's
children, Jaime Jose Olvera-Olvera, cooperated with the GOM, the DEA
and the FBI and was placed into the Mexican witness protection program
by the GOM. Olvera gave several lengthy and detailed statements
demonstrating his knowledge of the ACFO, exposing his involvement, as
well as implicating both civilian and military high-level officials,
which included a multi-million USD bribe payment by the ACFO for
protection from the GOM. Olvera was later kidnapped by three
unidentified assailants on September 10, 1998, in a commercial section
of a Mexico City suburb. Olvera's body was discovered in the area of
Colonia de San Angel, south of Mexico City on the following day. He
was found strangled with a cord around his neck and appeared to have
sustained a single gunshot wound to the back of his head. The location
of Olvera's body was approximately 45 yards from the site where a
previous GOM protected witness associated with the ACFO, identified as
Tomas Colsa-MacGregor, was found murdered in July 1997 subsequent to
the death of ACF.

-- The Murder of Rafael Munoz-Talavera: On September 10, 1998, Rafael
Munoz-Talavera, one of the key figures in the struggle for control of
the Juarez Cartel, was found dead. His body, with four gunshot wounds,
was found in an armored vehicle parked in central Ciudad Juarez after
police received an anonymous call. Shortly after the assassination of
Talavera, an associate stated that Talavera had been responsible for
the deaths of a number of ACFO members and that RMT had been killed
outside Ciudad Juarez and his body brought back to the city as an
indication of the power and control of the Juarez drug trafficking
corridor wielded by Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes, Juan Jose
Esparragoza-Moreno aka El Azul, and others.

-- Ciudad Juarez Deaths Escalate: Violence between drug trafficking
organizations continued to escalate in 1998. From January 1, 1998
through September 15, 1998, approximately 29 murders were carried out
in the Ciudad Juarez area. During the months of January and February
of 1998, seven persons were reported kidnaped or disappeared. All of
these incidents are believed to be drug-related, with the majority
thought to be related to a power struggle between entities wishing to
control the lucrative Juarez corridor, currently controlled by
elements of the CFO.

-- Attempted Assault on the Son of GOM official: On July 10, 1998, a
GOM official reported a threat and attempted assault on his
thirteen-year-old son. The official stated that the vehicle his son
and two armed bodyguards were riding in was blocked from moving by an
unidentified vehicle occupied by two unidentified armed men. The men
exited the vehicle and fired one shot into the vehicle occupied by his
son and bodyguards. The bodyguards returned fire and struck one of the
assailants in the upper left shoulder. Both assailants returned to
their vehicles and fled the scene. It is unknown if this was a random
act of violence, or an assassination or a botched kidnaping attempt.
The act may also be a warning as a result of recent enforcement
actions directed against drug traffickers Alcides Ramon-Magana and
Jose Albino Quintero-Meraz.

-- Ensenada Massacre: On September 17, 1998, eleven individuals
dressed in black went to Rancho Rodeo, Sauzal, Baja California Norte,
Mexico and removed 22 people from their residences at this ranch. All
22 people, including women and children were placed in a line and
executed by various caliber weapons. Of the 22 people, 20 died and two
survived, but were in serious condition. One of the two survivors,
Fermin Castro-Flores later died while hospitalized. Castro's primary
responsibility, according to a DEA investigative information, was to
steal drug loads from independent traffickers moving marijuana and
cocaine through the AFO's territory without paying for the privilege.
Investigative information also revealed that Castro guarded and
harvested small marijuana plantations in the state of Baja California

Conclusion: Organized crime groups from Mexico continue to pose a
grave threat to the citizens of the United States. In my lifetime, I
have never witnessed any group of criminals that has had such a
terrible impact on so many individuals and communities in our nation.
They have infiltrated cities and towns around the United States,
visiting upon these places addiction, misery, increased criminal
activities and increased homicides. There is no doubt that those
individuals running these organized criminal drug trafficking
syndicates today -- the Arellano Felix brothers, Vicente Carillo
Fuentes, the Amezcua brothers and the Caro Quintero family -- are
responsible for degrading the quality of life not only in towns along
the Southwest border of the United States, but increasingly, cities in
middle America.

The threat that these organized crime groups pose demands a decisive
response. U.S. law enforcement agencies are working every day to
identify and target those individuals associated with Mexico-based
trafficking organizations. Because of the unparalleled levels of
corruption within Mexican law enforcement agencies with whom we must
work to ensure that these individuals are brought to justice, our job
is made that much more difficult. Until we can work with our law
enforcement counterparts in Mexico, in a relationship that is free
from suspicion, the burden to bring the drug lords before a jury of
their victims' peers will remain largely ours.

I believe it is important to note that every day we ask thousands of
young law enforcement officers throughout the United States to risk
their lives to protect us from these vicious international criminals.
I cannot begin to list the numbers of my friends, who as Deputy
Sheriffs, troopers or agents were killed in the line of duty. When I
met with their families and loved ones, invariably they asked if this
loss was worth it. They ask if we will continue to go after those who
are responsible for this evil criminal activity. I believe it will be
difficult to assure these families that we are committed if we allow
those who are responsible for the control of this massive drug
trafficking to live in their palatial mansions with millions of
dollars in Swiss bank accounts, apparently virtually immune from
sanctions. If our commitment does not follow through on bringing these
drug lords to justice, it will be difficult to tell the survivors of
these tragedies that we are serious.

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate this opportunity to appear before the
Committee today.