Mexican official: CIA 'manages' drug trade
Spokesman for Chihuahua state says US agencies don't want to end drug trade, a claim denied by other Mexican officials.
Chris Arsenault Last Modified: 24 Jul 2012 14:16
Juarez, Mexico - The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces "don't fight drug traffickers", a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera, instead "they try to manage the drug trade".
Jesús Zambada Niebla, a leading trafficker from the Sinaloa cartel currently awaiting trial in Chicago, has said he was working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency during his days as a trafficker, and was promised immunity from prosecution.
"Under that agreement, the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of [Jesus Zambada's] father, Ismael Zambada and 'Chapo' Guzmán were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tonnes of illicit drugs... into... the United States, and were protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels," Zambada's lawyers wrote as part of his defence. "Indeed, the Unites States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel."
The Sinaloa cartel is Mexico's oldest and most powerful trafficking organisation, and some analysts believe security forces in the US and Mexico favour the group over its rivals.
Regardless of what position a new administration takes in order to calm the violence and restore order, it is likely many Mexicans - including government officials such as Chihuahua spokesman Guillermo Villanueva - will believe outside forces want the drug trade to continue.
Mexican official: CIA 'manages' drug trade - Features - Al Jazeera English