Drug violence isn’t solely exclusive to Mexico.
Puerto Rico has become a key transshipment point for illegal drugs en route from South America to mainland United States, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune. Yet, Washington has been slow to react.
“It’s not that they (should) assign us more funds than the Mexican border, it’s that they can’t ignore the flank in Puerto Rico,” Pedro Pierluisi Resident commissioner of Puerto Rico told El Nuevo Día.
On the other southern border, the island is experiencing an increasing influx in the cocaine market that proportionally raises the level of violence in Puerto Rico than in Mexico. Last year there were 26 homicides for every 100,000 Puerto Ricans vs. 18 for every 100,000 Mexicans, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.
A report released by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) indicated that cocaine confiscations increased from 3,667 kilograms in 2009 to 6,464 kilograms in 2010.
In November, federal agents speaking under condition of anonymity said that U.S. authorities are not designating sufficient resources to protect Puerto Rico’s coasts and its evasion of drug supplies, El Nuevo Dia reports. On Monday, Luis Fortuño asked the federal government for more funds.
The reason why the U.S. is stalling:
Attracting and retaining federal agents in Puerto Rico is difficult, the Washington Post reports. The local offices of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the DEA; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are severely understaffed.
Do you buy that argument?
Read it at Latin American Herald Tribune