Breitbart News reported in April 2013 on declassified Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents that detailed the business relationships between certain U.S. prison gangs and Mexican cartels. At the same time the claim of a secured border falls apart, a disturbing trend has emerged: Mexican cartels recruiting assassins among American teens, prison gangs, and the U.S. military.
The matter should come as no surprise to anyone following the Mexican cartels’ exploitation of the porous and unsecured U.S./Mexico border. Mexican cartels have been sending their own operatives into the U.S. illegally to run operations; they have begun manufacturing their own methamphetamine within American borders; likely cartel victims’ corpses have been dug up from U.S. soil as far north as Oregon; and U.S.-based prison gangs have been found to be operating as domestic foot soldiers and enforcers in the Mexican cartels’ U.S. operations.
Additionally, an alleged Mexican cartel hitman was apprehended by U.S. law enforcement and claimed to have committed over thirty murders in the U.S. for the cartels. A Mexican cartel even sent goons to kidnap a man on U.S. soil, sneak the victim back into Mexico across the Rio Grande River, and then allegedly execute the victim — even after they realized they had kidnapped an innocent man.
Children and teens from the southeast Texas border region have been found to caught in recruitment efforts from Mexican cartels, reports the U.K. Daily Mail. The publication tells the story of 24-year old Rosalio Reta, an American who committed his first murder for the Los Zetas cartel at the age of 13, along with a friend.
The question remains: How did two American teenagers become killers-for-hire for a Mexican drug cartel? Reta has spoken about his past at various times over the seven years since his arrest. His feelings about his bloody work have changed over the years, from chilling braggadocio as a 19-year-old in police interviews, to softly spoken, wet-eyed pleas for understanding in his latest interviews. Whatever Reta’s true feelings about his past are, the facts have remained consistent.
They also quote the New York Times’ reporting on the issues surrounding teens recruitment from Mexican cartels. They write:
According to a New York Times article from 2009, most of the American youths were recruited in a Nuevo Laredo disco called Eclipse, situated in the main square just across one of two bridges that connect the two Laredos.
Teenagers go there to drink and dance, but cartel members lurk there, keeping an eye out for possible recruits.
Detective Roberto Garcia of the Laredo Police Department told the New York Times, “The cartels – they just seduce you. They wave that power, that cash, the cars, the easy money. And these kids all have that romantic notion they are going to live forever.”
The issue of Mexican cartels recruiting members of prison gangs, both inside and outside prison walls, has not only been heavily covered by Breitbart News, but the Daily Beast followed suit months later in a piece titled, “Mexican Cartels Tap U.S. Prisons to Expand Operations and Draft New Talent.”
Their coverage told the personal experiences of several prisoners:
“I’m telling you, it’s like a job fair in here,” a prisoner tells Gorilla Convict Seth Ferranti.
“Gangs like Tango Blast and the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas got Houston sewed up for los Zetas,” the prisoner says. “The Zetas get them to steal cars, smuggle weapons to Mexico and start businesses to use as fronts.” The gang members, often recruited in prison, are not part of the cartel hierarchy, but instead are employed on a work-for-hire basis. By incorporating preexisting American gangs into their operations, inside and outside prisons, the cartels have increasingly made the U.S. an operational hub, not just a distribution point.
Even more troubling, Mexican cartel recruitment among members of the U.S. military was detailed by Fox News in a recent article titled, “Mexican cartels hiring US soldiers as hit men.”
Mexican cartels are recruiting hit men from the U.S. military, offering big money to highly-trained soldiers to carry out contract killings and potentially share their skills with gangsters south of the border, according to law enforcement experts.
The report details the stories of several U.S. servicemen who were involved in separate incidents of murder-for-hire in the service of Mexican cartels.
“The involvement of three American soldiers in separate incidents, including a 2009 murder that led to last week’s life sentence for a former Army private, underscore a problem the U.S. military has fought hard to address,” says FOX News. Stratfor’s Fred Burton was quoted stating:
Burton said some soldiers become corrupted by gangs after joining, while others are gang members who enlist specifically for the training they can get. “There has been a persistent gang problem in the military for the past six to eight years,” Burton said, adding that cartels greatly value trained soldiers from the U.S., Mexico and Guatemala as sicarios – hit men.