Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

Visit Douglas Farah's
author page at

Press Releases

A Murder in Mexico
The murder of Mexico's police chief signals just how serious the Mexican drug trafficking organizations are about taking on the Mexican state. And just how weak the Mexican state is.

"This could have a snowball effect, even leading to the risk of ungovernability," Luís Astorga, a Mexico City-based sociologist and drug expert, said in an interview. "It indicates terrible things, a level of weakness in our institutions -- they can't even protect themselves."

By most accounts the police chief, Edgar Eusebio Millan Gomez, was a good cop trying to do an impossible job-fighting drug organizations that have more resources, better weapons and the ability to buy or kill those that oppose them.

President Felipe Calderon also wins high praise for sharply ratcheting up the pressure on the trafficking organizations, who have responded in the most predictable and lethal fashion-murdering high-profile symbols of the enforcement effort.

It is worth remembering that the chaos the traffickers are wreaking in Mexico is not just aimed at the Mexican state, it is also aimed at undermining the already-battered viability of our southern border. The hundreds of dead across the border states of Mexico show where the battles are being fought.

The easier it is to cross dope, weapons, illegal aliens from around the world, the higher the profits for the traffickers.

And the FARC rebels in Colombia are now in a direct business relationship with Mexican trafficking organizations, according to the recently-captured FARC documents resulting from the raid that killed rebel leader Raul Reyes.

The FARC, in turn, is allied with Nicaragua (Ortega) and Venezuela (Chavez), who in turn are allied with Iran, which in turn runs Hezbollah, which in turn is actively working to expand its beach head in Latin America.

It is not a conspiracy to see all these developments as inter-connected. As I often tell military audiences and others, every piece of the mosaic, looked at individually, is serious but not alarming. But when the tiles of the mosaic are assembled into a picture, even if the picture is a bit blurry, it is astonishing and dangerous.

The Colombians have been through this (the assassination of an attorney general and three top-tier presidential candidates in the span of three years in the 1980s), and have paid a tremendous price for taking on the cartels and criminal/political groups like the FARC. The effort, however, has paid off in the destruction or significant weakening of the groups, to the point where they no longer represent a direct challenge to the state.

Mexico is at the beginning of a cycle that will likely get worse before it gets better. The allies of the Mexican cartels are stronger and more vicious than those of the Medellin and Cali cartels in Colombia.

If the spread of these lethal armies, now controlling territory from Colombia, through Central America, up the Caribbean coast to our borders, are not understood to be a tier-one security threat-both as organized crime and terrorist operations-we will pay a very heavy price indeed.

More on the FARC Documents
Bad Omens in Latin America
Maintained by Winter Tree Media, LLC