DHS: Transnational Organized Crime, a “Devastating Threat” to the US

Transnational organized crime is “an acute and devastating threat” to the United States as it’s causing thousands of drug overdose deaths, fosters corruption and decreases citizen’s confidence in government and banks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said.

 The Homeland Threat Assessment is the first time the Department of Homeland Security has published such a report. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) The Homeland Threat Assessment is the first time the Department of Homeland Security has published such a report. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Transnational criminal organizations, TCOs, jeopardize U.S. citizen’s health, safety and national interest, says a report called Homeland Threat Assessment, HTA, published beginning of October.

“Beyond their complicity in the 71,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. last year, TCOs destabilize partner nations, decrease citizen confidence in good governance, foment corruption, and destroy confidence in the international banking system,” it says.

 It’s the first time the Department of Homeland Security has published such a report. It particularly focused on the threat of Mexican-based drug cartels on the southern border. 

 “Of the Mexico-based TCOs, the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) networks pose the greatest cross-border drug smuggling threat in the near-term,” it said. “They dominate the lucrative trafficking of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl,and methamphetamine to the United States.” 

 Mexican drug cartels have grown more and more sophisticated in recent years as they have carved out powerful empires through the illicit trade. Last week, a small plane loaded with 400 kilograms of cocaine was engaged in a high speed aerial chase by Mexican military aircrafts including jets and helicopters, before ultimately crashing in a remote part of the country.

 Mexico-based cartels pose the greatest threat because they often control territory, including the one close to the border, and “co-opt parts of government, particularly at a state and local level,” said the HTA. “Although COVID-19 has disrupted some cartel operations, their ability to move large quantities of illicit goods into and throughout the Homeland remains largely intact.”