Why The Capture of the Head of World's Most Notorious Cartel Will Do Little to Stem Violence, Supply
MEXICO CITY-The Mexican navy announced late Monday it had captured Miguel Angel Treviño, the head of the infamous Zetas drug cartel, the most violent crime organization in Mexico. In recent years, the Zetas have been blamed for tens of thousands of gruesome deaths south of the border, and untold atrocities in the US. While the capture symbolizes a win for Mexican president Enrique Pena-Nieto's administration, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of cops, border patrol officials, DEA agents and other law enforcement officers opposed to the war on drugs, cautioned it would make little difference to the prosecution of the drug war.
The war on drugs is based, in part, on the idea that if law enforcement can restrict the supply of drugs, prices will rise and demand will drop. The problem is that, because of its illegal nature, drug sales remain so lucrative that the arrest of a single individual does little to nothing to affect the long-term operation of the market.
"There may be temporary interruptions in drug supply because of the arrest," said former ICE special agent Jamie Haase. "But as always happens in the drug war, any time you remove a person from an extremely lucrative position, there will be others waiting to take their place. The net result may be more violence as others rush into fill the power vacuum created by law enforcement's intervention."
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a nonprofit group of law enforcement officers who, after being on the front lines of the War on Drugs, now advocate for its end.