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Drug trafficking extraditions from Mexico continue

Posted on May 24, 2010 3:00 AM EST

The war on drugs continues to focus on the border between Mexico and the United States. Mexico appears to be cooperating with the federal government through numerous extraditions for defendants charged with cocaine trafficking and marijuana trafficking. Last year Mexico executed 107 extraditions of purported criminals and the Justice Department expects that number to increase in 2010. More than a dozen defendants charged with drug trafficking have been convicted in federal over the past two years. Charges have been brought in cities such as Miami, Houston, Loa Angeles and Chicago. The goal of the large number of extraditions was to curtail the inflow of drugs into the United States and curb Mexico's ongoing problem with drug related violence.

While most applaud Mexico's efforts, the increased number of extraditions have led to an increase in violent crimes as drug cartels are engaging in battles over turf. Some experts say that the rise in violent crimes is a direct result of Mexico's efforts to ship defendants to the United States to stand trial. The violent crime syndicates continue control the border through violence and intimidation. As the ringleaders are removed, the battle for control of the cartels and their territories are waged by those who to seek control of the organizations.

Until recently, Mexico did not assist the United States by extraditing these dangerous criminals. Mexico's current president, Felipe Calderon and President Obama have worked closely to change the policies. In fact, Calderon, in an effort to gain office, engaged in a campaign that included anti-drug trafficking rhetoric in an effort to get elected. He has fulfilled his promise to use the Mexican military to battle the drug trafficking cartels that operate along the border. While the federal government and Department of Justice applaud Mexico's efforts, they belief that the extradition policy has failed to break up the drug trafficking rings and reduce the amount of violence along the border.

Mexico's plan to fight the drug cartels is modeled after the plan instituted by the Columbian government. Despite the success of Columbia's anti-drug trafficking plan, thousands of kilos of cocaine still find their way onto American soil. An example of Mexico's efforts can be seen in the recent extradition to New York of a former Mexican governor. He was indicted in federal court on numerous counts of money laundering and drug trafficking. Court documents revealed that Mario Ernest Villanueva Madrid allegedly accepted millions of dollars for protecting the Juarez cartel which is responsible for trafficking in excess of 200 kilos of cocaine into the United States.

Despite the efforts of our and foreign governments, the cocaine trafficking cases filed in state and federal court do not appear to be dissipating. Miami criminal attorneys have defended large number of drug trafficking cases since the 1980's and will continue to represent clients charged with these offenses well into the future. While it is difficult to fight extraditions from foreign countries, the governments sending defendants to the United States from prosecution must follow certain procedures. Seek advice from a qualified criminal defense law firm regarding extraditions from any foreign country.

U.S. Applauds Record Extraditions from Mexico, but Drug War Violence Continues, The Washington Post, May 22, 2010.
Categories: Drug Offenses