Illegal Drug Trafficking From Mexico Generates More Money Than Walmart
Cartel business trafficking illicit drugs worth billions
The drug trafficking business between Mexico to the US is so lucrative it makes more money than Walmart makes in a year, according to Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
“Five hundred billion dollars…that makes the cartel business and the and the drug traffic just in Mexico coming across to the United States bigger than Walmart, so this is larger than our largest companies,” Perdue stated.
The drug trade in the US has now valued anywhere between $426 to $652 billion, according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
“I think we all know the drug trade in this country is really big business,” she said.
“Its reach is global; its distribution is growing; its leadership is criminal. Like any business, it adapts to market changes. Its motivation is power and profit at any costs.”
In 2018, Walmart brought in $500.34 billion net sales, Statista reported.
Both sides of the aisle agreed that the drug trafficking issue between Mexico to the U.S. is getting worse at the hearing held by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.
Chairman of the caucus, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), noted that drug-related poisoning remains the leading cause of death and injury in the U.S.
“In American alone in 2017, more than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses,” he said.
“The idea that we would somehow lose 70,000 Americans in one year alone to drug overdoses and not consider this a national emergency is really staggering,” he said.
Since 2006, Mexico has seen 150,000 people murdered from cartel violence relating to the drug trade, according to Cornyn.
“If a cartel was sending a cruise missile into Dallas, Texas and killing 70,000 people, I think our response would be a little less measured than it is today.”
According to Feinstein, nearly 5,000 died in 2017, and globally it was 450,000 lives in 2015 relating to the drug trade.
"These estimates don’t consider the lives lost due to the violence associated with this illicit trade,” she said.
This year, 22 countries have been identified as a significant transit or source countries for illicit drugs.
Over 133,000 pounds of heroin, cocaine, meth, and fentanyl were seized last year in the U.S.
In February this year, authorities in Arizona seized methamphetamine and marijuana, with an estimated street value of around $2 million, as it was stopped during an illegal crossing at the US-Mexico border.
Officials announced the major drug bust on Friday after three smugglers were arrested and two trucks loaded with narcotics were apprehended.
Cornyn added that the climactic increase in synthetic opioid-related deaths was related to fentanyl, a significant contributor.
“They’ll traffic in drugs, migrants, in human beings for sex slavery, money laundering, counterfeit goods, whatever will make them a buck,” he said.
“The groups fueling this cycle are becoming richer and growing their influence in the United States, and without intervention, their power will only grow,” he said.
“It’s not hyperbole to say we’ve reached a crisis point,” he said.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin.
Opioids were responsible for the majority of the US's 72,000 overdose deaths in 2017.
Donald Trump has called fentanyl "horror drug".
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who also testified at the State Department’s efforts to tackle the drug trade problem, said the issue was “personal” for him.
“I know many people that have been impacted by this set of issues. Just last month, there were seven Kansans who died in a ten hour period from a single overdose of cocaine laced with fentanyl,” he added.
“This is a serious matter… We all know human lives that have been touched, and families that have been ripped apart by this.”
Earlier this week, Mexico signed a deal with the United States agreeing that the government will take action against illegal immigration into the US, marking a massive victory for President Donald Trump.
The Mexican Government eventually buckled over the impending tariff hikes that were due to come into force on Monday.
President Trump announced the win late Friday, revealing that Mexico is going to take "strong measures" to end the flow of illegal immigration into the United States to avoid being hit with massive tariffs.