Mexico’s worsening drug war is now being fought in American cities.

Welcome to the new generation of urban warfighting.

But with the Mexican government’s newly pledged war on the cartels, and an explosion of violence among rival networks, a new crime dynamic is emerging: The violence that has hit Mexican border towns is spreading deeper into the United States.

New Crime Dynamic? We’re talking about gangs armed with AK-47s, RPGs and IEDs. This is not a handful of pistol-armed gangs that Americans usually associate with criminal organizations.

“Of course there is a spillover of violence into this country,” Rodriguez said. “It’s pouring across our border, and anybody can get caught up in it.”

California’s border security is better than the other states. The wall around San Diego has helped deter crossings in the region, so the crossings mostly occur across Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

The crime surge, most acute in Texas and Arizona, is fueled by a gritty drug war in Mexico that includes hostages being held in stash houses, daylight gun battles claiming innocent lives, and teenage hit men for the Mexican cartels. Shipments of narcotics and vans carrying illegal workers on U.S. highways are being hijacked by rival cartels fighting over the lucrative smuggling routes. Fires are being set in national forests to divert police.

The coyotes have turned into a major industry, specializing in drug smuggling and human trafficking. Drug smuggling has changed to accomodate new demand. Already 80% of meth used in America comes from Mexico. Congress required prescriptions for sudafed, so the black market shifted production of meth south of the border.

The LAT article goes on with many details, but it’s really a bunch of anecdotes of bad stuff happening on the border.

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