Maray, Anastasia O’Grady; 11/5/10
The organised-crime epidemic in Latin America, spawned by a US drug policy more than four decades in the making, seems to be leeching into US cities. Powerful underworld networks supplying gringo drug users are becoming increasingly bold about expanding their businesses. In 2008, US officials said Mexican drug cartels were serving customers in 195 US cities. The violence is only a fraction of what Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia live with every day, yet it is notable. Kidnapping rates in Phoenix, Arizona, for example, are through the roof and some spectacular murders targeting law enforcement have also grabbed headlines. While this has been happening, would-be busboys, roofers and lawn mowers from Mexico and Central America have been using the Arizona desert to get to the US because legal paths are closed and they want work.