TSR: "...and we're left with nothing but words in the war on drugs."
August 10, 2009
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Michael talks to Wolf Blitzer after the end of the summit, where no real breakthroughs were expected nor realized.
WOLF BLITZER: At that same news conference in Mexico, the president said the U.S. will stand by Mexico in fighting the drug cartels despite allegations of human rights abuses by Mexican soldiers.
Let's go to the scene right now.
CNN's Michael Ware is watching this story for us.
The bottom line -- and you spent a lot of time, Michael, investigating -- no matter what they say, the leaders of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, can they really break these drug cartels?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly not militarily, Wolf -- or certainly not in law enforcement terms. This is not a winnable war on the streets. The power of the cartels is simply too great.
The dynamic at play here is enormous. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that runs through Mexico into the United States. The war that's being fought is primarily between rival cartels for the right to supply America's demand for the illicit drugs that the population wants.
Now, the battles on the streets are raging here in Mexico. Just last month alone, 850 Mexicans lost their lives. And President Obama says that America is prepared to stand by its partner, Mexico, but in many ways, that's all that America is doing. We've yet to see America really commit to this fight, because the fight isn't just about a border. It isn't just about building a wall. It isn't just about coyotes smuggling people in or drug traffickers penetrating U.S. territory.
The dynamic behind this entire issue is regional. It begins in the Andes, where there's production of cocaine. It moves to Central America where there's warehousing, transshipment. In Panama is the banking and the money laundering. In Mexico are the all-powerful Mexican drug cartels and the retail. And in America itself and on the streets of Canada is the distribution.
Less and less are the Mexican cartels relying on American organized crime, but are stepping in to do it themselves. And all the leaders have now gone their separate ways from this North American leaders' summit and we're left with nothing but words in the war on drugs -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It's gone on for decades. Presumably, it will continue for decades more.
Michael Ware on the scene for us.
Thank you, Michael, for your reporting.
Let's go to Jack Cafferty right now.
He's got "The Cafferty File."
He really puts his whole soul -- all of his passion into these stories, you've got to admit -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Oh and it's -- you know, it's very lucid stuff. It brings great clarity to issues that sometimes can be a little befuddling to the -- us lesser mortals. You know, a lot of people suggest that if they legalize that stuff in this country you'd gut those cartels pretty fast. But that's another topic for another day.