Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Officials worry Mexican drug violence getting worse in Texas

TEXAS (KYTX) -- The head of Homeland Security recently said our border is more secure than ever, but some Texas leaders disagree; saying the presence of the Mexican drug cartels and associated violence is only getting worse in our state.

"The threat grows more violent every day. And more resources are needed. We have been saying this and our pleas have been rebuffed."

Surrounded by retired military generals, Congressman Michael McCaul and Texas Sheriffs, State Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples announced the release of an independent study on the spillover violence into Texas from the Mexican drug cartels.

"Cartels strategic intent is very, very clear. To build a sanitary zone, a sanctuary, if you will, one county deep inside the state of Texas."

Retired Major-General Robert Scales and retired General Barry McCaffrey co-authored the study. It's called "Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment," and was presented at the protect Your Texas Border Summit at the capitol.

"That U.S./Mexican border cannot be a divide. It has to be a place where these two great cultures come together."

General Scales says our state is crucial to the drug cartels because they want "....to use Texas as a launch point into the heartland of America for the distribution of drugs."

Congressman McCaul says the federal government needs to realize the Texas border is not secure more than ever.

"These drug cartels are here. They're in San Antonio, they're in Austin, they're in Houston, they're in Dallas. And their commanding control operations are here. And what we need to prevent at all costs, is the level of violence that we're seeing in Mexico."

McCaul plans to present the generals' report to the House Committee on homeland security in Washington. McCaul is a member of that committee.

The study was commissioned by the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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