But chillingly, there are signs that one of the worst features of Mexico’s war on drugs–law enforcement officials on the take from drug lords–is becoming an American problem as well. Most press accounts focus on the drug-related violence that has migrated north into the United States. Far less widely reported is the infiltration and corruption of American law enforcement, according to Robert Killebrew, a retired U.S. Army colonel and senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security. "This is a national security problem that does not yet have a name,” he wrote last fall in The National Strategy Forum Review. The drug lords, he tells me, are seeking to ”hollow out our institutions, just as they have in Mexico."
Corruption indictments and convictions linked to drug-trafficking organizations, known in police parlance as DTOs, are popping up in FBI press releases with disturbing frequency. In April, for instance, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Texas announced that Sergio Lopez Hernandez, a 40-year-old Customs and Border Protection inspector, had been convicted of drug trafficking, alien smuggling, and bribery. Hernandez pleaded guilty to accepting over $150,000 in bribes and to conspiring to sell cocaine and bring illegal aliens into the country. [The Mexicanization of American Law Enforcement, By Judith Miller, City Journal, October 28, 2009 ]