But chillingly, there are signs that one of the worst features of Mexicoâ€™s war on drugsâ€”law enforcement officials on the take from drug lordsâ€”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,â€? he wrote last fall in The National Strategy Forum Review. The drug lords, he tells me, are seeking to â€?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. Attorneyâ€™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 ]