Professor Compares Economic Model for Mexican Drug Cartels to Wall Street and ‘American Corporations’

February 26, 2013 - 6:05 PM
Howard Campbell

Howard Campbell, anthropology professor and drug trafficking expert at the University of Texas El Paso (Courtesy of C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) – An anthropology professor and drug trafficking expert at the University of Texas El Paso said that Mexican drug cartels are like “corporations.”

Drug cartels are “corporations that operate under the same principles as does Wall Street or American corporations,” Howard Campbell told a CBS News reporter in a story aired on the radio over the weekend.

Reporter Michael Board led the story by stating that the legalization of marijuana in some U.S. states is forcing Mexican drug cartels to include methamphetamine smuggling to ensure profits.

“University of Texas drug trafficking expert Howard Campbell says we have to think of cartels as more than just thugs,” Board said.

In a second report aired over the weekend, Board said legalizing marijuana threatens drug cartels’ “revenue stream” so they are expanding the illegal drugs being smuggled across the U.S. border with Mexico.

“University of Texas drug trafficking expert Howard Campbell says this proves how nimble the bad guys can be,” Board said.

“In addition to being violent criminal organizations, we need to understand them as economic enterprises,” Campbell said.

Board said in the second report that seizures of meth by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were up by 116 percent in the Laredo, Texas, sector – one of the busiest land ports in the country, the report states.

Both reports were introduced with the following lead: “Several states are sanctioning marijuana sales – so the Mexican drug cartels are apparently getting involved in crystal meth. Reporter Michael Board says it's strictly a business decision.”