Arizona has become the gateway not only for drugs, but also illegal immigrants. Fights over the valuable commodity have triggered a spate of shootings, kidnappings and killings. In Arizona, the cartels grossed an estimated $2 billion last year on smuggling humans. Senior officials from various federal law enforcement agencies confirmed that they were extremely concerned about the cartels’ human smuggling network.
In recent years, the U.S. government has taken significant steps to go after illegal immigrant smugglers on a global scale, setting up task forces, launching public awareness campaigns and creating a Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center to fuse intelligence from various agencies. U.S. efforts to stop the cartels have been stymied by a shortage of funds and the failure of federal law enforcement agencies to collaborate effectively with one another, their local and state counterparts and the Mexican government, officials say.
U.S. authorities have long focused their efforts on the cartels’ trafficking of cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines, which has left a trail of violence and corruption. Many of those officials now say that the toll from smuggling illegal immigrants is often far worse.
The cartels often further exploit the illegal immigrants by forcing them into economic bondage or prostitution, U.S. officials say. In recent years, illegal immigrants have been forced to pay even more exorbitant fees for being smuggled into the U.S. by the cartel’s well-coordinated networks of transportation, communications, logistics and financial operatives, according to officials. Many more illegal immigrants are raped, killed or physically and emotionally scarred along the way, authorities say. Organized smuggling groups are stealing entire safe houses from rivals and trucks full of “chickens” — their term for their human cargo — to resell them or exploit them further, according to these officials and documents.
Greed and opportunity had prompted the cartels to move into illegal immigrant smuggling. Drugs are only sold once. But people, can be sold over and over. And they use these people over and over until they are too broken to be used anymore.” The cartels began moving into human smuggling in the late 1990s, initially by taxing the coyotes as they led bands of a few dozen people across cartel-controlled turf near the border.
After U.S. officials stepped up border enforcement after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the price of passage increased and the cartels got more directly involved, using the routes they have long used for smuggling drugs north and cash and weapons south, authorities said. Sometimes they loaded up their human cargo with backpacks full of marijuana. In many cases, they smuggled illegal immigrants between the two marijuana-growing seasons.
That is the case even as the Obama administration and Congress increasingly focus their attention on Mexico, fearing that its government is losing ground in a battle against the cartels that has resulted in the deaths of more than 7,000 people since the beginning of 2008.
Iran is a source, transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Women from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, China, Bangladesh, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey are brought in to work as prostitutes. Women and girls are trafficked to Pakistan, Turkey, the Persian Gulf, and Europe for sexual exploitation, while boys from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are trafficked through Iran en route to Persian Gulf states where they are forced to work as camel jockeys, beggars, or laborers. Internal trafficking is also present, as both women and children are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Iran is a transit, source and destination country for human trafficking. Women suffer the most from human trafficking in Iran; women are trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Internally, women are trafficked for the purposes of settling debts (through forced marriages) and forced prostitution. Women from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, China, Bangladesh, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey are brought in to work as prostitutes. Iranian women and girls are also trafficked to Pakistan, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom for commercial sexual exploitation.
Children are also victims of human trafficking in Iran. Iranian children are trafficked internally and Afghani children are trafficked into Iran for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude as beggars or laborers.
Iran grows almost none of its own opium, according to the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, but it has one of the world’s highest rates of opiate addiction and it is getting worse. The organization’s 2007 World Drug Report classified Iran as having one of the world’s largest increases in opiate addiction, and the government estimates there are 1.2 million drug abusers, which is 2.8 percent of people ages 15 to 64.
Many attribute the large number of drug abusers to an unusually young population and a large degree of unemployment, estimated at more than 11 percent by the International Monetary Fund. Trafficking has been a particular problem for the government in Tehran. About 53 percent of the opium that left Afghanistan in 2008 traveled through Iran. In fact, about 68 percent of the opium seized in the world in 2007 was taken in Iran, according to the United Nations, just under the average for the previous 20 years.
While many dispute the reliability of Iran’s seizure statistics, most agree that a great deal of these drugs come from Afghanistan through Pakistan, and into southeastern Iran, a region with a long history of volatility. Many of the traffickers travel in armed convoys, and the routes are largely controlled by local warlords, which has proved deadly for Iranian security forces, according to a report by the UNODC. Overall, between 1979 and 2010 about 4,600 Iranian police officers were killed in Iran’s war on drugs. “They try to make a living however they can, and it often ends up in criminal activities,” he said.
However hard Tehran fights drugs smuggled in from Afghanistan, it is still facing a growing population of drug abusers at home. “It is not just the opiates — opium, heroin and morphine — that originate in Afghanistan that are problems in Iran. Synthetic drugs, things like methamphetamines, ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines, those things too are becoming more and more commonplace in Iran.” When these synthetics first entered the country around 2003, the government simply denied the problem. But as it got worse, Tehran began to blame the problem on imports from Europe. And today……………………………
Chaos!!! is building for the Iranian President!
In response to the arrest of several of his associates, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that arresting government ministers would cross a red
line. The arrests came against the backdrop of the rift between Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad added that he would not respond to the moves against him due to his desire to preserve Iran’s unity
- DRC, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran havens for human trafficking (macleans.ca)
- Sheila Roseau Awarded for Fighting Human Trafficking (repeatingislands.com)
- 3 Ariz. officers accused of drug, human smuggling (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- ‘Sheriff Joe’ Workers Busted for Human Trafficking (newser.com)
- You: Four bandits killed in Iran (nation.com.pk)