Mexico Behind the Scenes: An Exclusive Interview with an Intelligence Operative – Part 2

By David Simmonds

“Jack” is a career military “special operations” operator, a retired “case officer” and still a member of the intelligence community at the highest levels. The name “Jack” is a pseudonym, at his request. His career has taken him to Columbia, Mexico, the Middle East and much of the world. I know Jack well and know him to be very honest, bright, and a stand-up guy. He is a true patriot in every sense of the word.

We have had many conversations. The following is excerpted from various talks and emails, with his permission and approval.

Part 1 can be viewed here:


DS: There are people on both sides of the border who are calling for the legalization of some drugs. Wouldn’t this go a long way towards shutting down the cartels, much as the repeal of prohibition did in the U.S. with the organized crime?

Jack: It’s way more complicated than that, Dave. Legalization will not happen because too many people, many in high places, have too much to lose.

DS: Okay, I get that the cartels would be opposed to it, but who else?

Jack: The major banks in the U.S. are very powerful, as we have learned in the past few years. They have been laundering drug money for a long time, maybe as much as $40 billion a year. Wachovia, HSBC, American Express Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo – they have all been involved. Generally they pay a fine that is a fraction of the money they have made. So it’s a good deal for them. Believe me, they don’t want anything to change, and they let the lawmakers know that with their contributions.

There is also the private prison system now so widespread in the U.S.. They pay a lot of money into our lawmaker’s fundraisers to keep drugs illegal. It started with Nixon’s “War On Drugs” in the early 1970’s when smoking pot was put into the same category as harder drugs. The U.S. is now the most imprisoned society in the world and many of those prisoners are there on drug convictions. About one-half of all drug arrests are for marijuana. The prison system has a huge stake in keeping all drugs illegal. They make money by having a constant flow of prisoners – big money.

And there are the arms and weapons manufacturers.

DS: Please explain. You mean because all of the small arms that get into Mexico?

Jack: Yes, but there are much bigger players than that. The Merida Initiative authorizes the U.S. to spend $1.5 billion to help Mexico in fighting the cartels. Much of this money filters to U.S. security companies and manufacturers, such as General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Boeing.

DS: Are we only supplying systems and equipment or do we have personnel in Mexico, as well.

Jack: Yes, we do have people there. Mexico has already acknowledged it allows US drones to conduct surveillance flights over Mexican air space. Who controls “the flights” is classified, but a Mexican official is present.  The newspaper “La Jornada” wrote an August 8 editorial that “Washington’s growing military, political, intelligence, police & private security contractors interference regarding Mexican laws have been documented in many ways, as has the Mexican’s acceptance of it”. The New York Times, on the weekend of Aug 5th reported that CIA, ex special forces (private security contractors) are already working at one or more Mexican military bases! These are the same security contractors using the same tactics that they used in Afghanistan & Iraq with disastrous results that got them kicked out and Blackwater had to change their name. But these guys are good enough for the Mexican people? No wonder why they support the cartels over government! The Mexican government won’t discuss “specifics of their role” for “national security reasons”.

DS: I have read about CIA being involved in drug smuggling for years. Any truth to that?

Jack: Yes, it’s just an undying myth that the CIA sold drugs, in our country you can say anything you want. It’s just like the perpetual myth all Vietnam Vets are serial killers, deranged maniacs and so on. The newest Drug dealing myth now is the infamous “Operation Fast & Furious” started by CIA to give more modern weapons to one side of the Mexican Drug War. It is just ridiculous! But what do you expect, 40% of all Americans refuse to believe Obama is an American? This CIA stuff will never die, what makes it worse is some old disgruntled employees or former assets have an axe to grind, so they tell/write about such bullshit and a certain segment of our Country will always believe them, make movies, films showing how corrupt the CIA is and there you have it; but thanks for giving me an opportunity to set the record straight! And by the way, the CIA, FBI, all law enforcement agencies have some bad apples that get involved in criminal acts, get caught, and you know that old saying “only one rotten apple will spoil the entire barrel”

Part 3 Next Week

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the México Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.