The China Connection: Globalization and the Narcotics Trade – Eduardo Porter
An opinion piece in yesterday’s New York Times reveals a China link to the Mexican drug trade:
The unusual case of Zhenli Ye Gon, who was arrested in Maryland last week following the discovery of $205 million of alleged drug money in his house in Mexico City, underscores how the same process of global sourcing that ripped apart the integrated industries of the 20th century, replacing them with networks of production scattered around the globe, is reconfiguring the drug trade, too.
…This pattern of global sourcing also points to big changes in the economics of Mexican crime. Following Mr. Ye Gon’s arrest, the head of Colombia’s national police warned that Mexico and Colombia would have to prepare to do battle against Chinese and Russian organized crime. Mr. Ye Gon is the first Chinese-born to be charged of drug trafficking in Mexico in at least a decade, according to Mexican news media reports.
But the irruption of Mr. Ye Gon into Mexican drug trafficking is also emblematic of much broader changes as Mexico adapts to China’s emergence in the global economy. [Full text]