An Associated Press investigation has found U.S. law officers who work the border are being charged with criminal corruption in numbers not seen before, as drug and immigrant smugglers use money and sometimes sex to buy protection, and internal investigators crack down. The AP tallied corruption-related convictions against more than 80 enforcement officials at all levels — federal, state and local — since 2007, shortly after Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the cartels that peddle up to $39 billion worth of drugs in the United States each year.
U.S. officials have long pointed to Mexico’s rampantly corrupt cops and broken judicial system, but Calderon told the AP this isn’t just a Mexican problem. ”To get drugs into the United States the one you need to corrupt is the American authority, the American customs, the American police — not the Mexican,” the Mexican president said. A former Texas prosecutor agreed, saying drug traffickers look ”for weaknesses in the armor.”