The organized-crime epidemic in Latin America, spawned by a U.S. drug policy more than four decades in the making, seems to be leeching into U.S. cities, says the Wall Street Journal. Powerful underworld networks supplying gringo drug users are becoming increasingly bold about expanding their businesses. In 2008, U.S. officials said Mexican drug cartels were serving their customers in 195 American cities.
The violence is only a small fraction of what Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia live with everyday, but it is notable. Kidnapping rates in Phoenix are through the roof and some spectacular murders targeting law enforcement have also grabbed headlines. The full Journal article is available only to paid subscribers.