Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says that criminal enterprises based in Mexico present “an immediate and escalating threat” to North America because of their ability to sabotage economies and destabilize the Mexican government, the Arizona Republic reports. Horne spoke yesterday to Border Security Expo 2011, an annual symposium and trade show in Phoenix.
His remarks took on a sober urgency with the Tuesday murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico. Because of that incident, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton canceled his keynote address while other expo speakers said the slaying served as a reminder of violence by crime syndicates south of the border. Matthew Allen, the ICE special agent in charge for Arizona who replaced Morton as a keynote speaker, said the murder offers a “tragic illustration” of challenges in combating Mexican cartels that “have no regard for human life and play by a different rulebook.”