Deported California gang members are hot recruits for drug cartels


TIJUANA (Border Report) — About 30% of those deported from the United States to the city of Tijuana are former gang members, and drug cartels are literally waiting for them to set foot on Mexican territory to recruit them , says Víctor Clark Alfaro, associate professor in the Latin American studies department at San Diego State University.

“Gang members know how to use guns, speak English, have gang contact in the United States, and show no fear,” Clark said. “The only other type of work for them is call centers, but there are only 12 in Tijuana, so they turn to organized crime, which needs them.”

Victor Clark Alfaro is director of the Binational Center for Human Rights in Tijuana and a lecturer in the Department of Latin American Studies at San Diego State University. (Courtesy of SDSU)

Clark, who is an anthropologist by trade, said most of the deported gang members are between the ages of 25 and 35 and have lived north of the border most of their lives.

“It’s easy to tell them apart by the way they walk and their tattoos,” he said. “There is a fourth economy that is not legally recognized, but it creates a lot of jobs and that is drug trafficking. …it’s a huge market because there are over 1.5 million addicts in this country and that’s a number that’s growing because of fentanyl.

Clark said some of the gang members knew how to make meth and other synthetic drugs and got recruited to make them or just went to work as enforcers and assassins.

“All of these gang members along the southern border are hired by cartels, and they get into raping women, extorting, kidnapping migrants, and demanding ransom from families in the United States,” he said. he declared. “These gang members who end up in Tijuana and all over Mexico working for cartels don’t dare to consolidate and go independent, they’ll get killed and you won’t see them fighting each other to protect their old gangs.”

Clark Alfaro is also director of the Binational Center for Human Rights in Tijuana. He has studied human trafficking patterns across the US-Mexico border for more than 20 years.

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