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Chicago Feels Violent Drug War Impact

The DEA is concerned that the city has become a hub for Mexican drug cartels.

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Is Chicago a new "Mexican border town"?
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By May Wilkerson

08/24/12

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An outbreak of gang violence in Chicago has local officials concerned that the city has become a hub for drug trafficking cartels from Mexico. After eight shootings last night, two of them fatal, 351 people have died from gun violence in Chicago in 2012 so far—a 30% increase from last year. According to the DEA, the city's geographic location and wide variety of transportation have beckoned at least three of Mexico's biggest drug crime organizations—including the notorious Zetas and Sinaloa cartels—who are now battling over turf and distribution, and turning the Illinois city into a "Mexican border town." "You've got to look at Chicago from really a perspective of logistics, of business logistics. It's an ideal spot to set up shop," says local DEA officer Jack Riley. "We know that the majority of the drugs here in Chicago, cartels are responsible for. We know that the majority of the murders are gang related. So it is very clear to see the connection and the role." The problem isn't confined to Chicago—other midwestern cities, like Milwaukee, St. Louis and Detroit, also have reported cartel activity and violence.

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