DPS: Mexican drug cartels No. 1 organized crime threat in Texas
A narcoblockade in a Hidalgo neighborhood is among the items listed in a new report that lists Mexican drug cartels as the number one organized crime threat in Texas.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials released the 2013 Texas Public Safety Threat Overview early Wednesday afternoon.
The report outlines eight areas that the agency identifies as safety threats to the public:
Crime Terrorism Motor Vehicle Crashes Natural Disasters Public Health threats Industrial Accidents Cyber Threats
Crime takes up 23 pages out of the 76-page report with Mexican drug cartels dominating the that section.
Mexican Drug Cartels
The report names Mexican drug cartels as the number one organized crime threat to the State of Texas.
According to DPS, six of the eight major Mexican drug cartels currently operate in the Lone Star State.
The cartels are using increasingly complex and violent tactics including surveillance, vehicle assaults, shootings and throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the boder.
Narcoblockades are a popular tactic south of the border but DPS officials one was used off West Joe Pate Boulevard in Hidalgo back in Hidalgo.
Drug smugglers used a blockade to slow authorities down but investigators were able to seized one 22-pound bundle of cocaine from the scene.
Accodring to the report, some 71 vehicles have plunged into the waters of the Rio Grande River since 2009.
DPS officials ranked prison gangs as the second biggest organized crime threat in Texas.
Tango Blast, Texas Syndicate, Barrio Azteca and the Texas Mexican Mafia were listed at the largest and most connected to Mexican drug cartels.
But one drug war expert is skeptical about the motives and accuracy of the report.
UTB Government Chair Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera said the report contradicts statistics from the FBI and even DPS itself.
Those previous statistics report that crime has fallen in the United States and that border communities are among the safest.
Correa-Cabrera said the report is "political" and "an attempt to gain more federal funds" but can also be seen as a "double-edged" sword.
"If the situation is as alarming as the report states, then that would mean that Texas authorities are as incompetent as Mexican authorities to combat organized crime," Correa-Cabrera said. "Therefore the Texas state would be as failed as the Tamaulipas state. And Mexico (through Mexican-origin) organized crime groups would be re-conquering Texas in the current drug war times."