Each year, millions of dollars of Mexican drug money pass through the hands of American Drug Enforcement Administration officials. Undercover American narcotics agents launched the money laundering operation in order to trace the drug cartels. This is not the first instance of a U.S. governmental agency using illegal means to fight the war against drugs in Mexico. While the effectiveness of either program stopping the flow of drugs into the U.S. remains unclear, their impact on Mexican citizens is less ambiguous.
Ioan Grillo is Mexico correspondent for Time magazine and author of "El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency."
Jorge Castañeda is global distinguished professor of political science and Latin American Studies at NYU and a former Mexican foreign minister.