Famine in Mexico Poses Security Threat to United States

The drought that has been plaguing American ranchers and farmers has been doubly hard on Mexican agriculture. Mexican border states are already experiencing food shortages which could further destabilize the already lawless region:

MEXICO CITY – Some 2.5 million people are at risk of going hungry due to the severe drought plaguing more than half of Mexico’s 32 states, a leading expert said Thursday.

“Fifty percent of the municipalities are affected and it’s estimated that 1.4 million hectares (3.5 million acres) of crops suffered,” said Emilio Romero, a scholar with the Economic Research Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The shortage of rain has already led to the loss of 3.2 million tons of maize, 600,000 tons of beans and 60,000 head of cattle, he noted.

Without measures to counteract the agricultural losses, “this population runs the risk of suffering hunger,” Romero said, calling it “paradoxical” that the government delayed so long in tapping some of Mexico’s $147 billion in international reserves to address the problems caused by the drought.

President Felipe Calderon announced this week the appropriation of 33.83 billion pesos ($2.5 billion) for drought relief.

One of the hardest-hit states is Chihuahua, which borders Texas and is home to around 100,000 Raramuri Indians living in mountain settlements that have been particularly affected by food shortages.

Food shortages so close to the border may lead to refugees attempting to cross over illegally just to get something to eat … and finding that American food security is an illusion.

The drought is bad enough that it’s cutting into the cartels marijuana business:

The number of illegal marijuana plantations in Northern Mexico has “declined considerably” over the last few months, told a Mexican army commander to the Associated Press on Tuesday, as a devastating drought continues to wreck havoc on the country’s water supply to both its population and cropland.

“We can see a lot less (marijuana plantations) than in other years,” said General Pedro Gurrola, commander of armed forces in the state of Sinaloa. With water supply scarce, many marijuana crops have also dried up, added General Gurrola, whose forces conducts regular surveillance flights across the country to seek out any illicit drug plantations.

To make up the shortfall the cartels are making and moving more meth. This is a good lesson in cartel economics for people who thinking legalizing one or more of the products the cartels deal in will destroy them. They will always find ways to make money.

The already chaotic border region doesn’t need food shortages to add to the chaos. Border state residents should be prepared for an influx of hungry, desperate illegal aliens in the near future, and an increase in meth sales and human trafficking as cartels look to make up the shortfalls caused by a bad crop season.

h/t Doug Ross