Here is an excerpt from Sara A. Carter's exclusive article in The Washington Times:
"Hezbollah is using the same southern narcotics routes that Mexican drug kingpins do to smuggle drugs and people into the United States, reaping money to finance its operations and threatening U.S. national security, current and former U.S. law enforcement, defense and counterterrorism officials say. The Iran-backed Lebanese group has long been involved in narcotics and human trafficking in South America's tri-border region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Increasingly, however, it is relying on Mexican narcotics syndicates that control access to transit routes into the U.S. Hezbollah relies on 'the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels,' said Michael Braun, who just retired as assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 'They work together,' said Mr. Braun. 'They rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another, they are all connected. They'll leverage those relationships to their benefit, to smuggle contraband and humans into the U.S.; in fact, they already are [smuggling].' His comments were confirmed by six U.S. officials, including law enforcement, defense and counterterrorism specialists. They spoke on the condition that they not be named because of the sensitivity of the topic." Link to Full Article
Analysis: I'm concerned about the impression this article gives the average reader, as the information - in the way it's presented - is misleading in many ways. After reading it through once, it seems like the author is trying to imply that Mexican DTOs are knowingly and actively colluding with Hizballah to move drugs and people across the border into the US. This doesn't make much sense, and I'll explain why.
First, there are a limited number of routes through which ANY organization can move contraband - whether narcotic, human, or otherwise - across the border. It's logical that several organizations would attempt to use these routes for different purposes. I italicized the word "attempt" because it's well-known that DTOs have VERY tight control over these routes. The bloodshed going on every day along the border is a result of turf battles between DTOs over these routes. Alien smuggling organizations, or ASOs, are also well-established in specific places along the border, and many of them specialize in moving special interest aliens - individuals from countries associated with terrorism in some way - from Mexico into the US. DTOs and ASOs are VERY particular about what their routes are used for, and by whom they're used. DTOs have retaliated in grisly fashion against some individuals who have attempted to use their border tunnels or drug routes to move people. Per the US Dept of Justice, when ASOs use DTO drug routes to move people, they do it with the express knowledge and permission of the controlling DTO, and that the authorized use comes at a price. Knowing all this, one has to ask: Why would a business enterprise like a DTO who wishes to avoid the full wrath of the US Government willingly get involved with a terrorist organization like Hizballah?
Let's examine the human smuggling aspect. Yes, it's likely that members of Hizballah have entered the US illegally from Mexico (although open sources on this topic are sketchy). However, they're generally not the ones running the show, as most ASOs - especially those bringing in SIAs - are Mexican-run. Does this mean that Hizballah is using the same human smuggling routes as DTOs and ASOs? Technically yes, but it's in the semantics. Hizballah is likely just paying their fees to the smugglers to get them across the same as other SIAs. This does not mean that they're actively colluding with DTOs in an organization-to-organization or "managerial" capacity.
The drug smuggling aspect is even more incongruous in the context presented in this article. Hizballah is involved in the drug trade, but only as a relatively small part of its operations in the Americas - almost as a side gig. They earn most of the money they send back to the homeland through counterfeit goods, both in Latin America and various communities in the US. Hizballah's presence in the tri-border area and other parts of the Americas is considerable, but I haven't seen much data supporting any assertion that Hizballah has a sizeable presence in Mexico. For argument's sake, let's say they did have enough people in-country to get involved in the Mexico-to-US drug trade. Why on earth would a DTO allow Hizballah to operate in their territory? DTOs' main goals include maximizing profits and minimizing Mexican (and US) government interference in their operations. Despite increases in some US cities near the border, we have not seen the same levels of violence on the US side as the Mexican side, and there's a very good reason for that. DTOs are willing to risk a small amount of attention from US law enforcement for their actions. They are NOT willing to risk a full federal and military response, which is surely what would transpire should hard evidence emerge that a DTO was actively colluding with a terrorist organization.
All this being said, Mr. Braun's comments are plausible, meaning it's entirely possible that Hizballah and DTOs are using the same networks or the same facilitators to accomplish their goals in Latin America. This does NOT automatically mean that DTOs and Hizballah are knowingly working together, and it's likely not in the DTOs' best interests to establish such a relationship in the future.