Scott Stewart and Fred Burton from STRATFOR have written a very interesting article about the benefits and risks of using confidential informants in the battle against drug cartels. The article also discusses the high level of sophistication these groups have when it comes to gathering intelligence.
"With the money to buy foreign expertise and equipment, the Mexican cartels have been able to set up counterintelligence branches that can administer polygraph examinations, signals intelligence branches that can intercept the authorities’ communications and even elaborate (and well-funded) units designed to identify and bribe vulnerable public officials. The Mexican cartels also assign people to infiltrate law-enforcement agencies by applying for jobs. According to a report released last week, in a 10-month period, four applicants for U.S. border law enforcement positions were found through background checks and polygraph examinations to be infiltrators from drug-trafficking organizations. It is important to remember that these four were only those who were caught, and not all agencies submit applicants to the same scrutiny, so the scope of the problem is likely much larger."
It is very interesting. STRATFOR is a subscription service but you can get one free article from them by entering your email address. Read the entire article here.