The conflict on the Mexican border is continuing and about to get worse.

While a problem for decades, everything may ratchet upwards with a new president of Mexico.

For the past decade or more, the focus has been on drugs and illegals. Most of those killed have been in Mexico, whether tortured, dismembered, hung from bridges or simply shot by cartels.

The statistics are staggering. Mexico had over 29,000 murdered in 2017 with some estimates much higher, mostly cartel induced. But Brazil and Columbia also had much higher murder rates, nearly double.

While in the U.S., combined with opiate drug use, over 60,000 were killed in 2017 from overdoses. Unfortunately, the situation is complicated by some legitimate pharmaceutical firms like Purdue, contributing massively to the opiate problem.

Drug smuggling Central and South American countries are considered the most dangerous in the world with Mexico more dangerous than the world’s war zones.

The growing, refinement, and shipment of drugs includes marijuana and more lethal crack-cocaine, pure heroin, opiates and a list of methamphetamines and derivatives which flood the U.S.

But the election of Lopez Obrador will change the dynamics dramatically and should raise the problem at the border to a whole new level.

With Enrique Nieto as president of Mexico, the fight continued against the cartels with a cooperative spirit with U.S. authorities. But the results were disappointing.

Obrador, an avowed leftist, says he will take a different approach.

He will end the war against the cartels and legalize drugs. He says he will attack corruption and may offer amnesty and support to farmers. He will support any person from any country to pass through his country to the United States as he believes it is a natural right of all humans to do so.

Borders be damned.

Can you imagine a Mexico with legalized drugs?

Recently the news has been consumed by as many at 50,000 illegal immigrants coming across our southern border costing the U.S. over $1 billion a year for housing and food for them in detention camps.

Imagine facing an increase by five or tenfold?

Broadcast news media and liberals in the U.S. have been screaming about children torn from mothers by ICE. Nobody wants to admit this is about to get worse.

Currently, the cartels make thousands of dollars for each person who is smuggled into the U.S. It is as profitable or more so than drugs. The recent desire to keep the families together encourages cartels to pair up children with an adult to cross the border. We are dealing with a sophisticated human trafficking problem that cannot be addressed by hyper-exaggerated claims aimed to stir emotional outrage.

Democrats call for an end to ICE.

Some in Mexico now say that the U.S. will have to do its own dirty work. Obrador’s team says, “Let the U.S. defend their own border if they don’t like it.”

The Obrador strategy is to lend aid to farmers and the extreme poor to pull them out of poverty. That is well intentioned but not likely to change much in the next few years. In the meantime, the cartels will grow in force, influence and power.

Cartels and other gangs are focused on raising revenue in the billions from drugs, human trafficking, sex trafficking, robberies, kidnapping, and extortion. The money flowing is more than enough to ensure continued massive corruption of the military, police and politicians.

Obrador wants to create a new law enforcement organization by removing the military from police type work and combining some military with police to create a new kind of National Guard.

If the army and police are famously corrupted, how can a new National Guard avoid it?

Obrador says Mexico’s disabling problems are poverty, cartels and corruption.

Obrador appeals to voters’ “hope and change” expectations, but dealing with widespread, intransigent problems in a broken society by being more tolerant and less committed to fighting drug cartels is more than wishful thinking.

Without security and the rule of law, who will invest, create jobs, take market risk and focus on innovation?

Dramatic approaches might include having the U.S. military and CIA join forces with select Mexican forces to attack the cartels en masse on the ground, air and sea.

No way it will happen.

What if we eliminated trade barriers to support employment and investment in Mexican factories?

Not likely.

What if we created a new treaty organization with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Columbia, Brazil and others to focus on fighting gangs/cartels and provide safety for their citizens with a consequential rule of law?

Call it the Continental America’s Security Action (CASA).

Wishful thinking.

The U.S. has invested trillions in the Middle East.

Maybe it’s time to spend time and resources aiding our American friends.

Right now, instead, it seems the border war will explode.