12/04/13: Foreign Policy published an article by Evelyn Morris discussing the Mexican drug cartels. The rise of drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs) in Mexico has fueled crime on both sides of the border and has undermined the economy of an important trading partner of the US. Since 2006, more than 60,000 people have been killed in DTO-related violence. Despite enormous casualties, the turmoil in Mexico does not receive nearly the level of scrutiny or attention from the US government that conflicts in other countries do. Despite the ongoing arguments about drug legalization and border security, the most effective way to combat the scourge of the DTOs would be to interdict not drugs or people but money. But shutting down the cartels' financial operations will be a formidable task, given the help they have had from multinational financial institutions, which have profited from the cartels' large-dollar deposits. Paying a fine to avoid prosecution is almost no punishment at all. Banks can simply accrue funds to offset any possible fines, either by increasing what they charge cartels or by setting aside some of the earnings from laundering, even as they continue to do business with the DTOs. Prosecuting bank employees involved in money laundering, up through the highest levels of an institution, would be a better tack.