Here is an excerpt from Eve Conant and Arian Campos-Flores' article in Newsweek:
"Surprising as it may seem, Phoenix has become America's kidnapping capital. Last year 368 abductions were reported, compared with 117 in 2000. Police say the real number is likely much higher, since many go unreported. Though in the past most of the nabbings stemmed from domestic-violence incidents, now the majority are linked to drug-trafficking and human-smuggling operations that pervade the Arizona corridor. It's still unclear to what extent the snatchings are being directly ordered by Mexican cartels, but authorities say they're undoubtedly a byproduct of the drug-fueled mayhem south of the border. "The tactics are moving north," says assistant police chief Andy Anderson. "We don't have the violence they have in Mexico yet—the killing of police officers and the beheadings—but in terms of kidnappings and home invasions, it has come." Link to Full Article
Analysis: This is one of the better articles I've read lately on the anecdotal/case evidence aspect of border violence spillover (for more on this topic, click HERE). It mostly covers kidnappings in Phoenix with a great amount of detail and first-hand accounts, which makes for good reading and high impact on the reader. It also talks about the presence of DTO members or associates in other parts of the country nowhere close to the southwest border, like Alabama and North Carolina. It's disconcerting to read about kidnap victims being gagged and tortured in safehouses thousands of miles away from where we would expect that to be happening.
There are two main points I'd like to make about this excellent article. First, it makes clear to the reader that the majority of victims involved are involved in the drug trade. I particularly like the quote from a law enforcement officer who explains that many times, kidnap victims are rescued by the police, then go straight from the place they were being held to jail to await trial for the crimes they committed. Second, this article reinforces one of the points I make in my IN FOCUS segment on spillover- specifically, the point that some agencies view spillover as DTO-related criminal activity occurring within the US. This article clearly shows that the law enforcement individuals interviewed believe spillover is happening, despite any statistical evidence or "official" statements to the contrary.