Remittances, or the electronic transfer of money from the United States to Mexico has long been a major source of income to the other side of the border. They are usually made up of wages of illegal aliens and some legal workers sending money to their families back home.
However, since the Mexican drug cartels took over the human smuggling racket, charging between $8,000-$12,000 per migrant to bring them to the border, remittances have hit a new high.
In 2022, remittances hit a record high of $58.5 billion, according to the World Bank.
Furthermore, in the first two months of 2023, remittances to Mexico totaled $8.9 billion, up 11.8% from the $7.8 billion from the same period a year earlier, reported Reuters.
All of this, despite the dismal economy, amid hyper-inflation, a very weak job market and an ever-shrinking GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on this side of the border.
Of course, unlike migrants’ families back home in Mexico, the drug cartels do not care about any of these mitigating factors, they only care that they get paid and they do this through extortion, torture and threats of violence against the migrants’ families on the other side of the border.
Almost no one being brought to the U.S. border by a cartel smuggler has the full amount of the smuggling fee, so they must work off the illegal debt and send it back to the cartels through electronic transfers.
And, Western Union, the S&P listed (WU), 170-year-old American company, with an estimated annual revenue of around $6 billion is the main player in remittances to Mexico, and thus, is now a major partner with the cartels.
In July 2022, Business Insider reported that Western Union and Latin America’s largest e-commerce business, MercadoLibre had partnered to gain a bigger share of U.S. remittances to Mexico. In fact, this cartel-driven money flow is so staggering that,in April 2023, MercadoLibre announced they are adding 13,000 jobs to cope with the expected increase in remittances (money laundering).
Also, in March 2023, Western Union signed a deal with 7-Eleven Mexico to further increase their reach into the Failed-Narco state.
On March 2, Zack’s Equity Research reported:
The tie-up enables consumers to send money to locations scattered across 14 states of the country (of Mexico). For receiving remittances, consumers need to visit any 7-Eleven store in Mexico and furnish the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) as well as official identification. Upon the authentication of data, the cash and a receipt copy will be handed over to the recipient.
The alliance marks Western Union’s continuous efforts to bolster its retail service offerings portfolio and fortify its extensive network. 7-Eleven seems the apt partner for complementing WU’s endeavor as the company boasts a solid presence in Mexico. Therefore, consumers visiting 1,800-plus 7-Eleven stores, which is a significant number, will benefit from the increased utilization of WU’s money transfer services.
Similar to 7-Eleven, Western Union also picked up another retail chain in Mexico - Alsuper, in 2022, for extending the reach of its money transfer services to the latter’s supermarket hubs across Northern Mexico.
Remittances from the U.S. to Mexico are expected to hit at least $60 billion this year. Of course, much of that will represent drug proceeds…drugs, including deadly fentanyl sold on the streets of this country.
That translates into a 30 percent increase in the first three years of the Biden administration, and their ‘open-border’ policy with Mexico.
Make no mistake, Western Union’s growth depends on a continued Biden presidency.
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