Cartels control 45 percent of Mexico: Senator

In this June 26, 2009 file photo, seized weapons from alleged members of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel are taken away by federal agents after a press conference in Mexico City. In a major embarrassment for Mexican law enforcement, U.S. prosecutors said in documents made public Wednesday, April 6, 2017, that Ivan Reyes Arzate, the commander of the Mexican police’s intelligence-sharing unit, was passing information to the Beltran Leyva drug cartel in exchange for cash. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, File)

Drug cartels control almost as much territory in Mexico as the Islamic State controlled in Syria at the height of its power, a key Republican senator said this week after returning from a trip through the region. Sen. James Lankford, one of the Republicans looking to lead on an immigration bill this year, said the cartels’…