Felix Gallardo is a college graduate, turned federal police agent, turned drug-trafficking Lord of the infamous Guadalajara cartel.
In the 1970s Gallardo began growing and selling billions of dollars worth of drugs each year. Everyone was on his payroll. Police officers, governors, judicial officers. Can you imagine that? The Mexican government, their law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the media — all working to assist and protect a criminal.
Gallardo was a part of the political class. So much so that they relied on him during campaign season. In 1988, during the middle of an election, while votes were being tallied, the tallying system suddenly crashed. Votes stopped being calculated. And when it came back online, the candidate that the cartel wanted to win — who was previously trailing — suddenly won. That’s true power — rigging an election to elect a desired politician and getting away with it.
But Felix made a mistake. He sent crooked police officials to kidnap and murder an American DEA agent who was snooping around in his business. Gallardo’s men injected their victim with adrenaline to keep him awake throughout his torture and interrogation, before drilling a hole into his brain. It was a brutal, horribly graphic crime. One which triggered the largest DEA homicide investigation ever.
It took years, but Felix was eventually arrested in 1989 and today, is still rotting in an 8×14 foot cell.
There’s something very American Dream about Felix Gallardo — especially the part about paying the right people, buying protection from the political class and immunity from the media. Yeah, there’s nothing more American than that.
Which brings me to the FDA.
The Food and Drug Administration is the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the federal government, and its regulatory role began because there was a chemist who was concerned about chemical preservatives in food.
What started as a relatively small regulatory agency soon ballooned in size and scope after FDR signed into law that all cosmetics and medical devices in America needed to be approved by the federal government.
Flash forward to 2017, when CNN published a piece entitled “Nearly a third of FDA-approved drugs had problems, study finds.”
A third? That doesn’t surprise me at all and it shouldn’t surprise you either — if you’ve been paying attention.
For example — did you know that the FDA has a 5.9 billion dollar budget, $2.7 billion of which is paid for by industry fees? That’s right, 45%