It’s time for Washington to abandon the fiction that the cartels don’t operate in the United States. The . government’s narcotics-flow maps show the drug trade as fat arrows coursing their way from Colombia through Central America and Mexico — but they all stop at the . border. The National Drug Intelligence Center has published a list of 235 American cities reporting a Mexican cartel "presence," and that just skims the surface. Ignoring the cartels’ vast networks won’t make them go away. Co-responsibility also means addressing "southbound" flows — the . arms and cash that are the raison d’etre of the cartels — to Mexico, Central America and beyond.