From an article by Jim Lynch in the July issue of Hispanic:

Hispanic agents are arguably the United States' best weapon in its ongoing duel with Latin American drug cartels. Nobody is better equipped to infiltrate Central and South American drug gangs -- the heart of the cocaine menace. . . . {M}any of the 270 Hispanic agents -- 10 percent of the agency's workforce -- claim they have to accomplish twice the work of non-Hispanics to climb to the same levels inside the agency.

U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene will hear all about Hispanics' lives at the DEA when a class-action discrimination suit convenes next fall. Agents will testify they are too often exiled to dull wiretaps and dangerous undercover beats -- work DEA brass snubs when it is time for promotions.

Special Agent Gustavo Vazquez recalls his grueling days for the DEA's Chicago office. "I worked every night until midnight, including weekends, in order to successfully develop the investigations. . . I continued to work my heart out for the Chicago office in order to be considered for promotion. Deep inside I felt I was being used.". . .

The Hispanics' attorneys have already collected written testimony from more than 70 agents. The suit is backed by both DEA rookies and seasoned veterans, such as Eloy Garcia, the assistant special agent in charge of the Houston office. Garcia says that being Hispanic forced him to do things "two or three times to get the same recognition" as others. . . . "If you're running around doing other people's undercover work, you're not going anywhere."