Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mexican Drug Wars to Spill Over into the U.S.

Drug violence spins Mexico toward 'civil war'
(CNN) -- A shootout in a border city that leaves five alleged drug traffickers sprawled dead on the street and seven police wounded. A police chief and his bodyguards gunned down outside his house in another border city. Four bridges into the United States shut down by protesters who want the military out of their towns and who officials say are backed by narcotraffickers.

Mexican police carry a body after a clash with gangs that left 21 dead in the state of Chihuahua on February 10.

That was Mexico on Tuesday. What is most remarkable is that it was not much different from Monday or Sunday or any day in the past few years.
Mexico, a country with a nearly 2,000-mile border with the United States, is undergoing a horrifying wave of violence that some are likening to a civil war. Drug traffickers battle fiercely with each other and Mexican authorities. The homicide rate reached a record level in 2008 and indications are that the carnage could be exceeded this year. Every day, newspapers and the airwaves are filled with stories and images of beheadings and other gruesome killings. Wednesday's front page on Mexico City's La Prensa carried a large banner headline that simply said "Hysteria!" The entire page was devoted to photos of bloody bodies and grim-faced soldiers. One photo shows a man with two young children walking across a street with an army vehicle in the background, with a soldier standing at a turret machine gun.
Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs, calls it "a sickening vertigo into chaos and plunder." By most accounts, that's not hyperbole. "The grisly portrait of the violence is unprecedented and horrific," said Robert Pastor, a Latin America national security adviser for President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. "I don't think there's any question that Mexico is going through a very rough time. Not only is there violence with the gangs, but the entire population is very scared," said Peter Hakim, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based policy center.
Speaking on a news show a few weeks ago, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called it a civil war. Birns agrees. "Of course it's a civil war, but that only touches the violence of it," he said Wednesday. "It's also a civic conflict, as an increasing number of people look upon the law and democratic values as something that can be violated." Hakim is not prepared to go that far. "One has to be careful and not overdo it," he said. "Mexico is a long way from being a failed state. Mexico has real institutions. It paves roads and collects the garbage. It holds regular elections."
Enrique Bravo, an analyst with the Eurasia consulting group, points out that the violence so far is mostly affecting just drug gangs and is primarily localized along the U.S. border and Mexico's western coast. The violence along the border is particularly worrisome, analysts say. "The spillover into the United States is bound to expand and bound to affect U.S. institutions," Birns said.
(One might add that the volume of cross-border traffic is so huge that it defies any meaningful security measures or efforts to curtail human and drug smuggling or trafficking. We could begin by prohibiting cross-border work commutes. If you work in the U.S. daily and are a U.S. citizen, you must live in the U.S.. If you are a Mexican citizen you must go to school in Mexico. Cross-border busing must end. Mexican trailers must be unhooked at the border and hooked to American tractors. Border infrastructure, staffing and rules of engagement must be improved and buttressed with vigorous and continuous internal enforcement based on E-verification. Stopping illegal entry is essential to the solution to the drug problem. If they can’t get their product across the border, the drug problem will be solved. If we stop all illegals, we will surely stop the violent drug traffickers.)
Pastor and Hakim note that the United States helps fuel the violence, not only by providing a ready market for illegal drugs, but also by supplying the vast majority of weapons used by drug gangs. Pastor says there are at least 6,600 U.S. gun shops within 100 miles of the Mexican border and more than 90 percent of weapons in Mexico come from the United States. And it's not just handguns. Drug traffickers used a bazooka in Tuesday's shootout with federal police and army soldiers in Reynosa, Mexico, across the border from McAllen, Texas. "The drug gangs are better equipped than the army," Hakim said.
Pervasive corruption among public officials is central to the drug cartels' success. "There is so much money involved in the drug trade, there is so much fear involved in the drug trade, that no institution can survive unaffected," Birns said. "This has really revealed just how corrupt Mexican officeholders are," Hakim said.
In one recent instance, Noe Ramirez Mandujano, who was the nation's top anti-drug official from 2006 until August 2008, was arrested on charges that he accepted $450,000 a month in bribes from drug traffickers while in office. Such dire problems call for a new way of looking at the situation, some say."The unthinkable is happening," Birns said. "People are beginning to discuss decriminalization and legalization. ... There's only one thing that can be done: Take the profit out of it." Pastor calls the problem in Mexico "even worse than Chicago during the Prohibition era" and said a solution similar to what ended that violence is needed now."What worked in the U.S. was not Eliot Ness," he said, referring to the federal agent famous for fighting gangsters in 1920s and '30s. "It was the repeal of Prohibition." That viewpoint has picked up some high-level support in Latin America.
Last week, the former presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil called for the decriminalization of marijuana for personal use and a change in strategy on the war on drugs at a meeting in Brazil of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy. "The problem is that current policies are based on prejudices and fears and not on results," former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria said at a news conference, in which the 17-member commission's recommendations were presented. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has taken the war on drugs to the cartels and some say it's not working. "It's as if the burden of being the main arena of the anti-drug war has overwhelmed Mexican institutions," Birns said. "The occasional anti-drug battle is being won, but the war is being lost. And there's no prospect the war is going to be won."
In the meantime, the killings will continue at a record pace. On Wednesday, the Mexican cities of Torreon and Gomez Palacio reported at least eight shootouts involving heavily armed men. The toll: seven dead, seven wounded.


Dee said...

Oh Ultima, I have been reporting on this mess for months.

The President has met with Calderone to talk about the violence.

You know of course the US is the number one user/abuser of drugs (legal/illegal) in the world.

You know that American mafia/cartels have hired the cartels from Mexico, Central/South America, China, Russia to bring drugs into our country.

You know that the US ships 2000 illegal weapons a day back into Mexico to promote the Drug War.

I have said for months/years that our country's 1st priority should be the War on Drugs and you and your side should stop all of your hate/anger for Latinos and Immigrants and instead partner with the PROs on the War on Drugs. That would solve the majority of our issues. Lets stop Drug Use/Abuse in our country. Lets partner and make that the number one priority!!

Anonymous said...

Dee said:

"You know that American mafia/cartels have hired the cartels from Mexico, Central/South America, China, Russia to bring drugs into our country."

How would you know something like that? Show us the link.

ultima said...

This is a serious and growing problem, Pard! We, of course, support any and all measures that will help solve this problem, not only here but in Mexico where anarchy is waiting in the wings. When so much money is involved, it is very hard to overcome the corruption that money can buy. They might present you with a suitcase full of 20 dollar bills if they thought you could do them some good. That is a very large temptation but perhaps even more important is their propensity to brutally kill anyone who gets in their way.

We're in the fight with you but I don't think solving the drug and weapons problem will resolve all of the issues. Do you have any reports on the meeting of the Hispanic Caucus with Napolitano? What do Hispanics say when confronted with the fact that the open borders, amnesty,end to internal enforcement, and the death knell for e-verification will ultimately reduce their standard of living and quality of life as natural resources decline or are fully committed and pollution increases above the current unacceptable levels as population grows? Why is it so difficult for Hispanics to see that the Pro-America position is in their own best interests?

ultima said...

There is only way to stop the abuse of drugs in America -- a policy of zero tolerance with severe penalties like those of Singapore. This would also require sweeps of the areas where drugs are sold and used to cut off the supply and apprehend the users and traffickers. I don't see our spineless government agreeing to such a policy any time soon. Perhaps we need to return to yester years and post "Wanted Dead or Alive" posters for all known members of drug cartels,etc. I'll bet if the reward was high enough and Mexico agreed there would be a flood of bounty hunters willing to shoot first and ask questions later for anyone entering a cartel compound.

ultima said...

There was one small ray of hope in Afghanistan. Farmers there can actually make more money raising pomegranates than they can raising opium poppies. We are working hard to encourage that changeover.

Anonymous said...

Notice how Dee tries to take the focus totally off the illegal aliens? She is really transparent, isn't she?

Illegal aliens are also a threat to our national well-being in so many ways as you well know, Ultima. Are we to dump our immigration laws and the enforcement of them just because there is a drug problem at the border? I think not! It would be the same thing if we were to ignore bank robbers because there are rapists and murderers running around. All laws need to be enforced. But then we have known for some time what Dee's agenda is, haven't we?

I Travel for JOOLS said...

I listened to part of the house hearings this week on the situation in Mexico and it was made clear by the US authorities testifying that 90 percent of the handguns the cartels have do come from the U.S. but the military grade weapons are mostly coming from China and Israel!

I agree with your zero tolerance policy but instead California is going to let all the druggies out of prison.

What a mess.

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