Monday, March 9, 2009

Mexico's drug war can bring immigration, protectionism from back to front for Obama Administration

I don't know about you, but when my niece stated that she wanted to vacation in Cancun for her college break, my sister and I said, "NO." With all that is happening South of the Border and the Mexican government in chaos against the drug cartels, at this point just "No Way."

In Mexico, it is hard not to work for the government on the up and up. Not when you have the Mexican drug cartel who can buy your information out and promise you safety for your family. Not when the drug cartel can offer you much more money than what you are making now as a police officer. It is hard, especially when poverty in Mexico is much more grave than in the United States and has been that way for a very long time.

The war of the drug cartel versus the Mexican government is real and is easily spilling into the United States. As things are hot and heavy in Mexico, don't think it can not heat up here and the discussion of immigration but more importantly protecting this country will not heat up as well.

Bodies stacked in the morgues of Mexico's border cities tell the story of an escalating drug war. Drug violence claimed 6,290 people last year, double the previous year, and more than 1,000 in the first eight weeks of 2009.

Each bullet wound or broken bone details the viciousness with which the cartels battle a government crackdown and each other. Slain policemen lie next to hit men in the rows of zipped white bags.

Workers toil up to 12 hours a day, sometimes seven days a week, to examine the remains. When Tijuana coffin makers fell behind during the December holidays, the morgue there crammed 200 bodies into two refrigerators made to hold 80.

"There are times here when there are so many people, so many cadavers, that we can't keep up," says the Tijuana morgue director, Federico Ortiz.

Tijuana is on the border of San Diego, California. And the Obama Administration is concerned.
Evidence that Mexico's drug wars are now affecting the US is growing:

•Kidnappings are a growing problem in Phoenix, local and federal law enforcement officials report, as rival Mexican traffickers fight over smuggling routes and safe houses on the Arizona side of the border.

•A drug gang wreaking havoc on Ciudad Ju├írez, Mexico, announced publicly it would have no qualms about pursuing the city's mayor across the border to El Paso, Texas, where the mayor moved his family for safety.

•The Justice Department last week announced the arrests of 52 additional people in a two-year operation from California to Maryland that has netted more than 700 suspects linked to the Sinaloa drug cartel.

•Mexico's drug-trafficking organizations have a presence in at least 230 US cities and "constitute the largest threat to the US" in terms of crime and illegal narcotics distribution of all such organizations, according to the Department of Justice's National Drug Threat Assessment 2009.

"There's no question the consistency and intensity of violence on the Mexican side of the border has led to an increase in violence on our side," says Roderick Ai Camp, an expert in Mexico's military at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.

With everything happening in this country, just another issue which has been festering to pile on. And if you missed the 60 Minutes segment on this issue last week, here it is again.


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