Monday, January 05, 2009

Peace treaty among Mexican cartels?

Two articles by Albert Corchada published yesterday in the Dallas News provide contradictory predictions regarding drug violence in Mexico in 2009:
The news of a possible peace treaty between warring drug cartels is particularly welcome because I seriously doubt whether either the Mexican or US governments can stop the violence on their own.

13 comments:

Rage Judicata said...

I don't think this will stop the violence, it'll just turn in a different direction. If they're not shooting at each other, they'll shoot at law enforcement on this side of the border.

The ones they haven't paid off, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Encourage the warring parties to gather for peace talks in central Mexico and then have the air force drop a daisy cutter on their location. Problem solved.

mexfiles said...

I don't know what Albert's evidence is for making this claim, but there's a counter-claim from the Mexican left (not well-sourced either) that the "war on (some) drug (dealers)" is for the benefit of "protected cartels".

Driving the violence into the United States is still the best option for the Mexicans. There is no reason the buyers -- and those who finance and supply the weaponry -- shouldn't "feel the pain". As a practical matter, that'll also cut into the narcotics trade by raising the consumer prices, given the higher bribes required by U.S. law enforcement and politicos (who are openly bribed in the U.S. through "campaign contributions", something illegal in Mexico)

Rage Judicata said...

mexfiles, if you complain about the border closings and restrictions on immigration as it is, just wait until we start to "feel the pain" on this side of the border.

The fence will definitely go up, and we'll replace border patrol with national guardsmen again. I can promise you there won't be the kind of violence in our streets that you've seen in yours, we'll just close them in your country to make sure you clean up your own damn mess.

Rage Judicata said...

(who are openly bribed in the U.S. through "campaign contributions", something illegal in Mexico)

Also, you may see this as a good thing, but it's the reason only the extremely rich and powerful can run for national office in your country.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Rage, "Border closings" and "restrictions on immigration" never worked before, why do you imagine they'd work now just because violence increases on the American side?

Rage Judicata said...

First of all, as you know, border policy isn't always about doing the right thing. It's about being perceived to make a difference, whether it actually does. So if the shooting starts up over here, we'll react more harshly than ever.

But, I also think we'll finally make a serious effort at it. Efforts in the past have been a farce.

Immigration is already down right now, I believe there's a consensus on that. Is it because of the economy or because of enforcement on this side, or because the border is harder to cross at spots? My guess (yeah, a guess) is that it's in part because of all of them. I have friends here who tell me that their friends and family back home in Mexico are having a harder time coming here legally and many are afraid to try illegally. They specifically cite the fact that the border is harder to get across and that even if they got here there aren't as many jobs as there used to be. Others have been separated from family when one gets deported, and they don't want to risk separation in the future. Granted, most of the folks I know are here legally on a work visa and my neighbor just became a citizen, but they come from areas like Monterrey that are basically way-stations into the US. This is them talking, not me. Whether the border, job, and deportation issues are a reality or just their perception, the fact is that perception is reality.

I personally believe that a border fence that is patrolled in the hot spots and monitored in the remote areas will work. Nothing will stop it entirely, but I don't see why we should let perfect be the enemy of the good. And I know, we have different definitions of good.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Rage, illegal immigration remained high after MANY additional enforcement measures were implemented, then plummeted the moment the economy crashed. I think it's quite clear what reduced immigration and it's hubris IMO to think it's greater enforcement.

Re: "a border fence that is patrolled in the hot spots and monitored in the remote areas will work"

This proposition ignores that most drugs and illegal immigration enter directly through the checkpoints. That's particularly true of drug loads. Your plan is aimed at immigration, not the cartels, and it wouldn't even impact the majority of illegal immigrants who're crossing on the bridges, not in remote areas.

kaptinemo said...

Anon 09:17, the problem is that drug prohibition, like alcohol Prohibition before it, creates the incentive to fill the shoes of the latest crop of any eliminated dealers within seconds.

You don't remove cancerous tumors by splitting them open and releasing the contents into the rest of the body. That's what we've been doing with drug prohibition.

What's needed is to excise the tumor entirely...by eliminating the source cells. And that will require doing for (once legal and now presently) illicit drugs that we did for alcohol. And that requires some big, brown hairy political cojones on the part of US legislators.

Given the lack of such leadership in the past, that's not likely, until enough Americans get whacked that there's sufficient outcry loud enough to drown out the prison/industrial complex's mouthpieces. So I fully expect the violence to continue...and get exponentially worse...

Rage Judicata said...

I guess I edited out the part where I mentioned that many cross through checkpoints and just stay illegally, and I know there's virtually no way to stop that.

As for drugs, no matter what we do in the future relative to a fence we have to do more to search for drugs at checkpoints. I think this means rotating agents, better pay for agents, and supplementing with national guardsmen, for increased searches.

The original issue I responded to was about violence on this side of the border, and if that picks up you can bet we'll have more of every type of restriction, regardless of what works best for interdiction and/or enforcement.

As for the economy causing less immigration, I think that the economy and increased enforcement came so closely on the heels of one another that it would be difficult to separate the two. I do believe the economy was the bigge rfactor, but I hear from immigrants that they are all factors. You are highly unlikely to get busted in an ICE raid (I'd say it's about like Texas testing students for roids), but you don't want to take the risk so that can be a deterrent as well.

Look, we both agree that measures in the past have been ineffective. You see that as a reason to no longer implement those measures. I see it as incentive to implement effective measures and do it right. And doing it right does not mean doing it perfectly, it means making a serious effort at controlling the borders and enforcement from within as well.

Anonymous said...

This proposition ignores that most drugs and illegal immigration enter directly through the checkpoints. That's particularly true of drug loads. Your plan is aimed at immigration, not the cartels, and it wouldn't even impact the majority of illegal immigrants who're crossing on the bridges, not in remote areas.

While I'm not saying all crossings have stopped at the Tex/Mex border, your information is outdated. Strong Texas law enforcement efforts have no doubt forced route changes into Arizona and California.

mexfiles said...

Rage -- what's different about the "rich and powerful" running for public office anywhere. The Bushes were poor folk? Obama? McCain? The Clintons? Please! When was the last time anyone ran for even Congress without huge financial backing, and personal wealth?

Sinaloa, the narco-state where I live, is hardly the wild west you seem to think. A lot of times, I don't even bother to lock my front door. I've lived on and off in Mexico City and have never thought twice about walking alone at night, even in "rough" neighborhoods. Try that in Dallas or Houston or even in Des Moines, Iowa!

Secondly, the violence associated with the narcotics/gun/money laundering trade (something too many see as separate issues) is already out of control in the U.S. and has been for years. But murders or child abuse cases or neglect, etc. don't seep into the national consciousness. Here, the murders tend to be spectacular, with a high body count PER murder. But a dozen killed in one place compared to several hundred killed around the U.S. every day just doesn't grab one's attention.

Rage, you seem to assume that gangsters who operate in the U.S. will be Mexican gangsters. Not necessarily so. What makes you think Mexicans will stay in control of the U.S. sales market if the trade is driven north? The Colombians used to run the trade til they were run out by creating a police state in that country. I wouldn't want to see a police state here, but it could happen... and when (not IF) the TRADE moves north, you can be sure it's gonna be made-in-America gangsters running the show.

Not a pretty thought, and I know my "suggestion" was outrageous. But, but my point is that the it's hard to get across that the U.S. is trying to "outsource" their problem and not manning up to dealing with it.

Rage Judicata said...

The Bushes were poor folk? Obama? McCain? The Clintons? Please! When was the last time anyone ran for even Congress without huge financial backing, and personal wealth?

Actually, the vast majority of Obama's money came from every day individuals who donated on average $86.00. He also refused PAC money, and told 527's to stop campaigning on his behalf when they turned negative, refusing to accept their contributions to his campaign.

Most Congress-critters are not wealthy. Mine was a judge before he went into congress and while they make a decent living they are far from wealthy and he worked his way up from a district attorney. His wife is a school teacher.

Sinaloa, the narco-state where I live, is hardly the wild west you seem to think. A lot of times, I don't even bother to lock my front door. I've lived on and off in Mexico City and have never thought twice about walking alone at night, even in "rough" neighborhoods. Try that in Dallas or Houston or even in Des Moines, Iowa!

I do it all the time in Houston and Dallas, actually. Austin, San Antonio, New York, Chicago, LA< you name it, I've been in tons of places at all times of the day and night. Never been to Des Moines, but I wouldn't treat that city than any other that I ever go to.

Curious, though, if you don't lock your front door, do you live in an area surrounded by walls? Have a bunch of broken glass mortared on top of them? Gated front yard? Because many Mexican cities I've been in (almost two dozen) have large housing blocks that are virtual compounds or individual houses that have anything from glass to razor wire, to steel barriers, to adobe/brick fences and gates, making your front door claim laughable, at best.

Secondly, the violence associated with the narcotics/gun/money laundering trade (something too many see as separate issues) is already out of control in the U.S. and has been for years. But murders or child abuse cases or neglect, etc. don't seep into the national consciousness. Here, the murders tend to be spectacular, with a high body count PER murder. But a dozen killed in one place compared to several hundred killed around the U.S. every day just doesn't grab one's attention.

You already have the several hundred a year as well. Now you have the more spectacular ones to worry about, and you're wishing them on us?

Rage, you seem to assume that gangsters who operate in the U.S. will be Mexican gangsters. Not necessarily so.

I am under no such delusion.

What makes you think Mexicans will stay in control of the U.S. sales market if the trade is driven north?

You're not in control of the trade itself, you're in control of the routes. That's what the main fight is about nowadays. With increased border security and increased corruption investigations on our side of the border, more and more routes into the country are being closed off, making the remaining ones worth fighting for.

The Colombians used to run the trade til they were run out by creating a police state in that country. I wouldn't want to see a police state here, but it could happen... and when (not IF) the TRADE moves north, you can be sure it's gonna be made-in-America gangsters running the show.

You don't think you have a police state? In Guadalajara I saw a federal soldier shoot a man who was running from a store with an M-16. He was dropped off on that corner every morning by an Army truck that distributed soldiers throughout the city. And they were everywhere. In border towns the feds are having to come in and clean up after your local authorities, pretty much all of whom are on the take and complicit in the drug trade.

You live in a police state, my friend.

Not a pretty thought, and I know my "suggestion" was outrageous. But, but my point is that the it's hard to get across that the U.S. is trying to "outsource" their problem and not manning up to dealing with it.

If the drugs come from your country, why is that not your problem? We wouldn't have as many if you didn't let them be manufactured in or transported through, your country. They may come from somewhere else, but not near as easily, cheaply, or often.


(on a side note, my word verification for posting this was "chili.")