Monday, September 01, 2008

Mexico rallies against kidnappings, cartel violence, police corruption

In Mexico, a popular political backlash may be swelling thanks to the rising tide of drug cartel-related killings and the lawlessness left in its wake, at least to judge by reports of a rally in Mexico City Saturday drawing more than 200,000 people in the capital as well as simultaneous rallies in all 32 Mexican states.

Kidnappings more than corrupt cops or even narco-homicides appear to be driving the most public anger, at least in the capital, reported the LA Times:
The abduction anxieties run across a surprisingly wide swath of society. There have been cases in which working-class families were ordered to pay as little as $500 to get a relative back.

A report by the daily Milenio newspaper said a review of federal statistics showed that only 1 in 8 kidnapping victims was a business executive. About half were in the middle class or below, the newspaper reported.

"They call it an elitist crime because only the rich get kidnapped, but that's not true. They'll kidnap you for $1,000 or $2,000," said Alfredo Neme Martinez, who heads a national association of wholesale merchants.

The kidnapping furor has gripped the country since the death early last month of 14-year-old Fernando Marti. The youth was found dead in Mexico City after his wealthy family, founders of a chain of sporting goods stores, reportedly paid kidnappers millions of dollars for his release.

The case has provoked public outrage by seeming to crystallize the nation's broader problems of crime and corruption, and the failure of successive governments to deal with them. Worse, the abduction may have involved police, stoking a long-held suspicion here that law enforcement officers are more a problem than a cure.
Whether police were involved in abducting Marti, clearly Mexico must dramatically reduce police corruption to have a prayer of ever defeating deep-pocketed drug cartels. While the United States has its own serious corruption problem, for the most part the public still trusts the cops. In Mexico, police impotence in the face of cartel violence has left them utterly discredited. The New York Times reports that "A big debate circulates over police checkpoints. Should one stop and risk that the people dressed as police officers really are on the side of the law?"

The old offer to police on the border now applies everywhere in Mexico - plata o plomo, silver or lead. Police who don't comply pay the price, as evidenced by the recent murder of a police chief in Chihuahua State on his first day at the job after he'd replaced another murdered police chief. Nationwide, more than 500 police have been murdered during the recent bout of violence.

There was a time not long ago when serious crime, even by drug runners, was mostly limited to the border region and to seedier regions of the capital. Today the violence has spread to every corner of Mexico.

Thankfully for the United States, so far most of the violence has stopped at the border. The El Paso Times reports that:
With more than four months remaining in 2008, there have been almost 900 homicides in Juárez.

To date in 2008, El Paso has had 12 homicides -- none believed to be related to Mexican drug violence.

Still, there was a time when the violence stopped at the borders of Colombia, but that didn't stop drug traffickers influence from steadily creeping north over time. The rallies across Mexico come during the same week that a new US intelligence report predicted cartel-related violence will increase in the near term until one group of traffickers becomes dominant. Again from the El Paso Times:
"Once a dominant cartel is established in the El Paso-Juárez plaza, stability will return to the area and the flow of drugs most likely will increase," states an annual analysis of the West Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA, released in May by the National Drug Intelligence Center. ...

The National Drug Intelligence Center analysis says six major Mexican drug organizations plus 120 multistate groups and 606 local drug trafficking rings are operating in West Texas. The groups range in size from five to dozens of members.

The Mexican cartels also have distribution cells in dozens of cities across the United States, and have formed alliances with prison gangs, street gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs, stated a Congressional Research Service report issued in February, titled "Mexico's Drug Cartels."

There's a good chance the main foreign policy debates in the presidential race this fall will mostly be about Iraq, the war on terror and American policy in the Middle East. But Americans, particularly those of us in border states, have a much greater interest in learning what the candidates would do about ascending violence on our own continent than half a planet away.


Anonymous said...

They can rally all they want, it won't change squat until we go in and do what we did with Iraq; force them to institute some semblance of democracy.

In the meantime they will continue to act like the oligarchs they are and we will benefit from it with cheap labor. All the while criticizing China for "humanitarian violations".

What a bunch of bullshit.

Anonymous said...

What do we want?
More police!
When do we want it?
Right now!

Hey Hey,
Ho Ho,
Los kidnapperos have got to go!

Dude. I'm ready for the drum circle and tacos! Smoke that sheet or pass it.

Anonymous said...

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????NATION OF MEXICO-THOUSANDS OF QUESTIONS-STILL NO ANSWERS!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The NWO has to have their drug thugs. Too many bucks to cut the drug trade off. They make money off the dope and the system to stop it. How cool is that dude? Talk about a money making system. If the US Gov wanted to stop drug trafficing they would get out of the business. Next you folks will want them to stop arms asles. The world is too over populated for the NWO so what better way to kill off a bunch of people than with drugs and arms. The kicker is that it makes a ton of money for the NWO while they reach their objectives. Until you people figure out who the real enemy is you don't have a chance in hell! If the US can bomb the crap out of people half way around the world with precesion guided bombs why can't we take out a few drug king pins. A National border has never bothered us before so why don't we make an example out of few drug lords by killing them and their entire families while they are at home having dinner as the laser guided bomb make a crater where they used to live. War on drugs my ass!

Gritsforbreakfast said...


Anonymous said...

Nude World Odor?

Anonymous said...

Mexico knows that the source of the majority of corruption and violence stems from the laws sanctioning the DrugWar. Mex pols tried to move legislatively towards reforming those laws...this is what happened. The 800 lb gorilla wearing the Uncle Sam hat and suit leaned on them to continue the game...which had the same effect of throwing gasoline on a fire. Might as well have given the cartels freshly loaded magazines for their future butcheries.

When are we going to learn?

Anonymous said...

I question the idea that the violence stops North of the Border. Down here we may do our slaughter in wholesale batches, but you're killing each other retail... not to mention using the narcotics (which are a much less serious issue here) to kill yourselves (and your families or the people you smack on the road). Mexican gangsters are just the middlemen for U.S. buyers of Colombian and Peruvian products. This is Mexico's problem exactly why?

Anonymous said...

Prohibition made the organized crime bosses the power of their day. When Prohibition ended so did the big money for organized crime. The same applies for the US Gov protected drug lords! It is a known fact the US Gov flew in millions in drugs out of Central America on CIA planes. China White was placed inside of the bodies of dead Vietnam soldiers by people inside the US Gov. The war on crime is BS! If you think the drug cartels are making money think what the big boys north of the US border are raking in. Make dope legal and put a tax on it and see the drug cartels go out of business over night. Alcohol is just as deadly if not more so than drugs. Give the junkies their daily fix for $5 a day and property crime will fall drastically. Prisons will start to empty of drug offenders. Hell kick all of the drug offenders out prison and let them have dope or treatment for $5 a day. It will never happen because there is big money in law enforcement and corrections along with the profits from the drug trafficking for the big money people. When the NWO screws you or your family what I am saying here will snap into focus for you; too bad it will be too late. Take a look at your local police swat team; they look like storm troopers in their black outfits. Yes they are here to protect you.

Anonymous said...


I personally believe that every country has corruption problems Grits. I believe that the difference here is that corruption is punished. Well at least in the law enforcement world. I mean Grits for Breakfast never misses an opportunity to point out an arrest of a police officer or border agent. However I believe that the fact that corrupt cops are being arrested is a good thing and the fact that the media points it out as being an example of all cops is ridiculous. The reason the people still trust the police in America is because for the most part the police are trustworthy. American police, police their own. I mean the police do not routinely pull over women and rape them. This is extremely common in Mexico and especially by the armed forces there.

The police in Mexico have no credibility because in Mexico law enforcement is not a public service but rather and entrepreneurial endeavor. Quite simply said, the police in Mexico protect those who pay them. This true of the Mexican Armed forces who can pull you over just like a state trooper can here.

Corruption is a way of life in Mexico and only the people of Mexico can change that. No amount of money that we give Mexico will end its governmental flaws. What are those flaws?

Well lets begin (there may be some similarities to the U.S. and Texas declarations of independence):

1. The military authority has held itself above and totally unaccountable to the civil authority.

2. Corruption is not punished at the top or bottom of Mexican society.

3. Pay for Police, Judicial Officers, Prosecutors, and members of the the Mexican Armed Forces is not a salary that one can live on comfortably force these people to find other avenues of income.

4. Evidence under torture is commonly held as admissible in Mexican courts. This fact has caused the miscarriage of justice to be a common and accepted way of doing business.

5. Civilians have been disarmed by the government and the only people with weapons (guns mainly) are the police, military forces, and criminals.

6. Police are often just hired on the spot and not given any sort of formal training. While the Mexican armed forces receive training in the implements of combat, they receive no training on policing civilian populations and are often left to police extremely isolated areas of Mexico without proper supervision. This has often led to the "government death squads."

7. Police must often supply their own gasoline, cars, and guns. Some officers have a gun but no bullets.

8. Freedom of the press is limited in Mexico and can be controlled by the government.

9. Members of the Mexican Special Forces are often trained in the United States and when they gain that training they are often recruited by the Los Zetas and they teach U.S. secrets to drug cartels. Face it the drug cartels pay better.

10. Mexico has been messed up since it declared independence from Spain. It has had one revolution after another and nothing has changed. Mexico is Mexico and that is that.

Does the drug war fuel narco-terrorism in Mexico? Well yes, but Mexico has always been an untamed nation. Its borders have always been killing fields since its inception as a nation state. Look at history and you will see that our "war on drugs" has little to do with Mexican problems historically.

The only thing that United States can do is keep the violence on the Mexican side of the border. No, don't build a fence. Make roads that the border patrol, police, and military can drive on and increase their numbers. Increase the numbers of judges, prosecutors, and detention facilities to hold violators of U.S. laws. Then deport them. Charge high fines to illegal immigrants who have American relatives (i.e. children born on U.S. soil) for immigrating illegally in order to make it more expensive than legal immigration. Provide education to all people within the United States and charge it to Mexico. Forcing people to remain uneducated creates two options for those people: manual labor or crime. Charge Mexico for the medical care of its citizens and rack up the numbers. If Mexico won't pay up sue them in international court and cut off all U.S. funding. Dollar diplomacy does not work with Mexico when we won't cut that funding off. Oh and make learning English mandatory in two years unless a person is mentally disabled in the United States. Two years is plenty.

I think that there is only one foreign policy towards Mexico and that is accountability for ones own citizens. It is not America's fault that Mexico is messed up. It is Mexico's fault and always has been. Only the people of Mexico can change things, not the American people. To think otherwise is folly.

Protect our borders, and save our state.

Anonymous said...

It would be easier to just annex in one manageable chunk per decade until either we've absorbed the entire thing or they manage to fix themselves.

Absorbing the whole thing at once would be a problem but we could fix it one "state" at a time.

They'd great us as liberators!

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