Mexico Meltdown Approaches Warp Speed

Watching
the Presidential candidates perform their stump
speeches, you would have no idea that
America
`s worst
security threat is not halfway round the world but

right next door.


Day by day, the bodies pile higher in w:st="on">Mexico as Presidente Felipe
Calderon`s

military crackdown on drug cartels
shows no sign of
working.
 A

mid-October tally
of
Mexico
`s drug-related
deaths this year put the number at around 3,500,
compared with

2673 in all of 2007 and 1410
in 2006.

Worse,
America`s
thin strands
of border barbed wire
have not kept
Mexico
`s spiraling
violence from encroaching on our soil, as more evidence
appears that Mexican crime is here in a big way. And
powerful drug cartels have assembled just the

cross-border smuggling infrastructure
that other
enemies could easily use.

How much
has Mexican anarchy worsened?

When the State Department warned Americans in 2005 not
to visit south of the border,
Mexican
officials reacted
with howls of indignation. But
when Foggy Bottom voiced similar caution in an

Oct. 14 Travel Alert
,
Mexico City

kept its designated squawkers quiet. Why call more
attention to a smoldering train wreck? Even Mexican
bureaucrats can occasionally recognize times when
silence is the better part of diplomacy.

Another negative milestone: the decision of south w:st="on">Texas sheriffs to return fire across the w:st="on">Rio Grande because of
escalating criminal aggression. In

Hidalgo County
, a smuggler rammed a deputy`s vehicle
October 13 to make his getaway. But that incident was a
mere burp compared with the 2006 attack where 300 shots
were fired from
Mexico

at Hidalgo
deputies and Border Patrol officers.

There was no fire returned then. But recently Sheriff
Lupe Trevino declared: "If fired upon we will respond
in kind"
[South
Texas deputies authorized to fire into Mexico
,
Associated Press,
October 17, 2008].

When the history of failed states is written twenty
years from now, w:st="on">Mexico will be a
major chapter. The period through which we are living
will be understood as the tipping point where the
government lost its effort to maintain general order and
control over its territory.


Mexico

has been in the midst of an internal military campaign
to root out organized crime since Calderon initiated the
crackdown in December 2006, soon after his inauguration.
But violence is worsening in many ways.

Mexicans`

fear of crime is a top political issue
. They are
unconvinced that their government can solve the growing
anarchy. In late August,

Mexicans rallied
in every state to protest crime,
including 150,000 in w:st="on">Mexico City`s main plaza. Their anger is
compounded by the knowledge of corruption at every level
that makes crime fighting even more difficult.

It`s hard to keep the multiple murders straight
because there are so many of them:




  • Twelve decapitated bodies
    were found August 28
    outside the Yucatán Peninsula city of Mérida.



     


  • Police found 24 bodies bound and shot in a rural
    area outside w:st="on">Mexico City on Sept. 13.



     


  • And on Aug. 16, gunmen shot and killed 13 people,
    including a baby, at a party in the northern town of
    Creel
    . [Violence
    escalates in Mexico`s drug wars
    , USA Today, day="25" month="9" w:st="on">Sept. 25, 2008]



     
  • On October 16, members of the Mexican army engaged
    in a daytime shootout with drug cartel personnel in
    which four people were wounded in downtown w:st="on">Matamoros, across the
    border from
    Brownsville
    . The

    gun battle
    used military grade weapons including
    grenades and lasted a couple hours. Local officials
    feared the violence could spill over the border and

    recommended that Texans avoid Matamoros
    for the
    time being.
     
  • According to the

    Stratfor
    intelligence service, 64 people were
    killed in cartel-related violence in w:st="on">Tijuana in the week
    beginning September 26. 

     
  • In w:st="on">Juarez, the cartel-generated death toll so far this
    year is

    around 1,100
    . The city of 1.5 million is deemed
    too dangerous for American soldiers to visit for
    R&R.

The good news is that
El Paso

across the Rio
Grande

is still relatively

low in homicides
(only 17 in 2007 in a city of
600,000). The bad news is that the
El Paso
`s Thomason
Hospital
has been dinged for $1 million in

medical and security costs
for victims of
Mexico
`s drug violence.

Even so, some in Juarez
hope to lure back the fearful American tourist by a
billboard campaign characterizing the city as the


"Land of Encounters"
. 
How curiously descriptive.

What does this crime signify? Much of Mexican violence
is intramurals among drug gangs. But is this an era of
newly politicized cartel members? Or merely some unhappy
fellows miffed at
America
`s cruel
immigration policy, who procured a

grenade
in the local mercado?



  • The Mexican Independence Day attack, where
    fragmentation grenades were tossed into a crowd of
    celebrants in
    Morelia, killing eight

This was
particularly shocking—pure

terrorism against the general population
instead of
the usual gang warfare. Targeting civilians on the
national holiday was apparently another bloody
escalation designed by the crime syndicates to weaken
public resolve. As the
Austin Statesman`s

"This is a new stage with attacks on the civilian
population," said Jorge Chabat, a security expert in
Mexico City
. "It`s a very
disturbing change." Before the w:st="on">Morelia attack, Mexican authorities had
scoffed at attempts to compare
Mexico

to
Colombia
. Though
Mexican cartels largely have directed their violence at
each other or at suspected dirty cops, Colombian
cartels, led by the now-deceased drug lord Pablo
Escobar, embarked on a campaign of terror aimed at
destabilizing the Colombian government
.
[A
history of violence
, By Jeremy Schwartz,
Austin American-Statesman, Sept. 28, 2008]

Is
a full-scale Colombia-style wave of terror the next step
for the Mexican crime syndicates? Let`s hope not—quite
enough Mexicans are already


"moving"
to the
United States

to

escape the carnage
of home.

One old adage is that when
America

catches a cold,
Mexico

catches pneumonia. But when
Mexico

gets blood poisoning, the
United States
becomes
infected by thousands of single cuts.

The Bush Administration`s refusal to shut down the
southwestern

welcome mat
has led to increasing danger to
Americans, as the Mexican way of crime oozes inexorably
north.

The
American drug czar John Walters agrees:


"Some of these groups not only engage in crime and
violence not only in
Mexico

and along the border, but they come across and kidnap,
murder and carry out assassinations. These groups do not
respect the border."

[US
official: Mexican cartels murder, kidnap in US
,
Associated Press,
Oct 17, 2008]

Unfortunately, Walters` solution is to expedite the
initial $400 million increment of the Merida Initiative,
a

dubious scheme
that funnels $1.4 billion of American
taxpayer money to a country recognized round the world
for its corruption at all levels of society.

A
documentary filmmaker who investigated border drug
smuggling recently confirmed the

increasing seriousness of crime (October 20 on CNN
):

RUSTY
FLEMING, PRODUCER,
"DRUG WARS":
Previously it
was a sense of these cartels are never going to act out
within our borders the way they do in
Mexico
. But they`re
starting to do that now and I think we should take that
threat very seriously.

Examples:




  • The recent

    kidnapping of 6-year-old Cole Puffinburger
    from
    his Las
    Vegas

    home by Mexican gangsters over drug money was a
    chilling reminder of how the most dangerous foreign
    criminals
    can now act at will in this country.
    The boy`s
    grandfather reportedly stole millions of dollars
    from Mexican drug dealers who wanted to "send a
    message"
    about the debt. Fortunately the
    kidnappers released Cole safely in w:st="on">Las Vegas in a few days—and after the
    grandfather had been arrested by the police.

Phoenix,
Arizona
,
known in tourist brochures as the

Valley of the
Sun
, is now living up to its new title,

Kidnap
Capital, USA
:

“Moreover, crimes committed by drug gangs that have
become common in w:st="on">Mexico are now crossing the border,
police officials say. Phoenix Police Cmdr. Joe Klima
notes that 350 kidnappings were recorded in the city
last year, a crime he describes as previously
nonexistent.


“Another cartel novelty is the
numbers of `drop houses`—homes on the w:st="on">U.S. side where illegal immigrants
take refuge after crossing the border. Last year,
Phoenix authorities discovered a record amount—163 such
sites—according to Alonzo Peña, special agent-in-charge
of the Phoenix Office of Investigations for Immigration
and Customs Enforcement.”

[Mexican
drug cartels move into human smuggling
, By David
Francis, San
Francisco Chronicle,
March 31, 2008]

In order to
combat this crime menace, the city`s police department
has organized a special team of ten detectives to
prevent kidnapping.

       
[Lt.
Laurie] Burgett
said kidnappers are turning quite savage
.

" `We`ve had
teenagers who were

sexually abused
. We`ve had toes broken with bricks,
so they`re smashing their toes … Murders, sexual
abuse. We have had some of the males, actually adults,
being

sodomized
. Torture—they`re electrocuting them;
they`re hanging them on the walls; they`re not feeding
them.`”

[New
Phoenix Police Team Targets Kidnapping
, KPHO-TV, w:st="on">Phoenix, month="9" w:st="on">Sept. 8, 2008]

  • If violent
    crimes against persons aren`t enough, w:st="on">America`s
    national forests and parks
    are being poisoned by
    industrial-strength marijuana farming by Mexican
    cartels, a criminal activity that has been going on
    since at least 1998.

An
AP report [Mexican
marijuana cartels sully US forests, parks
, day="11" month="10" w:st="on">October 11, 2008] called those areas
"some of the most polluted pockets of wilderness in w:st="on">America because of the toxic
chemicals needed to eke lucrative harvests from rocky
mountainsides."

Anti-marijuana raids on public lands have become
predictable news every fall, along with other harvest
items like the

wine grape harvest
in
Napa w:st="on">County and largest pumpkin contests.
Here`s a 2003 article in Los Angeles Times,

Park`s Pot Problem Explodes
, and a 2002
report in the New York Times,

Marijuana Found Thriving in Forests
.

Agents in camo sweep in on military helicopters, chase
off the Mexicans and rip up the plants. Drug Czar John
Walters appeared in a

Mexican marijuana garden located deep in Sequoia
National Park
in August. The 10,000 plants would
have had an estimated street value of $40 million.

The clean-up of the toxics is left to
small groups like the
High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew
. Among the better
known environmental organizations,
"the Sierra Club
acknowledges other priorities than drug bandits"

according to an August 9, 2005 story in the LA Times [War
of the weed
]. So some of the most

magnificent trees
on earth have almost no protection
from the Mexican purveyors of poison.


Mexico

is the source of so much evil that we American friends
of

law
and

sovereignty
have a tough road ahead.


Washington

leaders have no interest in public safety when compared
with the perceived political advantages of increasing
diversity—the path to the

Permanent Democratic Majority.
The globalists are
more concerned with ideology than with mundane concerns
like stopping foreign crime at the border.

Only a
grassroots surge of patriotic outrage can prevent w:st="on">America turning into a nationwide
Mexifornia.

Brenda Walker (email
her) lives in w:st="on">Northern California and publishes two websites,

LimitsToGrowth.org
and

ImmigrationsHumanCost.org
. She thinks that if
infrastructure is to be built as part of yet another
economic stimulus, an enlarged border fence more like
the Great Wall of China
would be a fine project.