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All Hell is Breaking Loose in MexicoTim King Salem-News.com
"The Cartels now own Mexico and Juarez" - Cartel message from across the border, stating that El Paso Border Patrol, ICE, and local police were now targets, and that their wives and children were not safe in the US or Mexico... and to stay out of Mexico.
(JUAREZ / SALEM) - As Americans spend their time ingesting national network news, learning about tea parties, sex scandals and the latest Britney Spears controversy, all Hell is breaking loose on the U.S. border with Mexico.
One of our contacts, Tosh Plumlee, has been on the ground in Juarez in recent weeks, where the murder toll rises on an equal footing with the fear and trepidation of a populace caught between the guns of police and drug soldiers with little regard for collateral damage.
There has to be a better way for these illicit business affairs between the cartels to take place, if that is the future, without the constant violence and bloodshed. The way people are being mowed down is far worse than most Americans can even begin to imagine. It is a daily tragedy for the people of Mexico.
Beheaded Man Not Yet Identified
A man's body was dumped in the streets of Juarez after he was beheaded early today. His death is almost certainly related to the drug wars. Beheadings unfortunately are not that rare in this state.
Officials report that the decapitated male was found on Panamerican highway early this morning in the parking lot of Diamond Plaza, at the intersection of Pan American and National Army.
Local news media in Juarez reports that the man's head was found wrapped in black plastic, and that it was discovered separately, a few feet away from the corpse, which officials suspect was dropped there around 1:00 a.m. today.
The victim has not been identified.
Prison Break in Matamoros
A total of 41 inmates escaped from the Executions and Sanctions Center in the city of Matamoros, Mexico. Notimex reports that 38 of the escapees were under federal jurisdiction. Their escape was reportedly supported by two corrections officers, according to Homeland Security Secretary Jose Ives Soberon.
At a press conference, a state official said that before the massive escape of prisoners, officials had called for the immediate removal of the Prison Director, Jaime Cano Gallardo, and the Director General of Tamaulipas Cedes, Orlando Saucedo Pinta, and the initiation of investigations into facts.
The escape reportedly took place without any violence, and it is not the first time that a prison break in Mexico involved a large number of inmates simply being allowed to walk out. Last year we ran a video clip of Mexican cartel members calmly exiting a prison. This group exited the Penitentiary through the front door.
The prison in Matamoros is now being guarded by personnel from the Special State Police backed by elements of the Mexican Navy-Armada.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that residents of one Mexican town, El Porvenir, are seeking political asylum at the U.S. border.
A drug cartel has threatened to kill residents and torch their property. Now they are trying to gain entry into Texas.
Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West said the residents have been told "to vacate or they're going to start killing them and burning their houses down."
The Star Telegram wrote, "Residents from El Porvenir have been arriving at the U.S. port of entry at Fort Hancock, along a desolate stretch of the border about 50 miles southeast of El Paso, over the past week and a half, authorities say. West said more than 30 have requested political asylum."
El Porvenir, with a population of around 10,000, is in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. This part of the country traditionally has been a battlefield for the warring drug cartels.
Texas Politics and a Real Drug War
You have to wonder what the Texas politicians are thinking about. Rep. Kay Granger, a Republican from Fort Worth and a ranking member on the House State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, said earlier this week, "This is a very urgent situation."
So I thought the next logical thing after learning that, was to visit the Congressional Website of Granger to see what kind of information she is sharing with residents about this important problem. It appears that as the drug violence has escalated sharply in recent years, so has the investment of the U.S. taxpayer.
Granger states on her site, "Two years ago, the governments of Mexico and the United States announced the Merida Initiative, a three-year plan to provide Mexico with $1.4 billion in funding to help control drug trafficking. In addition to paying for needed military and law enforcement training and equipment, the Merida Initiative provides funds for judicial reform and human-rights issues. The Merida Initiative, along with President Calderon’s resolve, holds the promise of bringing change to Mexico."
But as we all know, the problems have only gotten far, far worse on Granger's watch. She recently helped secure $83.5 million for the purchase of three Blackhawk helicopters that will be used to help the Mexican government conduct surveillance.
That sounds good, but if there is already a billion point four dollars set aside under the Bush Administration, then why did she need almost a tenth of a billion more? And what of the rows and rows of hundreds, thousands of aircraft that aren't being used or restored?
Oh I forget, the Texas Republicans in lockstep, all wanted to have a war in Iraq.
I think of the people we have lost there; men and women blown up and shot down and the whole military basically bled dry, and all of the aircraft we have lost in the tragic, needless occupation of Iraq.
You could safely say that those losses dwarf the cost of three more brand new Blackhawks. Maybe that is how they justify what they do. What we need to do is turn their argument around.
It sounds to me like an aviation company profited big from this Republican's move. Of course you can go to her site and see where her priorities mostly are.
On Granger's site, you have to move past headlines like "Granger Statement on the One-Year Anniversary of the so-called Stimulus" and you get to read how Democrats "passed a government-takeover of our health care system."
I found this Granger quote on the President's newly passed Healthcare Bill to be quite ironic: "The outcome of tonight’s vote is a huge disappointment. Health care affects every single American. It affects our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandchildren and grandparents..."
Nothing like walking the high road.
But my favorite Granger headline: "Granger says No to More Reckless Government Spending"
I could be wrong and I hope I am, but Charlie Wilson died and the people of Texas are in serious trouble, right along with their Mexican next-door neighbors.
Mr. Wilson, who was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the highly successful film "Charlie Wilson's War"
Through his clever world diplomacy and by pulling strings and calling in debts, Wilson generated enough money to help the Afghan Mujahideen defeat America's decades-old Cold War arch rival, the Soviet Union, of all things. You know what it cost? Less than a billion dollars, total.
I know men who comprised the Mujahideen, and you don't find more efficient human beings. As crazy as it sounds, I am really not surprised that they were able to defeat the world's largest military superpower with less money than the current U.S. provision to Mexican drug fighting.
Charlie Wilson was a fantastic man who knew how to solve a world crisis and have a great time at the same time, and that is an acceptable position to me.
The takedown of Clinton over oral sex and a sperm-stained dress, sent these GOP politicians on a fast track of militant righteousness; dear God they are so confused about the needs of human beings, and their loyalties to the military industrial complex, insurance companies and big pharma place them in a highly compromised position.
I'm sure Rep. Granger is a nice person, but there seems to be a great conflict between her political priorities and what it is going to take to actually fix or solve anything.
The Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, has begun a ramping up of the multi-agency law enforcement presence on the border to prevent violence from spilling over into the United States. I hope from a state level, that this man can come up with some successful strategies aimed at reducing the danger and violence that affects so many.
I have always believed that investing in Mexico, before it became too late, and it is too late... was the only answer, and a solution to everything. But Americans only seem interested in the well-being of people in the Middle East, in places like Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan. The people who could hit Americans with a stone's throw seem to only present a problem when they are in the U.S. Ironically, the people who move 'illegally' to the U.S. are often literally the best, hardest working people that live in America. Pancho Villa's Footsteps
I interviewed a woman in Yuma, Arizona about fifteen years ago who was in her 90's at the time. She had lived during the time that the famous Mexican bandit Pancho Villa was making incursions across the U.S. border with his ragtag army.
This very pleasant grandma told me how her father left to fight Pancho Villa's army, and he left her with a shotgun.
"If they come, you shoot your sister first, and then shoot yourself". I will never forget those words, can you imagine how they must have resounded in her mind over all of the years? At the time, she lived in Columbus, New Mexico - about 12 miles north of Palomas Mexico, where Pancho Villa and his boys crossed over.
Our contact in Mexico, Tosh Plumlee, has been in this region for some time. He says murder is terribly common, and has been for some time.
"Last spring, the mayor of Palomas was executed next to the grade school in Palomas. Last week, cartel members crossed over and shot up the town of Columbus (Fortunately nobody was killed or hit) then ran back across the border."
An even more disturbing piece of news; one that there is no trace of on the Internet (besides this) at this point, involves the body of a former Border Patrol agent that was found inside Mexico dumped along Highway 2.
"He had been kidnapped a few days before. There was no further information on that particular case," Plumlee told Salem-News.
In other recent developments, another American citizen from El Paso was just gunned down in Juarez. This incident has placed the El Paso Police Department on high alert. Officers are reportedly being instructed to wear their bullet-proof vests at all times.
Perhaps the most disturbing news of all, is the delivery of a cartel message from across the border, stating that El Paso Border Patrol, ICE, and local police were now targets, and that their wives and children were not safe in the US or Mexico... and to stay out of Mexico.
It was stated that "The Cartels now own Mexico and Juarez".
Sadly, that might be true.
Americans possibly want these drug wars, I'm not sure but I have my suspicions. Certainly most of the arms used by the illegal drug teams originated in the U.S. and that means money in somebody's pocket. All things in America are graded upon a person or company's potential to drive revenue, and most don't care if they indirectly support illegal wars or crime, as long as it means something positive for them. In some incredible fashion, that has literally become the American way.
Another noteworthy trait of Americans involves vast levels of hypocrisy. The Reagan White House, as we are figuring out, actually launched the "War on Drugs" around the same time that it decided to start taking weapons to Nicaragua and bringing back major shipments of cocaine and other deadly drugs. I speculate that Ron and Nancy struck some kind of a deal... "Ron, if you are going to do that, then I am going to start a war on drugs to counterbalance it".
"The Gipper thinks that is a good idea Nancy; I feel much better about it this way".
Nobody will ever know, but these two programs absolutely came into play around the same time. It certainly wasn't the federal government's only war on drugs; Harry Anslinger launched one of those back in the 30's to criminalize marijuana. But that, as we now know, was necessary to market certain man-made products that natural hemp had always been used for.
Today's headlines under a 'Border Patrol' search on Google reveals, "Cargo of Marijuana Seized by Border Patrol", and there you go. As real problems exist, and people die, and blood flows from the hands of silly politicians driven by personal agendas instead of the will of the American public, or better yet all people in this world, they bust people for running pot.
"They're killing people left and right over there," one police officer said in regard to the immediate problems in Juarez and Chihuahua.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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