Friday, February 13, 2009

War Breaks Out in the U.S. & There's No Geneva Convention!

Speculation that the Mexican drug war would cross the border into the U.S. was both right and wrong.

Right: Drug war action is already occurring in the U.S., as witnessed by kidnappings, beatings, torture and slit throats documented in U.S. cities.

Wrong: The U.S. Border cities are not necessarily the first affected. Bloodshed is occurring miles from the border in, for instance, Atlanta and Phoenix.

It is a particularly ugly war. Rusty Payne, a Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman in Washington, stated that cartel operatives are capable of doing anything. Very little is off limits "when you are willing to chop heads off, put them in an ice chest and drop them off at a police precinct, or roll a head into a disco, [or] put beheadings on YouTube as a warning," he told reporter Alicia Caldwell of the Associated Press.

While the U.S. violence has so far not matched the extensive and grisly nature of Mexican drug war action, intelligence from the U.S. Dept. of Justice shows Mexican cartel activity in 230 U.S. cities. Police found five men with slit throats in Birmingham AL in August who were apparently tortured with electric shock before their deaths in a murder-for-hire action by a Mexican drug organization due to a $400,000 debt. Is this the wave of the future for the U.S.?

Citizens with no connection to drug cartels have also suffered a sharp increase in home invasions and kidnappings in Phoenix AZ where they've logged 350 annually for the past two years. Police say the majority of these were perpetrated by Mexican drug organizations. In a June cartel action heavily armed men in stormed a Phoenix house and opened random fire, killing one. The number of kidnappings is difficult to estimate because victims do not always report to the police, but Phoenix is named the "Kidnap for Ransom Capital" in yesterday's LA Times.

Law officers are worried. "The violence follows the drugs," according to David Cuthbertson, who heads the FBI's office in El Paso TX. U.S. citizens, whether or not they have any connection to the illegal drug industry, also have reason for concern. We on the border with Northern Mexico know that drug war chaos creates a climate of lawlessness that restricts both individual's livelihoods and society's functioning.

War is ugly. It's even uglier when it is undeclared...and outside the bounds of the Geneva Convention. And the evidence indicates that war is breaking out in the United States.


claire bangasser said...

This is quite a warning, you're giving here.

In Puerto Rico, where drug trafficking is heavy, the murder rate is very high, usually between gangs. It does not seem yet to involve people outside the drug business.

But the lawlessness can be frightening, as when two young men in a car told off another driver, who replied by using an automatic weapon. Three bullets ended up in the driver and ten other bullets in the passenger, a young boy of 16. Both survived, and both are afraid of pointing the finger at the man who shot them...

Thank you for your reports from the border. It helps me read the news better :-)

Randal Graves said...

Just goes to show that we haven't been tough enough. Time to ramp it up from a mere war to a global conflict of genocidal proportion!

Humans are stupid and tribal and ridiculous.

Border Explorer said...

Claire, I hope I wasn't too strong--and thus scared off the commentators. However, I stand by the article and invite differing (or modifying) opinions.

Getting caught in the crossfire is a reason I avoid going into Juarez for frivolous purposes.

Initially, it was mostly safe for those not involved in the drug business because you weren't targeted, but now common criminals are pig-piling onto a bad situation. Theft and extortion are rampant with kidnapping rumors just starting to appear in the press as documented acts.

Another frightening aspect is the absence of humanity (apparent in the grizzly nature of the action of organized crime.) When, in December, a severed human head is found on the curb sporting a Santa hat, you know that nothing is off the table.

I don't think this news is making it into the Midwest press...or very generally across the US.

an average patriot said...

Knowing it has been going on for years here and that it is really just starting to get air time as to brutality but I will shut up as it could get lengthy and just say I have been noticing that of late drug busts are getting larger and more frequent and that translates to more violence!

Border Explorer said...

Randal, you slipped in there when I was waxing on...and on...Can tell you're a dad with teens with that "get tough" tack. :-)

James, now there's a case-in-point on what "getting tough" can provoke. [This is why the world hates the U.S.!]