Sunday, March 1, 2009
How Are Things on the Border? [3/2/09 Edition]
CNN report: February 27, 2009
[Thank you for caring about this situation enough to read this report. Images can communicate where my words fail. The CNN report attached above contains graphic images. Viewer discretion is advised.]
With so much happening in this Border war zone, I'll keep this report to the main bullet points. (No pun intended!)
* Mexico will send 5000 more soldiers to Ciudad Juarez. Meanwhile a prominent Mexican civil rights activist told a forum in El Paso that the military is involved in unlawful detentions, torture and other abuses while failing to stop the killings. Oops.
* Mexico's President Felipe Calderon felt the need to deny that Mexico is a "failed state." The next day a US State Department report on narcotics control praised Calderon, saying his efforts against the cartels have "proven to be effective." Hmm.
* Meanwhile rampaging organized crime syndicates thumbed their noses at reinforced security measures in northern Mexico, killing 20 people overnight Wednesday. Six of those murders occurred in Juarez.
* The US State Department did not tell spring breakers not to go to Mexico, but it did advise them to avoid areas of prostitution and drug-dealing. (!!!) More than 6,000 people were killed last year in Mexico.
* Texas Governor Rick Perry visited El Paso this week. He wants 1,000 troops to help guard the Texas-Mexico border. "I don't care if they are military, National Guard or customs agents....We must be ready for any contingency." Our local representative responded: "No one in El Paso supports militarization of the border."
* Police are investigating threats against Juárez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz, who moved his family to El Paso for safety, El Paso police announced Monday.
* After several officers were slain last week, the Juarez police chief resigned. Drug war operatives threatened to murder one of his officers every forty-eight hours until he quit. Since last year more than 60 police officers have been killed in Juarez.
* A Homeland Security official affirmed that Mexican drug cartel violence has spilled over into Texas. Later in the week the US attorney general announced a drug cartel roundup that netted over 750 apprehensions from across the nation.
But, from the Good News Department:
Mexico's federal attorney general said Thursday that more than 1,000 people have been killed in drug violence so far this year, but that he believes the worst is nearly over. We certainly hope he has some insider information to substanciate his belief.
And, despite the chaos, millions of ordinary good people in Mexico continue their lives, battling the odds and finding meaning and happiness in small events of ordinary life.