Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bounties on U.S. Law Enforcement

From the Washington Post:
A renegade band of Mexican military deserters, offering $50,000 bounties for the assassination of U.S. law-enforcement officers.

These deserters, dubbed the "Zetas," were trained in the United States as an anti-drug commando unit, called "the Special Air Mobile Force Group." It seems that greed knows no bounds though, and up to 200 of these mercenaries (including former Mexican federal, state and local police) have hired themselves and their expertise to Mexican drug lords. They have already begun to recruit "an army of followers, many of whom are believed to be operating in Texas, Arizona, California and Florida."

Since January 1st, they have killed over 100 people, including a former police chief, in Nuevo Laredo alone, a city which is, according to the report, not only their main base, but also the city across the border from El Paso, TX and is a major conduit of imports from Mexico into the U.S. In fact, the problem has gotten so bad in this one city that according to this Reuters report on 29 July:

[The U.S. consulate temporarily closed it's doors] in this lawless Mexican border city after rival drugs gangs clashed with bazookas, hand grenades and heavy machine-gun fire.
. . .
The government then sent troops and federal police to take over Nuevo Laredo, and the city's entire local police force was suspended for investigations into links with the drug barons. Despite the heavy presence of army troops, more than 20 people have since been shot to death.
[emphasis added-Garm, ed.]
And how did Mexico respond to the closing of the consulate? Well, look at this Reuters article from yesterday:
"Yesterday there was a Cabinet-level security meeting and the president gave instructions to radicalize the operation and raise its efficiency," said spokesman [for Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox] Ruben Aguilar. He gave no details, except to rule out a curfew in Nuevo Laredo.
I am not comforted, nor am I convinced. From the Washington Post article:
Since Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year, there have been 196 assaults on Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector, including 24 shootings. During the same period last year, 92 assaults were reported, with five shootings.
Their goal and purpose behind all the violence? To maintain unfettered supply lines with which to pipe cocaine, marijuana, guns, and who knows what else into the United States. They do not care who gets in their way, be it rival gang, police, or military personnel.

While I will welcome with open arms those who come to this country legally and without malice, how could anyone not see that there is a huge problem on our southern border? Yes, though many of the men and women who come across the border illegally, wishing only for a better life and the quintessential American Dream, how many are coming across our border for the sole purpose of importing illegal drugs, destruction, and the murder of men and women who have sworn to defend and protect us? When is Washington going to understand this? I don't advocate putting U.S. troops along the border, but our law enforcement needs help, and not just from the Minuteman Project. It is time for our government to stop this invasion of criminal elements into our country. The drug lords in Mexico, who are thus far untouchable by their own government, are waging a war upon us, whether we know or not and whether we like it or not.

(h/t- Randall @ ParaPundit and Bryan @ The Immigration Blog)

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