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AP: Border Drug War No Reason To Worry

Some surprising admissions from the Associated Press, albeit discreetly buried on a summer holiday weekend:

People stand on a border crossing and next to a banner reading "U.S. border patrol, we worry about the violence in Mexico, we (k)now you, murderers" in Ciudad Juarez June 8, 2010.

Mexico’s drug war heats up near Arizona border

By Elliot Spagat, Associated Press Writer Mon Jul 5, 2010

ALTAR, Mexico – Very few residents dare to drive on one of the roads out of this watering-hole for migrants, fearing they will be stopped at gunpoint. They worry they will be told to turn around after their gas tanks are drained or, worse, be kidnapped or killed.

A shootout that left 21 people dead and six wounded on the road last week is the most gruesome sign that a relatively tranquil pocket of northern Mexico is quickly turning into a hotbed of drug-fueled violence on Arizona’s doorstep. The violence in recent months is grist for supporters of the state’s tough new law against illegal immigration, who are eager to portray the border as a lawless battlefield of smugglers both of drugs and humans.

Those redneck racist xenophobes. How crazy they are to get upset over a few murders.

Nogales, the main city in the region, which shares a border with the Arizona city of the same name, has had 131 murders so far this year, nearly surpassing 135 for all of 2009, according to a tally by the newspaper Diario de Sonora. That includes two heads found Thursday stuffed side by side between the bars of a cemetery fence.

The carnage still pales compared to other Mexican border cities, most notably Ciudad Juarez, which lies across from El Paso, Texas, which had 2,600 murders last year. But the increase shows that some small cattle-grazing towns near Nogales are now in the grip of drug traffickers who terrorize residents.

The violence is concentrated in a few villages in the mountainous desert area of Rio Altar, which, until recently, drew tourists for its handsome churches, its river, a tilapia-filled lake and cooler temperatures. The roads wind through mountains of mesquite trees and saguaro cactus…

The territory is disputed between Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who heads the Sinaloa cartel, and the Beltran Leyva cartel, whose leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed in a shootout last December with Mexican marines in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City.

Locals trace the wave of violence to the arrest in February of Jose Vazquez Villagrana, nicknamed "El Jaibil," or "The Wild Boar." Vazquez, reported to be an ally of Guzman, was captured by federal police in the nearby town of Santa Ana…

Aren’t these colorful names so amusing? It’s just like the days of the ‘Wild West’ or Chicago of the ‘Roaring Twenties.’

Tubutama, a village of about 1,500 people with no hotel, restaurant or gas station, canceled its annual town fair last month for the first time in memory. The move came after the town’s comptroller and director of public works were murdered.

Journalists who cover the small villages stopped visiting several months ago, saying it is too dangerous.

"If no one puts a stop to this, these will become ghost towns," said Jose Martin Mayoral, editor of Diario del Desierto, the newspaper in Caborca

Altar, a town of about 10,000 people with a yellow-domed Roman Catholic church in its central square, has been spared the violence but is only about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Tubutama. The town’s economy was booming a few years ago with taxi drivers, restaurants and lodging houses that catered to migrants preparing to cross the U.S. border illegally in the Arizona desert.

Now, a scarcity of jobs because of the U.S. economic downturn is keeping illegal immigrants away, causing Altar to fall on hard times as well.

Gosh, that is heartbreaking.

Ana Maria Velasquez, who volunteers at the church, said there used to be 50 candles on an altar to the Virgin of Guadalupe, each left by a migrant as a good-luck ritual before crossing the border. On Sunday, there was only one.

"The migrants sustained this town," said Velasquez, 29. "Now that the flow is down, we’re very bad off economically."

More than 23,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an all-out offensive on cartels in 2006.

And since Mr. Calderon legalized the possession of all ‘recreational drugs.’

Despite its proximity to Arizona, the increase in drug-fueled violence in this region has not spilled across the border — nor has it in El Paso or San Diego, across from Tijuana, Mexico

So you see, there really is nothing to worry about, no matter what the racist rednecks say. We have the word of the Associated Press on this.

Still, it is always edifying to see the kind of stories our media masters try to sneak out on days when they think nobody will notice.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 5th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “AP: Border Drug War No Reason To Worry”

  1. Chinnubie says:

    I thought Governor Brewer was being a complete worry wart to suggest that the majority of “migrant workers” were carrying drugs or being employed by the cartels. A story like this leads me to believe she may be correct in her assesment of the situation but, God forbid somebody that is knee-deep in the border problem be allowed to make any such wild, crazy, and far-fetched accusations against these nice & decent, probably God-fearing drug pushers. I’m sure if we just sat down with them and discussed their problems we could come to some sort of agreement to keep the level of violence down to a minimum. Similar to the way we have been dealing with Iran, I mean look, everyone has drugs and somebody is going to sell them, so why shouldn’t the cartels be allowed to carry on with their trade?

  2. proreason says:

    I like the idea somebody proposed of sending all illegal immigrants to blue states.

    That has to solve the problem. Either the liberals will gratefully provide them all of the benefits they desire, or will change their minds about the benefits of having masses of illegals.

    As the situation is today, it’s the equivalent of people in the midwest saying “hurricanes…what’s the big deal with that?”

  3. Enthalpy says:

    As this process moves along, the idea of Reconquista becomes more and more interesting. Since they insist that we “took” Mexico from them, we might give some thought to extending the dimensions of former territory, since those who preceded us did such a poor job of “taking” Mexico. So, when it begins with a vengeance, we take Mexico down to Guatemala and Belize. It will solve many problems for us. We’ll make what was Mexico our 58th state in honor of Obama so that no one will ever forget him, and Move On… Arizona now is no longer an issue. No one will need to get here because everyone is already here.

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