Friday, April 17, 2009

down in the West Texas town of El Paso

Some needed perspective on the violence at the border from the Texas Observer. It's a good article.

1 comment:

Rene said...

it was a good article, though I think it does try to downplay what's happening - especially in Laredo.

Laredo has has sheriff assassinated by the cartels, and is a major drug entry point. The border patrol and police in both Laredo and El Paso are under heavy duress from the cartels to allow them to go through.

I did audio post on a documentary called Drug Wars - Silver or Lead (, and I heard some pretty incredibly stories from the film maker that didn't make it into the edit.

He actually went and lived among the cartels for a while, which was pretty crazy. I agree with the article when it points out the the problem is primarily a Mexican one right now, but I think it's short-sighted to dismiss the threat that the cartels pose to America.

That's not to say that America and the cartels do not have a symbiotic relationship. We certainly consume a fuckload of drugs in this country, and the vast majority comes up through Mexico. On top of that, Mexico has very very very strict gun laws. The cartels actually send strings of weapons buyers to gun shows in America in order to arm their paramilitary groups, and this country is unwilling and unable to stop them.

They then spend over a billion and a half each year on corruption alone, which allows them to approach the border patrol and beat cops with the sliver or lead offer: I'll quadruple your salary or I'll kill your family by burning them alive, your choice.

Its the paramilitary groups that the cartels support who are the real danger. They are the ones who perpetrate the kidnappings, torture, and political assassinations going on in that country. They also pull the strings on the street and prison gangs in this country. They are not to be dismissed.