This is a sweet moment, and is the result of elected officials taking their responsibilities seriously. Thanks to Russell Pearce and others in the Arizona legislature who brought this important bill across the finish line.
Fox News’ Cavuto show was running earlier when Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill, and Sheriff Paul Beleu was on hand to comment. He was enthusiastic about the law saying, “Crime is out of control in Arizona … and we need this as an additional tool.” As he explained how the law would be implemented, the situations he described of using “reasonable suspicion” were in the context of pulling over an errant motorist. When Neil asked about seeing a group of Hispanic men “gathering in an area,” the Sheriff responded that “Fourth Amendment rights are still in force.”
The wonders of a primary election! As a result of a credible challenge by JD Hayworth (now within five points), the former maverick is now listening to the voice of the people, and they want border anarchy to end. So he has conveniently turned over a new leaf.
Indeed, Senator John McCain now accurately discusses in detail the border issues that affect his state: crime is up, the Mexican cartels are doing as they please and the good citizens are endangered by violent rampant lawlessness flowing north from Mexico. Who knew he knew?
His April 22 sit-down with Greta van Sustern included a fact about border porosity that was new to me; e.g. that cartels now use ultralites to deliver their drug loads, plunking them down in the U.S. for easy pick-up.
What’s refreshingly, hypocritically new is McCain’s sudden conversion to border security. He told Greta that “Our border is completely out of control” (4:59), and described cartel smuggling as “organized crime at its worst” (6:00). The Senator rattled off an array of illegal alien statistics to illustrate his cred. The revised narrative is that criminality in south Arizona is now far worse than when Presidential candidate McCain was the Pied Piper of alien amnesty, leading a diverse throng toward the destruction of American sovereignty. That’s his excuse, and he’s sticking to it.
The whole thing is like a visit to a parallel reverse universe — but in a good way, sort of. The redesigned McCain is at once hilarious and disturbing. Only a fool would think that his campaign persona would survive as improved voting if he is reelected, but the tapdance is quite a spin.
When McCain’s friend GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma put forth an amendment to “require the enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws and congressional approval before amnesty can be granted,” McCain refused to take a position and sat out the vote. The amendment failed 42-54.
What a difference a decent challenging candidate makes.
For the not-all-cultures-are-morally-equal file… On Wednesday I watched the documentary The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan on PBS and was appalled, although not surprised. (You can watch the entire 53-minute film on the Frontline website.)
The documentary is a disturbing journey through the male subculture known as bacha bazi where powerful men keep stables of boys for dancing and sex. Attractive boys are recruited from poor families, who receive money for giving up their child. The boys are persuaded that the tutelage of a wealthy man is an advantage for them. It may seem like fun to the kids when they are learning music and dance, but when the lights go out and other requirements are made, it must be a horrifying moment for an innocent youngster.
The film is surprisingly blatant. Although no sex acts are shown, the slavering lust of adult men for pre-teen boys is omnipresent.
This is a culture that is fundamentally twisted, largely because of the depersonalization of women. Men have sex with women to have children, but for a good time they want a smooth-skinned boy, because women are not even seen as people under Islam. (A recent report cited how a girls’ school in Afghanistan was sprayed with poison gas.) The boys are dressed up as women and instructed to entertain the all-male audience, which is even more depraved.
The following clip gives a sense of what is shown in the film:
Second, we are wasting our tax money with nation-building in Afghanistan. You can make a case that there is a more educated middle class in Iraq that might eventually accept democratic principles, but Afghanistan is backward even by Muslim standards. Killing Taliban is worthwhile, but the idea that Afghanistan can possibly be more than a primitive backwater in the next century is a pipe dream. Nation-building there is an absurd waste, particularly given America’s financial situation. Let the American armed forces kill the bad guys, and leave the social work to the charitable NGOs.
(Funny how pundits wring their hands over the worsening criminal anarchy in Mexico, but when Americans act to preserve public safety in our own country, that somehow is “mean-spirited” to use Mahony’s crude terminology. )
But his well documented activities of protecting pedophile priests keep popping up, which should disqualify him from making moral judgements (which are wrong and reprehensible anyway).
A Mexican citizen filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday accusing Roman Catholic cardinals in Mexico City and Los Angeles of conspiring to shelter a Mexican pedophile priest in both countries.
The lawsuit alleges then-Bishop Norberto Rivera, head of the Diocese of Tehuacan, and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony shuttled the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar Rivera between the U.S. and Mexico in the late 1980s to shield him from prosecution. Parishioners in both countries complained he had molested young boys.
The Mexican bishop has since been elevated to cardinal for the Archdiocese of Mexico City. He has no relation to the accused priest.
Aguilar Rivera was defrocked last summer and remains at large in Mexico, where he was believed to be living out of his car in Puebla, in central Mexico. He has been wanted by U.S. authorities on 19 felony counts of lewd conduct since he fled his temporary post in Los Angeles in 1988 and returned to Mexico.
Back in the ancient days of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, candidate John McCain pledged on Spanish-language television to work for illegal alien amnesty starting “the first day” of his Presidency.
No one has ever doubted that McCain was sincere in his open-borders agenda. His genuine dedication to rewarding foreign lawbreakers with amnesty was demonstrated by his patient work to create comprehensive legislation with his pal Ted Kennedy. He employed open-borders extremist Juan Hernandez as director of hispanic outreach for his Presidential campaign. One can only assume that the legal/illegal distinction is not a biggie to the Senator.
Nowadays however, Senator McCain is facing a tough primary election against a real pro-borders conservative, JD Hayworth, who has been steadily gaining (April 15 Rasmussen poll: McCain 47%, Hayworth 42%). McCain is scrambling for relevance, and is hoping the Arizona voters will have amnesty amnesia. Fortunately, border supporters now have YouTube to refresh voters’ memories, for example his 2008 speech to the La Raza convention:
True, Sen McCain has long supported securing the border, but only as a precursor to comprehensive amnesty. As he remarked in the speech filmed above, the government lost the people’s trust when it gave amnesty to millions in 1986 while leaving the border wide open. So the tough-sounding border rhetoric is merely a political device.
On April 19, he released a 10-point blueprint for border protection at a press conference with Senator Kyl and Arizona Sheriffs Larry Dever and Paul Babeu:
1. Immediately deploy 3,000 National Guard Troops along the Arizona/Mexico border, along with appropriate surveillance platforms, which shall remain in place until the Governor of Arizona certifies, after consulting with state, local and tribal law enforcement, that the Federal Government has achieved operational control of the border. Permanently add 3,000 Custom and Border Protection Agents to the Arizona/Mexico border by 2015.
2. Fully fund and support Operation Streamline in Arizona’s two Border Patrol Sectors to, at a minimum, ensure that repeat illegal border crossers go to jail for 15 to 60 days. Where Operation Streamline has been implemented, the number of illegal crossings has decreased significantly. Require the Obama Administration to complete a required report detailing the justice and enforcement resources needed to fully fund this program. Fully reimburse localities for any related detention costs.
3. Provide $100M, an increase of $40M, for Operation Stonegarden, a program that provides grants and reimbursement to Arizona’s border law enforcement for additional personnel, overtime, travel and other related costs related to illegal immigration and drug smuggling along the border.
4. Offer Hardship Duty Pay to Border Patrol Agents assigned to rural, high-trafficked areas, such as the CBP Willcox and Douglas Stations in the Tucson Sector.
5. Complete the 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico and construct double- and triple- layer fencing at appropriate locations along the Arizona-Mexico border. […]
The good news about the presser (beyond the crass political theater) was the opportunity for actual law enforcement personnel to talk about the growing lawlessness and danger to officers and the public. Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County was later interviewed on MSNBC about the situation on the Arizona border, and he remarked at the outset that the violence committed by illegal alien smugglers is “the number one public safety issue in all of Arizona”:
Down on the frontlines of Arizona, on the ranches and city streets, 70 percent of likely voters strongly favor the tough new law, even with some misgivings about profiling, as indicated by today’s Rasmussen poll. The numbers show that the people are sick to death of immigration anarchy and realize that stronger measures are required.
“It’s never been worse on the border than it is today” according to the bill’s author Sen Russell Pearce, referring to the crime and danger that citizens face (heard on the radio).
All the noise about profiling has obscured an important part of the bill, that citizens could sue government for following sanctuary policies, which are illegal under federal law but have had no enforcement remedy. As an example, when the Bologna family tried to sue the city of San Francisco for protecting a violently criminal illegal alien who later murdered Tony Bologna and his two sons Michael and Matthew, the case was thrown out of court. Under the Arizona legislation, that sort of lawsuit would be allowed, and families harmed by the government’s malfeasance could get a little justice.
It’s an answer to the question many of us have asked, “What do you do when the government breaks its own laws?”
The Arizona legislature has now passed the toughest measure against illegal immigration in the country, authorizing local police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 70% of likely voters in Arizona approve of the legislation, while just 23% oppose it.
Opponents of the measure, including major national Hispanic groups, say it will lead to racial profiling, and 53% of voters in the state are concerned that efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants also will end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens. Forty-six percent (46%) don’t share that concern.
On April 15, radio guys John and Ken appeared on their new local TV slot, discussing how the Arizona example is a breath of fresh air, particularly compared with Los Angeles’ alien-criminal-empowering Special Order 40:
It’s sad to face another Earth Day now that the environmental giants have passed from the scene. By “giants” I mean persons of stature who truthfully made the connection between immigration, overpopulation and environmental damage — leaders like Senator Gaylord Nelson and Sierra Club President David Brower. These days, the Congress is filled with people who call themselves environmentalists but vote for open borders, and the Sierra Club has gone over to the dark side as completely as Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader.
But back to Gaylord Nelson… In 2004, the University of Wisconsin presented the retired Senator with a Distinguished Alumni Award, which included a brief film about his life’s work:
Environmental scientist Leon Kolankiewicz wrote up an Earth Day remembrance of Senator Nelson as a reminder of how a real environmentalist acts.
This month, America celebrates the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, founded in 1970 by the late U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), one of our greatest environmental heroes of the 20th century. Yet few of the multitudinous articles, exhibits, parades and speeches will dare — or bother — to broach the one issue that worried Nelson perhaps more than any other: human overpopulation.
I know this because I collaborated closely with Nelson on several projects during the last decade of his life.
By the time he died in 2005 at the age of 89, Nelson had become deeply disappointed with the wholesale retreat of the environmental establishment from advocating limits to population growth. Rather, a new generation of more pragmatic (expedient?) campaigners preferred to prattle on about safer and sexier topics like tropical deforestation, overfishing, oil and water shortages, urban sprawl, traffic congestion, power plant pollution, toxic waste, marine “dead zones,” proliferating dams, roads and power lines, destruction of wildlife habitat, endangered species, and of course, climate change. Ironic when human reproduction and the population growth it produces are all about sex, eh?
Nelson and many other activists of his generation viewed these problems as symptoms of too many people consuming too many resources and generating too much waste. In an influential 1971 paper published in the journal Science, biologist Paul Ehrlich and physicist John Holdren (now President Obama’s science adviser) quantified this understanding by introducing the IPAT equation: Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology.
Environmentalists of that era largely endorsed this formulation, which explicitly included the population factor, and even wide segments of the broader American public were receptive to it. The outspoken Ehrlich appeared several times on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to hammer home his “zero population growth” message to millions. And for a variety of reasons, the fertility rate plummeted by about half from its baby boom high down to replacement level — 2.1 children per family — by the early ’70s.
After two centuries of continuous exponential expansion — from a puny 4 million in 1790 to a bulging 200 million in 1970 — America seemed poised to voluntarily and humanely halt population growth before it overwhelmed our environment. With U.S. population stabilization, our beleaguered environment could have begun to breathe a sigh of relief from ever-increasing demographic demands for land and resources.
Yet this hopeful vision did not come to pass. Instead of stabilizing, America has added more than 100 million new voracious consumers, each brainwashed daily by powerful commercial interests that through conspicuous consumption we can achieve nirvana, or at least keep up with the Joneses.
Americans now number 310 million, and the Census Bureau projects another 130 million by 2050, pushing us to 440 million. And we would still be growing rapidly with no end in sight! Under this crushing pressure, virtually every environmental goal becomes unattainable, from reducing our national ecological footprint and carbon emissions to rescuing endangered species and ecosystems. Achieving these will be mission impossible, as much a pipe dream as losing weight and getting fitter all while eating more and more. Continue reading this article
When I first read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch I thought it was the most disgusting human trash heap ever, not to mention a nasty symptom of global overpopulation. After all, the toxic soup of plastic debris sloshed together by major ocean currents is estimated to be the size of the continental United States, poisons marine life and isn’t going away (Ocean awash in toxic seas of plastic).
Now there is news of a similar stew in the Atlantic Ocean (a sample of which is shown in the photo). While the veracity of climate change remains iffy, there are environmental crises over which there is no argument. Yet the big environmental organizations appear unable to walk and chew gum at the same time, as many vital issues have fallen to the wayside with the hysteria about climate.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Researchers are warning of a new blight on the ocean: a swirl of confetti-like plastic debris stretching over thousands of square miles (kilometers) in a remote expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
The floating garbage — hard to spot from the surface and spun together by a vortex of currents — was documented by two groups of scientists who trawled the sea between scenic Bermuda and Portugal’s mid-Atlantic Azores islands.
The studies describe a soup of micro-particles similar to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a phenomenon discovered a decade ago between Hawaii and California that researchers say is likely to exist in other places around the globe.
“We found the great Atlantic garbage patch,” said Anna Cummins, who collected plastic samples on a sailing voyage in February.
The debris is harmful for fish, sea mammals — and at the top of the food chain, potentially humans — even though much of the plastic has broken into such tiny pieces they are nearly invisible.
Since there is no realistic way of cleaning the oceans, advocates say the key is to keep more plastic out by raising awareness and, wherever possible, challenging a throwaway culture that uses non-biodegradable materials for disposable products.
“Our job now is to let people know that plastic ocean pollution is a global problem — it unfortunately is not confined to a single patch,” Cummins said. […]
Charles Moore, an ocean researcher credited with discovering the Pacific garbage patch in 1997, said the Atlantic undoubtedly has comparable amounts of plastic. The east coast of the United States has more people and more rivers to funnel garbage into the sea. But since the Atlantic is stormier, debris there likely is more diffuse, he said.
Whatever the difference between the two regions, plastics are devastating the environment across the world, said Moore, whose Algalita Marine Research Foundation based in Long Beach, California, was among the sponsors for Cummins and Eriksen.
“Humanity’s plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint,” he said.
Plastics have entangled birds and turned up in the bellies of fish: A paper cited by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says as many as 100,000 marine mammals could die trash-related deaths each year.
The plastic bits, which can be impossible for fish to distinguish from plankton, are dangerous in part because they sponge up potentially harmful chemicals that are also circulating in the ocean, said Jacqueline Savitz, a marine scientist at Oceana, an ocean conservation group based in Washington.
As much as 80 percent of marine debris comes from land, according to the United Nations Environmental Program.
The Archbishop of Los Angeles never met an illegal alien he didn’t like (or child-abusing priest either), and now that he has his own blog (!) he can deliver propaganda in a whole new modern format.
No surprise, Roger Mahony (pictured at right) is condemnatory toward Arizona’s new legislation (not yet law!) that comes down tough on illegal aliens, who at best are merely stealing citizens’ jobs and at worst are killing and pillaging.
According to this self-appointed paragon of virtue (a pedophile priest protector, according to theLA Times in 2006), citizens who want their immigration laws enforced are Nazis and Commies.
The law is wrongly assuming that Arizona residents, including local law enforcement personnel, will now shift their total attention to guessing which Latino-looking or foreign-looking person may or may not have proper documents. That’s also nonsense. American people are fair-minded and respectful. I can’t imagine Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation. Are children supposed to call 911 because one parent does not have proper papers? Are family members and neighbors now supposed to spy on one another, create total distrust across neighborhoods and communities, and report people because of suspicions based upon appearance?
Various cities and states have tried such abhorrent tactics over the decades with absolutely no positive effect. Such laws have all been struck down by courts or repealed by wise citizens. Sadly, such laws lead to a new round of immigrant-bashing–usually in times of economic downturn.
In fact, this criminal hypocrite should be prosecuted rather than left in his august position. In 2007 Mahony paid out a record $660 million to abuse victims of his diocese. The recent uptick of interest in child-abusing clerics has refocused the spotlight on Cardinal Mahony, e.g. this item:
Cardinal Roger Mahony ordered a subordinate to delay reporting sexual abuse claims to the police until the priest in question could be defrocked, according to testimony by a former high-ranking official with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
He also decided not to tell parishioners about the allegations, according to court papers filed Friday.
The claims were contained in a motion filed by plaintiff attorneys in Los Angeles County Superior Court and were based on the recent deposition of former vicar for clergy Monsignor Richard Loomis. A transcript of the deposition was attached.
Cardinal Mahony is a filthy pervert priest protector, yet he has the gall to stigmatize honest citizens who want to save their country.
In addition, see the clip from Deliver Us from Evil (unembeddable, unfortunately) of the 2004 court deposition of Cardinal Mahony, where he was asked whether a priest’s sexual urges toward a 9-year-old should be cause to remove him and Mahony said, “No.”
States act as the laboratories of democracy by experimenting with public policy, and when they are successful Washington is supposed to learn from their example.
The big suits in DC should pay more attention to Arizona, because it is definitely in the vanguard of showing how to do enforcement-based immigration policy regarding illegals. (And why should there be any other kind?) In 2004, state voters passed the initiative Prop 200 that smacked down welfare and voting fraud committed by illegal aliens. Unlike California’s successful Prop 187 citizen initiative which was sabotaged by Gov. Gray Davis, Arizona officials defended Prop 200, and have built on its success.
The latest legislation would make it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally. Police could ask to see a driver’s license or state ID whenever the officer felt “reasonable suspicion.” Without proper identification, aliens can be punished.
The bill is not even signed into law and the usual media suspects are howling up a storm. The open-borders Los Angeles Times is mixed on the idea that negative reinforcement might be effective. (That strategy is only the basis of our entire justice system.)
For years Arizona’s government has tried to deter unlawful immigration with a consistent approach — make life for illegal immigrants so uncomfortable and uncertain that they will leave, or never come in the first place.
So this week, when the House of Representatives passed what’s viewed as the toughest state law against illegal immigration in the nation, it was the continuation of a pattern that has been widely popular in the state.
“When you make life difficult,” said state Sen. Russell Pearce, author of the current bill and earlier hard-line measures, “most will leave on their own.”
There is evidence that is true. The number of illegal immigrants in Arizona dropped 18% between 2008 and 2009, the largest decrease in the nation, according to federal estimates. […]
Some said the campaign won’t chase them out.
“You definitely have to be careful; it’s riskier here now,” Jose, a Phoenix restaurant worker who came to Arizona from Mexico 20 years ago, said in Spanish. “But my whole family is here. This is only a stage we’re living through. It will change.”
Among many Latinos, however, the overall sentiment was one of disbelief.
Adriana, 40, an illegal immigrant in Tucson, fears she won’t be able to drive her two U.S.-born children to appointments without risking being stopped by police.
“I’m afraid. I can’t do nothing. . . . My whole life is here. My dreams are here,” said Adriana, who is taking English classes. “I’m worried about me and everybody. My family, my kids. We can’t do nothing. We’re trapped.”
Is Mexico on the brink of widespread terror from the cartels’ violence which will propel many thousands across the border to invade a passive America?
Given recent events on the border, perhaps we should ask whether the Mass Mexodus has already begun.
Here’s a revealing statistic from the New York Times article below: “In El Paso alone, the police estimate that at least 30,000 Mexicans have moved across the border in the past two years…” While some Mexes have more recently entered and requested asylum, many have entered on tourist visas and never left. And no one seems to think this is a problem.
The story of Fort Hancock, 57 miles southeast of El Paso on the Rio Grande, is echoed along the Texas border with Mexico, from Brownsville to El Paso. As the violence among drug gangs continues to spiral out of control in Mexico, more Mexican citizens are seeking refuge in the United States.
The influx of people fleeing the violence, some of whom were involved in drug dealing in Mexico, has disrupted Fort Hancock’s peaceful rhythms. These days, there are more police cars prowling the dusty streets, and fear runs high among residents.
The town has only a few paved streets, one restaurant near Interstate 10, a feed store, a small grocery, a gas station and a couple of general stores. Irrigation canals carry water from the Rio Grande to alfalfa and chile fields, set amid the cactus, sand and mesquite of the Chihuahuan Desert.
About 2,000 people live here, in ramshackle trailer homes, weather-battered recreational vehicles and well-kept brick houses. The water tower boasts of the high school’s six-man football team having won the state championship five times between 1986 and 1991.
A few children among the refugees belong to families involved in the drug trade, and rival gang members have threatened them, bringing the specter of gangland killings to the high school, law enforcement and school officials say.
“Some of the families who are fleeing from Mexico are doing it because they were somehow participating in these acts,” said Jose G. Franco, the school superintendent, “and if you want to get at somebody, you get at their children.”
The Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Department and the state police are keeping a close eye on unknown vehicles parked near the schools. The school district has for the first time hired a law enforcement officer to patrol its three campuses and has installed security cameras. Spectators are now barred from football and basketball practices.
“The kids are a little bit on edge, you know,” said Constable Jose Sierra, who patrols the schools. “When we see a different car, we start to get phone calls.”
Not everyone coming from El Porvenir is seeking asylum. Many Mexicans in towns along the river have special border-crossing cards, which let them cross for up to 30 days to do business and shop near the border. But some have used the visas to relocate their families temporarily to Fort Hancock and other small towns on the Texas side.
Those who have temporary tourist visas or who can obtain business visas because they have enough money to start businesses in the United States are also moving their families across the border. (Cities like El Paso and San Antonio have had real-estate booms and a flourishing of small businesses and Mexican restaurants as a result.)
Other Mexicans who were once happy living in Mexico are taking advantage of whatever means they have to obtain a visa and get out. Some were born in a hospital on the United States side and are American citizens, for instance, or have married citizens but have never applied for residency.
In El Paso alone, the police estimate that at least 30,000 Mexicans have moved across the border in the past two years because of the violence in Juarez and the river towns to the southeast. So many people have left El Porvenir and nearby Guadalupe Bravos that the two resemble ghost towns, former residents say.
See, you can’t have open borders and just get the alleged “nice” Mexicans, as America should know well by now. Welcoming “refugees” also admits vicious cartel thugs along with the rest of the crowd. This is not a normal refugee situation and should not be treated as a humanitarian project, but rather as a national security threat.
Below, even a sturdy fence won’t help if we allow them in the front door as “refugees.”
This item from The Atlantic takes a more explantory view than some, enlightening us about the worsening violence and instability in the narco-state next door. Washington seems somewhat aware of the problem, judging by the tea leaves of increased American involvement that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. U.S. drug agents have been embedded in Mexico with their Mexican counterparts for example. And that’s just what we know about.
Last month, a U.S. consulate worker and her husband were killed in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez. The gunfire sent scores of journalists scrambling across the bridge from El Paso and prompted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to pledge more than $300 million to help border cities like Juárez recover from the blight of drug violence.
But the spotlight on Juárez masks a broader trend in Mexico: since President Felipe Calderón launched a crackdown on cartels in 2007, the violence has spread south from the border, emptying tourist destinations and shaking the country’s largest cities. New cartels have sprung up in once-quiet states and veteran cartels have grown more violent. Calderón has succeeded in capturing and killing key cartel leaders, or jefes, but his drug war has left the entire country dangerously in disarray.
“It’s obvious that the drug cartels also operate here in the capital,” said security expert José Luís Piñeyro, speaking from Mexico City. “We have a major international airport through which they receive drugs from Colombia, weapons from the United States and methamphetamines or pre-cursor chemicals” from all over the world. Earlier this week, Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard admitted that narcos “come and go” as they please in the capital of 20 million. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials privately admit that cartel leaders live in the city’s lush suburbs–“they just happen to be smarter about who they kill and when” than in other parts of the country.
Perhaps the most visible sign of the cartels’ Mexico City presence came in December when a protected witness was assassinated in a Starbucks. Less than two weeks earlier, another protected witness–Jesus Zambada, the nephew of drug lord Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada–had been found dead in his Mexico City home. Even La Familia, a particularly brutal cartel founded in the 1990s in the mountainous western state of Michoacán, is now rumored to operate in the capital’s sprawling suburbs.
Monterrey, Mexico’s third largest metropolis, has also become a battleground for drug wars. A once-quiet city three hours from the border, Monterrey has been nearly shut down in recent weeks as traffickers have blocked roads with burning buses and cars. Meanwhile, a feud between the Gulf cartel and its former hitmen, the Zetas, threatens to tear the city apart. Two graduate students were killed in Monterrey in March when a shootout between cartel hitmen and government soldiers engulfed their university campus, and just last Sunday another confrontation outside the city left five sicarios dead. Continue reading this article
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