Pues pa seguir en la platica, les envio el editorial de hoy el Tribune. Es ominoso. Dos comentarios adicionales: uno, a pocas cuadras de mi casa encontraron, en un contenedor de basura, a un paisano, cuidadosamente repartido en varias secciones. Los medios han inmediatamente calificado al crimen, inusual en el tranquilo barrio suburbano en el que vivo, como un crimen del narco, y manejan el mensaje de que la guerra contra el narco mexicano esta llegando a los suburbios Fijense en la coincidencia entre esa vision, y el titular del editorial. Segundo comentario: notese tambien la hipocresia del editorial en no aceptar, por enesima vez, la responsabilidad de los carteles ‘domesticos’. Donde se distribuye masivamente la droga en Estados Unidos? En las escuelas, donde los chavos son los soldados de los carteles, ademas de los consumidores. Pero no hay intencion de hablar de eso. Doctrina Clinton pura y dura, vieja linea de los democratas, no cabe duda.
Va el editorial:
Mexico‘s war hits home
March 13, 2009
What happens in Mexico doesn’t stay in Mexico. As drug-related violence escalates south of the border, its effects are being felt as far away as Maryland and Minnesota, where federal agents last month made hundreds of arrests and seized tons of cocaine traced to Mexico’s ruthless Sinaloa cartel. Skirmishes among rival gangs have spilled across the border into El Paso, Texas, and San Diego. Phoenix is suddenly the kidnapping capital of the U.S.
A recent National Drug Intelligence Center report says Mexican cartels have a foothold in 230 U.S. cities, where they have forged alliances with local gangs to distribute drugs. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder says the cartels are a national security threat.
A State Department travel advisory warns that tourists visiting Mexico have been injured and killed in public places, and “dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped across Mexico.” Its most recent dispatch specifically warns against spring break excursions to Tijuana and Rosarito Beach. Can Puerto Vallarta be far behind?
For generations, Mexico’s drug cartels co-existed more or less at arm’s length, each with established territories and distribution routes, unmolested and sometimes abetted by police. The illicit trade, fueled largely by American drug habits, is a $10 billion-a-year industry. But tightened security at the border led to conflicts over turf, especially near key crossings such as Tijuana and Juarez. Warring gangs also found themselves scrapping over a domestic market that used to be an afterthought.
The cartels operate shadow governments in hundreds of communities, extorting “taxes” from businesses and residents. In many towns, it’s hard to tell whose side the cops are on: Either they’re on the cartel payroll or turning a blind eye. Those who do their jobs risk being killed, often by their own; their gruesomely disfigured bodies—occasionally just their heads—are dumped in the streets overnight as a warning to others. Last month, the police chief of Ciudad Juarez yielded to drug lords’ demands that he resign after they made good on a promise—six times—to kill a police officer every 48 hours until the chief was gone.
Elected in 2006, President Felipe Calderon quickly made good on his promise to confront the lawlessness, dispatching 40,000 soldiers to take over the work police couldn’t or wouldn’t do. It’s a bloody undertaking. More than 6,000 people, including 500 police officers and soldiers, were killed last year. An additional 1,000 died in the first two months of this year. The government has also instituted reforms designed to professionalize the police force and judicial system, but those changes could take a decade or more.
Mexico’s drug war must be fought on both sides of the border. The Bush administration’s Merida Initiative promised $400 million a year to Mexico for equipment and police training; Congress is talking about doubling that amount. In cooperation with Mexican authorities, federal agents recently staged raids in California, Maryland and Minnesota, arresting 755 people and seizing 13 tons of cocaine, 8 tons of marijuana, scores of vehicles and weapons and $59 million in cash.
The feds are also cracking down on U.S. gun dealers who are arming the cartels. Mexico says it seized more than 20,000 weapons last year; U.S. officials estimate up to 90 percent were smuggled over the border. A single Phoenix gun merchant has been charged with selling more than 700 guns, including assault rifles, that he knew would end up in the hands of drug barons.
Though some U.S. officials worry aloud that Mexico is devolving into a narco-state, others say the body count is a hopeful sign. Forced to fight the government and one another, the fractured cartels will be easier to defeat or at least contain. At this point, though, it’s far from clear who’s winning.