The Ultimate Fuel: Easy Money. Drug Money Confiscated by the DEA and Mexican Authorities
I've posted on the virtual collapse of the nation state of Mexico at the behest of drug cartel's a few times here. My latest initiative was a comparison of a city embroiled in actual war to a city embroiled in virtual civil war in terms of a weekly body count. The week of 10/05/08 proved Baghdad the lessor evil in terms of a body count vs Tijuana.
I lamented the back page media attention and the absolute ignorance of the then Presidential campaign regarding the rather serious nature of a conflict that has bled across the Rio Grande and entangled itself in America's dark culture of black marketeering and gang warfare. And so it is I'm happy to read an account of Mexico's struggle via Adam Elkus and John Sullivan at DNI. An excerpt:
We ignore it at our peril. Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez suffer increasingly frequent and brutal outbreaks of extreme cartel violence. Police and journalists are assassinated, rivals beheaded, ambushes and kidnapping become near-routine. Mexican drug cartels already control distribution through the MS-13 gang, another violent transnational networked gang operating in the Americas. Cartels operate training camps near the border, from which they send operatives to kidnap and assassinate American citizens.
One infamous example was the recent Phoenix, Arizona, incident, where a heavily armed squad of cartel gunmen impersonating police tactical officers killed a man and attempted to lethally ambush a police assault team.
This isn't a backburner issue, without regard to it's lack of political shine. It's an immediate issue, as important as America's two foreign theaters of war. More important because of it's ebbing nature, slowly fingering it's way beyond the political boundary that separates America from Mexico and infecting, in a very "grass roots" fashion, the already critical existence of organized gang enterprise.
More important because America seems a tad complacent regarding the concept and consequence of a failed state on it's southern border. America seems comfortable arguing the pros and cons of cross border migrant's "stealing our jobs" but completely ignorant of the possibility of a collapsed state south of the Rio Grande and the resulting influx of refugees such an event might occasion.
America might cast an eye upon and give some study to how South Africa's recent President, Thabo Mbeki, dealt with the economic calamity of neighboring Zimbabwe, the influx of refugees and the domestic social fallout (violent, xenophobic backlash against refugees) that resulted. Seem a bit sensational? Let's hope it is.