Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bloody Thanksgiving Weekend

Jos, Nigeria Riots
Cartel Death Toll
Closed shops in Tijuana

The news from afar this Thanksgiving weekend has been dominated by the terror in the streets of Mumbai, India. An equally deadly clash occurred in Nigeria over of all things, election results. This story has been pushed off the front pages, by way of being just another fatal spasm in a failed state.

Small Wars Journal with it's excellent Daily Roundup of major stories, linked the following.

Closer to home are these stories about out southern neighbor, Mexico and her deadly struggle with drug cartels.

The story, reported by Philip Sherwell in Tijuana, Mexico begins:

The four men in bulletproof vests, Kalashnikovs held casually at their sides, crossed the street to Tijuana's Crazy Banana pool hall so calmly that onlookers presumed they were undercover police officers – until they heard the gunfire and screams.
Moments later, the men raced back out of the bar and sped off in a getaway car, leaving the once-popular pool hall with its thatched roof and yellow painted walls a bullet-ridden crime scene.

The five billiards players gunned down there were the some of the latest victims in a brutal drug turf war that has unleashed an orgy of killing along America's southern frontier.

The attack was one of dozens of recent incidents in the sprawling Mexican border city, where nearly 300 people have been killed since late-September – many mutilated, tortured and beheaded in gruesome terror tactics copied from Iraq's brutal conflict.

And 750 miles to the east, this from BBC News.
A group of masked gunmen have killed eight people at a restaurant in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez.
Police said the gunmen arrived at the restaurant in three cars, approached a group of people and opened fire.
The city, across the frontier from El Paso in Texas, has seen spiralling violence this year, most of it connected with the drug industry

Pay close attention, the death toll in Tijuana, in three months is almost 300 and the total for the year is 685. The national toll is over 4000, this places Mexico in the ranks of one of the most dangerous places in the world. All of this is taking place just a few miles south of San Diego. Not all the victims are rival drug gang members. hundreds of innocents have been killed in the crossfire.

The possibility of cross border migration of this violence is a reality. Several months ago, cartel members posing as police pulled off a hit in Phoenix. And in October, a young boy was kidnapped from his Las Vegas home by drug dealers posing as police, in an effort to intimidate a family member involved with drug smuggling.
Events thousands of miles away impact all Americans. An Indian Pakistan Conflict endangers our troops in Afghanistan by threatening the supply chain and reducing what little border security that Pakistan is providing. Nigerian riots are not good for anyone, and ends up being ignored by most of the world as events in India and closer to home take precedent. Mexico is on our doorstep and deserves more attention to help their government in this fight to regain control of their country.

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