Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann Jr. Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year trafficking illegal drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed over 12,000 people, with a death toll of over 4,000 so far in 2009. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of several high- profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war: Thursday, August 28 -According to a study released by Mexican non-profit group Citizen Council for Public Security and Justice, Ciudad Juarez has become the most violent city on earth. With 130 murders per 100,000 people in 2008, Ciudad Juarez was considerably more violent than other cities with a high murder rate, such as Caracas, Venezuela, Medellin, Colombia, and New Orleans. The murder rate has gone up in 2009, with an average of 250 people being killed in Ciudad Juarez each month. Friday, August 29 -Five police officers and possibly one gunman were killed during a running gun battle in the state of Jalisco. The encounter began when a convoy of seven vehicles carrying at least 30 gunmen approached state policemen on a local highway. Four policemen were killed in the initial battle and the fifth was killed as police chased the assailants. -The aide of a Mexican federal agent who had been investigating the death of a crime reporter was found dead in Ciudad Juarez. Pablo Pasillas, 33, was secretary to the federal agent appointed to investigate the November killing of Armando Gutierrez, a crime reporter for El Diario. The first agent assigned to the case was shot dead outside his home in Ciudad Juarez. Sunday, August 30 - The defense lawyer for a convicted drug trafficker was found stabbed to death in his home in Toluca. America Delgado, 80, was the defense attorney for Tijuana cartel boss Benjamin Arellano Felix, who is now serving a 22-year sentence in prison. Delgado was found with his throat slit and with several stab wounds. The killing comes less than the month after another attorney for high profile drug traffickers was killed. Lawyer Silvia Raquenel Villanueva was gunned down in Monterrey on August 9th. Monday, August 31 -Four men have been arrested on suspicion of having committed 211 drug-related murders. Authorities have said that the four hitmen are tied to the enforcement arm of the Juarez cartel. Three of the men were presented to the media on Saturday in Mexico City. Omar Castro Rivera, 28, is accused of 93 homicides. Edgar Flores Martinez, 30, is accused of 87 homicides, and Cristian Enrique Franco Franco is accused of 22. A fourth suspect, Hector Armando Alcibar Wong, aka “The Korean”, 21, was already in custody and is accused of 15 homicides. The men told authorities that most of their murder victims were involved in drug-dealing, extortion, and other crimes in Ciudad Juarez. Authorities also said that the three men confessed to the killing of five motorcyclists on January 25th in Ciudad Juarez. The five dead were reportedly killed because they were members of the “AA” or Assassin Artists, a rival to the Juarez cartel. The group also confessed to the June 11 killing of five men in a motel. -Eight people were killed in the seaside town of Navolato, in the state of Sinaloa. The killings occurred when at least four heavily armed gunmen in a pickup truck began to fire into a crowd of partygoers. The dead included two boys, aged 15 and 16, and two females, aged 18 and 25. The shootings may be part of a recent wave of apparent vigilante attacks by armed squads suspected of working for drug cartels or the police. Two of the victims of the attack had criminal records for car theft. More than 30 carjackers and other low-level criminals have been murdered in Sinaloa in the last few months, according to local journalists. Tuesday, September 1 -The United States has released $214 million of the $1.4 billion in anti-drug aid promised to Mexico in 2007. The money is intended to fund equipment and training of Mexican security forces. Some detection gear has already been sent to Mexico during the summer, and a delivery of five Bell helicopters is due to be delivered to the Mexican army in the fall. Separately, law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border announced an agreement to improve cross-border communications and the creation of cross-border voice and data transmission networks for law enforcement. -In Ciudad Juarez a body was found hanging from a fence in a nightclub parking lot. Eight people were murdered in the same location several weeks ago. Wedneday, September 2 - In his annual state of the nation report, President Calderon claimed that the Mexican government was making progress in the war against drug traffickers. His written report, which was presented to congress on Tuesday, said that the drug trafficking organizations have been hit hard by major seizures of drugs, cash, and weapons, and more than 24,000 arrests in 2009 through the month of June. Thursday, September 3 -17 people were killed when a dozen gunmen burst into a drug rehabilitation clinic in Ciudad Juarez. The 17 patients killed were lined up before being shot. Cartel gunmen have targeted drug rehab clinics several time in the past, accusing them of protecting rival gang members. In a separate incident, gunmen killed the deputy police chief of Michoacan. Jose Manuel Revueltas, 38, and two bodyguards, were killed after their vehicle was attacked by heavily armed gunmen just blocks away from his office in Morelia. Total reported body count for the week: 149 Total reported body count for the year: 4,736 Read last issue's Mexico drug war report here.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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So tragic

Thank you for these updates -- we sure don't get them from the evening news! I hope the Mexicans wake up and fully legalize in order to better protect their citizens. Of course, the US must follow suit as the US market is the real issue here, and it's not going to ever go away. I think I read the Mexican cartels make $64 billion a year from drugs -- prohibitionists can't possibly keep up.

- George

Wake up

The drug cartels make their money from drugs, the Mexican government makes it's money from the U.S. to fight the cartels. No ones going to wake up until the U.S. stops sending the money. It's only the people who suffer, just like here in the U.S. Our government likes to support war, when ever and where ever possible, no matter what the cost.

Legalizing will not solve

There are always going to be cartels who will sell for cheaper and more quantity than the legalized ones...
It doesn't work believe me. We have examples in history.
Unless you give people all the drugs they want and for free, it's not going to work.
That may get rid of the cartels.
I am all about severe punishement of drug consumers, they are the real problem.
Eradicate the problem from the source: drug users.
But the government makes money from the situation so nothing will change.

Really?

What are those examples in history you refer to?? HUH? Is that why we have such big alcohol and cigarette cartels in our country? Your argument seems to lack practicality and common sense. And, you have nothing to back up your random statements of undocumented facts.

And, if you want to get rid of drug consumers, then you have to get rid of the boozers, too. Alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs there is! Young people die from alcohol overdose, every year! Or, are you another alcohol elitist who is too ignorant to know anything about drugs?! And nicotine is a drug, too. So, we will have to get rid of all the cigarette smokers, too. What sort of "severe punishment" do you suggest?

I guess that is OK. I hate cigarettes, too! But, that would mean that everyone I love would have to be eliminated, as well. My father, mother, sister, wife! I THINK NOT!

Luisa, next time, engage your brain before writing such junk!

I am all about severe punishement of drug consumers... REALLY?

Really, name one illegal alcohol cartel still operating in the u.s.?

Please answer the following question: "What right does 'Joe Six-Pack' have that 'Tony the Toker' doesn't?" Remembering that 'social acceptability' and what 'political & cultural authoritarians think' are not rights.... just opinions!

I would like to know what your definition of a 'drug consumer' is because a 'drug' is defined as: "any substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans or other animals"

Does this mean we should arrest men who have 'Erectile Dysfunction' because they ARE a drug consumer? I think ED is gonna have a problem with your theory...!

If you look at the definition of 'disease' below you can easily see how 'drug consumer' can even apply to those that abuse religion and other mood altering drugs like alcohol and tobacco... if not for the social acceptability of these 3 dangerous drugs!

Choose Reality,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. Disease: "a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment." - Wiki

Junk may be you

First off you use correct talking.
I don't insult anybody so you will not either. I don't allow people talking to me with the tone you use.

The countries I am talking about are the Nederlands, India, China and so on.
Read your history book. And the problems these countries have. They didn't solve anything. They only created a bigger problem.

NOTE: I am not republican like this lady but I agree on a lot of stuff:

http://www.gargaro.com/drugs.html

read with grain of salt and not just because you are against. Try to understand what she says if you have the courage to have an open mind.

WTF... You didn't insult anybody?

You sound like a religious fundamentalist who adamantly declares they don't judge... then condemns, with the help of your deity, all non-believers and those that dare to disagree... to eternal hell... and here on earth... 'hell' is called prison!

You sound like the delusional punisher that should be doing 5-10 years in prison... for being a leech on liberty and our rights!

You may be salvageable but you need to understand that the overwhelming majority of smokers are recreational users that do so in a responsible fashion that does not violate the equal rights of others.

Also sounds like you are an advocate of putting alcohol (and tobacco) on the 'controlled substance list' with heroin where many doctors say they belong. And marijuana needs to be removed or lowered to schedule 3 as a growing number of doctors and lawmakers recommend?

Sounds great to me... I look forward to that revolt... knowing it changes nothing for me because I brew my own... but it would create a 'sick kind' of parity... but hardly something we could call justice!

Choose Reality,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. If a SAFER drug like marijuana can net you 5-10 years in prison then obviously the supremely more deadly, addictive, dangerous drugs alcohol (and tobacco) should net anyone that meets the definition of alcohol abuse life in prison... which is defined as 2 standard drinks per day OR 6 standard drinks per week? I don't think putting nascar nation behind bars is gonna solve the 'drug consumer' problem... do you? Education NOT Incarceration!

your right of killing under the influence

Dear...
If you or a member of your family gets killed by a drunk driver, you'll see that maybe good old Luisa was right.

If the mo....cker was locked in a 10 years labor camp you would see that you o your family would still be alive.

<>

what rights are you talking about?
driving under the influence?
i can carry gun on the street than that is my RIGHT!!!

all the substances are bad and shouldnt be used.
tobacco included.
it's not true you damage only yourself you damage others doing it.

nobody should be damaged by someone elses.

PS a labor camp is not incarceration, is a very good form of education, you are sure in there you learn what it means to work and what real life is.

get a life yourself!

WTF? "nobody should be damaged by someone elses"...

WTF? "nobody should be damaged by someone elses"... yet there you go again wishing to damage/punish responsible adults for doing something SAFER then consuming alcohol and other hard drugs!

If only you could follow your own advice... or better yet we should force you into a labor camp for 'damaging' others... you definitely need to be re-educated... perhaps a full lobotomy is best!

Don't 'Dear' me... 'Child'... I have no affection for your kind or its pathology... and I'm sure I'm older than you... and probably have been smoking responsibly longer than you've been on the planet?

The punishment, for all crimes, should be proportional... that's why we have a judicial system to determine guilt and punishment.... with the help of our peers in the jury!

All substances are bad? Ok, lets follow-up on that... all mood and/or mind altering drugs like religious exaltation, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, trans fats, white bread & sugar, and all fat people need to report to the appropriate concentration labor camps for gov't reeducation?

I guess the world will be perfect when you and your ilk have reprogrammed every wrong thinking individual?

The master is as weak as the slave,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S.And those that can't be re-educated to follow the rule of law... taught at my labor camp... people like you... will need to be executed.. so don't run... you'll only die tired... and stupid!

PS Severe punishement

Severe punishment includes something like 10 years or more of free labor for a DUI or assuming drugs. I would open jail-communities where people dont just sit but they work for free for a long -long time, also with an educational purpose. If you take drugs you cannot live in society, you are send to a jail-community. You'll see you'll think 100 times before driving under the influence...
yes and alcohol and cigarettes same stuff, it's the same.

Instead what does your country do for a DUI?

Also your country doesnt have cartels for alcohol...
really?
it's done in a legalized way...
think of what budwiser does to name just the first one that comes to mind....

Also your country doesnt have cartels for alcohol?

I challenged your theory by asking you to specifically name 1 ILLEGAL alcohol cartel in the u.s.... because I personally can't remember the last time someone was killed as a result of bad 'moonshine' or 'bootlegging' the drug alcohol?

By your definition all drug companies are cartels (a derogatory term). And while 'cartels' are not illegal in name alone... they typically form and exist to control consumption, and drive up pricing, by various nefarious means... like stifling competition and manipulating markets with legislation bought with campaign donations!

By artificially driving up prices cartels, including all state & federal gov'ts, create a 'sin tax' revenue stream for the political & cultural warriors that infest the halls of congress... thus creating a far more insidious and insatiable addiction and dangerous vice... for more 'sin taxes' for uncle scam!

MUST FEED MONSTER... including the prison industry?

Be a Patron... NOT a Punisher,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. "The master is as weak as the slave" [Nietzshe] and time to move.... 'Beyond Good & Evil'?

the US legal cartel

budweiser and all the alcohol industries are legalized alcohol cartels.
you will not have them on the street with guns but their promotion of alcohol makes people (people that are weak - but those are most) drink at a crazy level.
6300 died for the cartel in 2008 in Mexico. how many died in the US on 2008 victims of all this alcohol promo? how many died killed by a drunk driver? by a drunk boyfriend? how many died of cirrosis?
do your math and you'll see that your legalization made more dead than the cartel would have done.

there are thousands of scientific articles that prove that with legalization crime goes balistic and still black market exists. (so you dont really eradicate the cartel)
if something is wrong cannot be legal -period.

you cannot solve a problem creating another worse one.
that is legalization.

some good readings and i go

http://www.justthinktwice.com/factfiction/LegalizationWorks.cfm

it was a nice forum
i have to go on now.

find some good readings online why legalization doesnt work, good luck!

Hopefully you are going... to report to the appropriate camp?

Hopefully you are going... to report to the appropriate re-education work camp... which as you stated is not incarceration or punishment... but a public service designed to help you and improve society?

And we probably won't hear from you for a few years based on the level of re-education you require regarding the rule of law.

Typically diseased pod people like yourself make poor citizens no matter where they live... so please stay away from the land of the free... and stay in your own home... of the delusional punisher!

For every article you provide supporting continued prohibition we can provide an alternate viewpoint... and not surprisingly we have far more scientific facts then you have... your facts are ususally nothing more than opinions and circular arguments that can be easily dissected... and really doesn't count where the rule of law is concerned.

Choose Reality,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. "Punishment is the practice of imposing something unpleasant or aversive on a person or animal, usually in response to disobedience, defiance, or behavior deemed morally wrong by individual, governmental, or religious principles." - Wiki

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