by Ben Small
You probably haven't heard much about the cartel wars going on in Mexico recently. That's because cartel members have been focusing on journalists covering their activities. Lots of kidnappings, lots of murder, so much so that the largest newspaper in Mexico City and the newspaper for Ciudad Jurarez, across from El Paso, have decided not to cover the cartels. Just too dangerous. But the newspaper in Ciudad Jurarez went further: They asked the cartels to tell them what to print.
So much for freedom of the press. They've largely been captured by the cartels.
The National Guard troops we were promised have arrived, but they are not permitted to make arrests, just stand around and watch, fire only when fired upon. The cartels must understand this, however, because so far, they've not been shooting at the National Guard troops, just at the Border Patrol and citizens.
And of course, the flow of drugs through the Douglas and Nogales entry points has proceeded unabated. It may be that more and more of the drugs are being discovered and captured, but many if not most of the captures, are somewhere in the Arizona desert, often more than a hundred miles from the border.
So the stuff is still getting through somehow.
Here's one way. This 94 year old grandmother was captured last week smuggling ten-and-a-half pounds of marijuana under her worn, tattered moo-moo. Here are some pix of her at the gate. The woman passed through the border gates just about every day, claiming she was visiting relatives and friends. Occasionally, someone commented about her weight gains or losses.
Local news reports reveal nightly the amount of marijuana captured during the day around the Tucson area, and that amount is usually over a ton, the value in the millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents are reporting they're being shot at from Mexico, and a woman in Texas watched as Mexican pirates murdered her husband on a lake crossing the border. Apparently, it's been common knowledge for some time that Mexican pirates were operating on the lake.
Many localities around the country, especially "Sanctuary Cities" have tried to boycott Arizona, claiming that Arizona is unfriendly to immigration. But as the New York Times reported last week (HERE), Arizona is actually a welcoming haven to those who intend to go through the immigration red-tape process.
Politics, of course. Rather than reform the process, the Administration continues to drag its feet on admitting there is a problem. The National Guard troops are a gesture, nothing more. The restrictions on their usage make their presence merely a show. The Border Patrol and ICE do the work, but understaffed, criticized on every level, the suicide rate among their officers is soaring. No wonder ICE agents voted No Confidence in their leader, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security.
And still the signs exist all over southern Arizona. Warning signs that the government cannot protect American citizens in the border regions. The signs ask those who come upon illegal activities not to intervene, to call 911, which means the Sheriff's Office, the same people the federal government is suing, trying to stop their enforcement of our immigration laws. Moreover, Americans aren't safe in their national forests and parks in the border area, in fact, are warned away from them. And the Forest Service, on orders from above, won't let Border Patrol or ICE agents inspect in national forest regions, which rapidly are becoming the routes of smuggling transit. (HERE)
HERE) And rival cartels claim the Mexican government is favoring some cartels over others in its enforcement activities, raising speculation that the corruption in Mexico goes right to the top.
Meanwhile, our President has found time for fifty-two rounds of golf since he entered office. He has yet to visit the border region.
Why? one must ask... Doesn't he realize Arizona has golf courses?