8/30/10

NYT MASSACRE IN TAMAULIPAS

It has been too gruesome and too constant to even have the time to over analyze the consequences of the so called "war on drugs" in Mexico, started by President Felipe Calderón under the auspices of "Plan Mérida". In this way, more and more common Mexicans are dying and facing the absolute indifference of both, the Mexican authorities who are supposed to investigate the crimes (as in a full fledge war they cannot possibly keep up with the killings), and the indifference on the American side (with the not in my backyard mentality). The problem of drug trafficking and consumption and the myriad of organized crime around it (along with human trafficking of course) are issues that both countries should confront with responsibility, without endangering the security and the hopes of a whole population, as it is the case of Mexico. People there are suffering the consequences of this nonsense.

this is the editorial of today´s NYT. A rare occasion in which there is a glimpse of responsibility on the American side. Hopefully there is more debate about this and not only the classic American cultural wars regarding the relation with its neighbor.


Massacre in Tamaulipas

NYT August 30th 2010

The full story of the massacre in Tamaulipas, in northeast Mexico, awaits telling by its one survivor. The early news accounts are horrifying: 72 people, said to be migrants from Central and South America on their way to the United States, are waylaid and imprisoned by drug smugglers on a ranch 100 miles south of Texas. They refuse to pay extortion fees and are executed. The survivor, shot in the neck, hears their screams for mercy as he flees. After a gun battle with the authorities, the killers escape in S.U.V.’s. The dead, 58 men and 14 women, are found piled in a room, discarded contraband.
The temptation may be to write this atrocity off as another ugly footnote in Mexico’s vicious drug war. But such things do not exist in isolation. Mexico’s drug cartels are nourished from outside, by American cash, heavy weapons and addiction; the northward pull of immigrants is fueled by our demand for low-wage labor.
Drug cartels, opportunistic capitalists, have leaped into the business of smuggling people. Illegal immigrants, known as pollos, or chickens, are in some ways better than cocaine bricks because they can be forced to pay ransom and be drug mules.
The American response to Mexico’s agonies has mostly been a heightened fixation on militarizing the border — most recently, a $600 million bill offered by Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, and signed by President Obama. Enforcement without any overhaul of legal migration creates only the illusion of control. Without a system tied to labor demand, illegality, disorder and death proliferate.
Current temporary-worker programs are so cumbersome and bureaucratic they are almost unusable by employers. Unable to enter legally, and locked out of Texas and California by stringent border security, immigrants skirt the fence ever farther into the remote Arizona desert. Illegal crossings are down in the bad economy, but deaths this brutal summer are up. The pull of opportunity still beckons.
We have delegated to drug lords the job of managing our immigrant supply, just as they manage our supply of narcotics. The results are clear.

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