What,s the solution for our neighbor south of the border?

by jam 30 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Nickolas

    Question. Is anyone even thinking of sending American soldiers "north of the border"? Would Canadians agree to that?

    I'm afraid your comparison of the situations in Mexico and Canada is a little spurious, dgp. Where is the violence? Not here. It's all right there in Mexico.

  • dgp

    Good point, Nickolas. Now, do you think the US could help a lot to stop violence in Mexico if it restricted the sale of weapons to Mexican drug lords, whatever the size of its share? And, how exactly would a squad help reduce violence?

    Here's an example of help from the friend "North of the border":


    Operation Fast and Furious was the name of a sting run by the United StatesBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) between 2009 and 2010 as part of Project Gunrunner in its investigations into illegal gun trafficking . The stated purpose of the operation was to permit otherwise-suspected straw purchasers to complete the weapon's purchase and transit to Mexico, in order to build a bigger case against Mexican criminal organizations suspected of being the ultimate buyer. [ 1 ] The operation started in the fall of 2009 and ended in late 2010 shortly after the death of Brian Terry, a US Border Patrol Agent and has since become the subject of controversy and a U.S. congressional investigation. During the operation, the sale of at least 2,000 guns were facilitated by ATF knowing most would be trafficked to Mexico. The guns have been linked (through eTrace, ATF's electronic tracing program) to over 150 shootings in Mexico [citation needed]. Of the 2,000 guns knowingly released by ATF agents, only 600 are reported as recovered by officials. The remaining 1,400 guns have not been recovered.

    I added the emphasis. Now, it seems America cries a lot over ONE dead American, but has nothing to say about 150 "shootings". Say they only shot one person each time (which is highly unlikely). That's still 150 to 1.

    Do we need this kind of help? By the way, Mexican authorities were never informed about this.

    There's more:

    Arizona gun shop told ATF sting was dangerous

    Federal agents and prosecutors last year encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell firearms to buyers for Mexican cartels even after the store owners fretted that weapons might be used to kill Border Patrol agents, according to e-mails obtained by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

    Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that the e-mails refute earlier Justice Department denials. The e-mails were exchanged by a federal agent and an Arizona gun dealer last April and June.

    “In light of this new evidence, the Justice Department’s claim that the ATF never knowingly sanctioned or allowed the sale of assault weapons to straw purchasers is simply not credible,” Grassley wrote in the letter sent Wednesday.

    The letter and e-mails were made public Thursday.

    Justice Department officials in Washington, D.C., could not be reached late Thursday, and a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to comment.

    The controversy stems from Operation Fast and Furious, an Arizona investigation in which agents monitored weapons and buyers after suspicious sales in an effort to track guns to cartel members.

    After U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a December shootout near Nogales, Ariz., two AK-47s found at the scene were traced to Operation Fast and Furious. They had been purchased in Glendale 11 months earlier.

    Federal authorities previously denied that gun-store owners were encouraged to continue selling firearms to cartel operatives, some of whom visited shops repeatedly, purchasing dozens of assault rifles.

    The e-mails released by Grassley contradict those statements. In correspondence with an unidentified gun dealer last April, ATF Supervisor David Voth wrote:

    “I understand that the frequency with which some individuals under investigation by our office have been purchasing firearms from your business has caused concerns for you. . . . However, if it helps put you at ease, we are continually monitoring these suspects using a variety of investigative techniques which I cannot go into (in) detail.”

    The firearms vendor responded by asking for a letter to ensure that he would not face repercussions for selling dozens of weapons to a suspected criminal: “I want to help ATF with its investigation, but not at the risk of agents’ safety because I have some very close friends that are U.S. Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona.”

    What is amazing here is that the store owner was concerned about their accusing him of complicity. He never showed any concern over the deaths of Mexicans south of the border. But, well, he sells weapons in the first place. He knows what they are used for.

    'Operation Fast and Furious': The Biggest, Most Underreported Scandal of Obama's Presidency?

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/transcript/operation-fast-and-furious-biggest-most-underreported-scandal-obamas-presidency#ixzz1X0OLYCOF

    SEAN HANNITY, HOST: "Project Gun Runner" also known in Arizona as "Operation Fast and Furious," could be the biggest and most under reported scandal of Obama's presidency.

    Now, a sting gone bad by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- it is a blunder that resulted not only in more than 1,700 smuggled weapon going from the U.S. to Mexico and officials believe these weapons may be connected to the deaths of at least two Americans.

    Now President Obama recently denied any prior knowledge of the operation, much less, granting its authorization.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made. If that's the case then we'll find out and we'll hold somebody accountable.

    I wonder if this somebody will be held accountable for the deaths of TWO Americans only. Because, whoever this person is, is simply accountable for the deaths of many more. And it is a shame that even the newspaper is reporting this as if nothing had happened in Mexico.

    Yes, violence in Canada is nowhere near as in Mexico. But, if it were, would Canadians agree to having Americans in their soil? We all know they wouldn't.

    I like you a lot, Nickolas. I'm kind of sorry that you and I are having this discussion. I suppose you see things your way, and I have failed to show them my way. I suppose it's the same thing with the rest of the posters on this thread.

    A cousin of mine was the girlfriend of this good looking young surgeon. The surgeon was kidnapped by drug traffickers. The parents received proof of their having him hostage: the fingers of his right hand were chopped off. The family paid the ransom, and he was returned alive. That was fortunate: sometimes you will pay sum after sum, and your loved one will never return. Once you stop paying, because you have no money left, either the body appears - in which case you carry the burden of "not having done more for him/her"-, or you never find the body, in which case you are left knowing that the person was killed long ago, surely after rape if she was a woman, and they squeezed the very last cent out of you. So, not only did they kill your relative, they also made you go broke. This young man was spared that fate. He moved to San Diego where he is receiving professional help. Yeah, the damned Mexicans didn't do their fair share in his case. It would be simply a matter of letting Americans handle the thing.

    So I submit this to you. The US receives drugs from all over the world. The American government makes the laws and has resources that other police corps can only dream of. Why do they want people abroad -like the Mexican government- to do the hard thing, instead of adding grains of sand in a number greater than that of Israel's descendants, to fight a problem that is theirs as well, with their own judges, their own police, their own money, responding only to their own constituents? That can dry the finances of the men who kidnapped this young surgeon, don't you think? And please, no more "Fast and Furious". By the way, I hope the men who led the operation are held accountable for the deaths of people other than two Americans. Their being Mexicans should not matter.

  • Robdar

    I think dgp is spot on. Well said, dgp. Well said.

  • Nickolas

    I like you a lot, Nickolas. I'm kind of sorry that you and I are having this discussion. I suppose you see things your way, and I have failed to show them my way.

    I'm not sorry, dgp, and neither should you be. This is just a discussion about hypotheticals. I agree with you that the root of the problem is in the United States but I cannot see the solution in the US. The US has been waging a losing war on drugs for generations and, if anything, the associated problems have multiplied. Unfortunately, I don't see a current solution in Mexico, either, because the situation is out of control and escalating. The government of Mexico is not in charge, the drug lords are. Wish I had the answer to your OP.


  • dgp

    Nickolas, at this time, I just want to borrow someone else's words to illustrate what my point is.

    I'm going to borrow what The Economist published here:



    For reasons of geography Mexico’s fate is ineluctably intertwined with that of the United States. This now looks less of an advantage than it once did (and not just because it is Americans who arm and finance the Mexican drug gangs). In 2009 Mexico’s was hit worse than any other big economy in the Americas by the recession in the United States. Renewed weakness north of the border this month has prompted economists to slash their forecasts for Mexico as well.

    Emphasis added by me.

    This is an article on Mexican economy.

  • Nickolas

    Good article. I take away three points. 1) Corrupt Americans are largely responsible for the drug-fueled violence in Mexico, 2) Mexico is the author of it's own problems and, 3) Only Mexico can solve its problems.

  • dgp

    I still like you, Nickolas. Maybe you don't like me, but I find you a smart man. One it is possible to talk to.

    So now we are of one mind here:

    Corrupt Americans are largely responsible for the drug-fueled violence in Mexico

    We are not of one mind here:

    Mexico is the author of it's own problems

    I think we agree that drugs are a huge problem for Mexico. Only Mexico didn't create demand for drugs. At most, the country is a co-author of that.

    Mexico has lots of problems and I would be quick to agree that the United States are an easy target to blame. A wrong target to blame, too; only not in this case.

    Only Mexico can solve its problems.

    Yes. This does not mean America can't do its fair share, fighting drugs within its own territory, with its own forces. It does mean that the usual American approach, "let's send our guys there" is inappropriate. It hasn't worked anywhere.

    By the way, America produces a lot of marijuana internally.


    The amount of marijuana produced domestically is unknown . 16 However, eradication data and law enforcement reporting indicate that the amount of marijuana produced in the United States appears to be very high, based in part on the continual increases in the number of plants eradicated nationally (see Table 4). In fact, eradication of plants from both indoor and outdoor sites has more than doubled since 2004. Well-organized criminal groups and DTOs that produce domestic marijuana do so because of the high profitability of and demand for marijuana in the United States. These groups have realized the benefits of producing large quantities of marijuana in the United States, including having direct access to a large customer base, avoiding the risk of detection and seizure during transportation across the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders, and increasing profits by reducing transportation costs.

    Table 4 . Number of Plants Eradicated From Indoor and Outdoor Sites in the United States, 2004-2008


    Source: Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP).
    Note: DEA methodology for collecting DCE/SP data changed in 2007. Since 2007, public lands data have been included in the number of outdoor plants eradicated and therefore should not be compared with previous years' data.

    Marijuana is produced in the United States by various DTOs and criminal groups, including Caucasian, Asian, and Mexican groups, but Caucasian independents and criminal groups are well established in every region of the country and very likely produce the most marijuana domestically overall. 17 Mexican, Asian, and Cuban criminal groups and DTOs, in particular, pose an increasing threat in regard to domestic cultivation, since their cultivation activities often involve illegal immigrants and large-scale growing operations ranging from 100 to more than 1,000 plants per site. In addition, these groups appear to be expanding and shifting operations within the United States

    The idea that Americans have a problem with drugs because Mexico is incompetent is also wrong. Much of the drugs consumed in America come from Mexico, but that does not mean that this problem should only be managed abroad.

    Incidentally, you may want to know that drugs are also a problem, and a much worse one, for Central American countries. They need help, too. I don't think this help should be in the form of marines. They also have unhappy memories of American involvement in the form of marines. They also need help. Will you leave it to them only?


    The tormented isthmus

    Big-time drug trafficking has arrived in Central America. Its poor, politically polarised countries must now try to cope

    No region on earth is more routinely murderous. Guatemala’s rate of 46 murders per 100,000 people is more than twice as high as Mexico’s, and nearly ten times greater than that of the United States. Honduras and El Salvador—the other two countries that make up Central America’s “northern triangle”, as it is called—are more violent still (see chart in map). Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, the quietest members of the group, have also seen violence increase in recent years, as has Belize.

    Central America's woes

    The drug war hits Central America

    Organised crime is moving south from Mexico into a bunch of small countries far too weak to deal with it


    Whatever the weaknesses of the Mexican state, it is a Leviathan compared with the likes of Guatemala or Honduras. Large areas of Guatemala—including some of its prisons—are out of the government’s control; and, despite the efforts of its president, the government is infiltrated by the mafia. The countries of Central America’s northern triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) are now among the most violent places on earth, deadlier even than most conventional war zones (see article). So weak are their judicial systems that in Guatemala, for example, only one murder in 20 is punished.

    A collapse in social order, however bloody, is normally an internal matter. Yet it would be wrong to leave Central America to its own unhappy devices. Although the new violence thrives on the weakness of the state in those countries, its origins lie elsewhere. Demand for cocaine in the United States (which, unlike that in Europe, is fed through Central America), combined with the ultimately futile war on drugs, has led to the upsurge in violence. It is American consumers who are financing the drug gangs and, to a large extent, American gun merchants who are arming them. So failing American policies help beget failed states in the neighbourhood.

    Emphasis added by me.

  • Nickolas

    I don't know you well enough to either like or dislike you, dgp. Perhaps in future. I think you're ok so far. I was only providing my takeaways from the article you cited. They're not necessarily my own. To your disagreeing with takeaway #2, I can't dispute it because I know too little on the subject to form an opinion. The article talks about Americans arming and funding the Mexican drug gangs and goes on to say:

    Above all, it is within Mexico’s own power to do better. Its economy has long been held back by monopolies and cartels—of legal businesses, not drug traffickers (see article). Costliest of all is the state monopoly over oil. Even as Brazil’s oil industry—state-dominated, but open to foreign investment—is surging, Mexico’s is retreating. Then there is the telecoms business: thanks to a private near-monopoly, owned by Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, Mexicans pay between four and ten times as much to be connected than do people in developed countries. Restrictive practices drive up the price of much else, from medicines to air fares.

    Which tells me that the author is citing Mexico's business laws as having fostered the climate in which cartelism is nurtured, vs business laws in the rest of North America which bans them because they in turn foster consumer exploitation, just as the paragraph above says. I take that to mean that the author is saying that Mexico, at least to some extent, is complicit in bringing about its current problems. You cited Canada earlier as an example of where large volumes of illicit drugs are being manufactured and then exported into the United States. But there are no drug cartels in Canada. All of the Canadian crooks are independent crooks and for the most part they're not shooting up civilians in the streets. But as far as Mexico is concerned, I have to ask myself what is the problem? Is the problem drugs or is the problem violence? It's a rhetorical question. If Mexico's laws foster an environment of corruption and exploitation of the majority for the benefit of the rich minority, it might foster an environment in which violence will flourish. Possible?

  • dgp

    Well, Nickolas, as to "corruption and exploitation of the majority for the benefit of the rich minority", you can look anywhere . Maybe Norway is different. But you do have part of a point. For reasons Latin Americans in general, not just Mexicans, should not be proud of, the same son of farmers has a much better chance of making a name for himself in a different society than in Latin America. I can but remember the recent case of an astronaut of Mexican descent. I don't remember his name, but, had he stayed in Mexico, he'd still be in the family business: growing tomatoes. I'm sure Americans know this is why so many Mexicans have moved there.

    That said, the article is ironic. It says that the cartels that are really holding Mexico down are not those of drugs, but the fact that a few people will not allow competition. Carlos Slim is named specifically.

    I'm not sure there are no drug "cartels" in Canada. Organized crime exists everywhere. There is no violence of the sort that is so prevalent in certain areas of Mexico. But that is not the same as saying that there are no drug cartels.


    Organized crime

    PS 's role in the fight against organized crime is one of policy development and coordination. Its work is guided by the National Agenda to Combat Organized Crime which was developed and approved by federal, provincial and territorial law enforcement partners.

    Organized criminal groups are becoming increasingly sophisticated and mobile. Their activities now extend beyond the illegal drug trade and prostitution to illegal migration, trafficking of human beings, money laundering, economic crimes, cross border smuggling of counterfeit goods and even environmental crimes such as the dumping of toxic wastes. To effectively disrupt and dismantle this broad range of activities, law enforcement officials must now work together and call upon new partners such as computer technicians, forensic accountants, tax investigators and intelligence analysts.

    Through its National Coordinating Committee on Organized Crime, PS brings together law enforcement agencies with federal, provincial and territorial partners to develop unified strategies and policies, ensuring a direct link between the law enforcement community and public policy makers. PS also ensures a high level of policy coordination with international partners.

    By the way, maybe you'd like to read this article:


    Mexico: safer than Canada

    Aug 27th 2010, 14:36 by T.W. | MEXICO CITY

    OK, so the headline is a bit of a fib. But a report on Mexico’s security situation has painted a more detailed picture than the one we hear about in the news most of the time. When I told friends I was moving to Mexico City, some asked if I would be provided with a bodyguard (no). Business travellers are thinking twice about coming, according to chambers of commerce here. But a detailed breakdown of violence released this week shows that, if you pick your state, you’re as safe—or safer—than in any other North American country.

    Mexico’s overall homicide rate is 14 per 100,000 inhabitants: fearsomely high (and possibly an underestimate, given the drugs cartels' habit of hiding bodies in old mines), but quite a lot lower than its great Latin rival Brazil, whose rate is more like 25. As the chart below shows, Mexico’s death rate is bumped up by extraordinarily high levels of violence in four states: Chihuahua (home of Ciudad Juárez, widely labelled the world’s most murderous city), Durango, Sinaloa and Guerrero (see p.29 of this document ). Of the rest, some are blissfully serene: Yucatán, where tourists flock to swim with whale sharks and clamber over Chichen Itzá, has a murder rate of 1.7—slightly lower than Canada’s average of 2.1.

    Before I am buried an avalanche of polite Canadian emails, I should acknowledge that comparing an entire country with one quiet state is hardly fair: there are no doubt parts of Canada where no-one has been so much as kicked in the shin for decades. But Mexico’s predicament is worth highlighting, because the extreme violence around its border with the United States colours people’s view of the rest of the country, though much of it is pretty quiet. A third of Mexico’s states hover around 5 murders per 100,000, about the same rate as the United States. Another third are around 8 per 100,000, similar to Thailand, for instance. A handful of states have rates in the teens—like Russia, say—and a couple are in the low twenties, a little lower than Brazil’s average. Then you have the chaos of the four very violent states, which sends the average soaring.

    The carnage in Mexico’s badlands is not to be underestimated, and nor does it seem to be getting any better. Business travellers should certainly watch out in places such as Juárez and, these days, even in cities such as Monterrey. But people doing business south of the Rio Grande should remember that, even on average, Mexico is a less murderous country than places such as Brazil, and that once you avoid the hotspots, it’s downright safe.

    In my humble opinion, the problem in Mexico is that a bunch of thugs found a way to make incredible money on drugs, thanks to the existence of a very large American market for that product, and those thugs are now threatening the existence of Mexico as a real country. That is why the president decided to launch a "war", and that is why there is such violence. You also need to remember that the cartels are killing each other. The business is so productive that each cartel wants the whole pie, not just a slice of it.

    There's always been corruption and exploitation in Mexico. There's always been corruption and exploitation in Central America, too. But the drug trade came to be only after the Colombian cartels were defeated. So, poverty, corruption and exploitation are not the cause of the drug trade. if they were, then it would be good to ask why is it that Canadians, with their high standard of living, are involved in that business at all.

    Another good question would be just why Americans are involved. I don't think it is difficult to imagine that, if people do drugs in the United States, then someone does the distribution. And that someone is local. Are we to believe that Americans are only consumers, not suppliers?

    By the way, drugs always existed in Mexico, and opium, for example, started early in the twentieth century, in the form of poppy introduced by Chinese immigrants. Corruption was rampant back then, according to this book (El cartel de Sinaloa)


    Drugs would also make their way into the United States, because no one thought poppy was a problem. There were also drugs in Juárez, again originally controlled by the Chinese who moved there after the San Francisco fire of 1906. Those Chinese were mercilessly exterminated by Mexicans, who showed racist contempt that gives the goosebumps. The Chinese were accused of selling drugs, but the reason they were killed was precisely to seize the business.

    There were also distilleries in Juárez during the Prohibition.

    ( http://www.amazon.com/El-cartel-Juarez-Cartel-Spanish/dp/9703707971/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315280788&sr=1-1

    All the time, there was an American market for all this, and that is why that criminal activity grew.

    When you make a wrong diagnosis of your problems, then you try a wrong solution that, of course, doesn't work. It is wrong to think that Mexico is the sole cause of the drug problem in Mexico. It just amazes me how impervious Americans can be to the fact that they are to blame, too, and that there is plenty they can do within their own borders. The old "just send the boys down there and they will fix things" doesn't work.

    It's a pity that a country with so much resources acts on so wrong information and makes things more difficult for other countries. I mean the US here.

  • jam

    Perry open to sending troops to aid Mexico.

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