Drug gang related violence has
left over 2,700 dead, so far, this year. But that's not the only crime
bothering people. Kidnappings are up 9 percent over last year, and many
affluent Mexicans, including many managers and professionals, are moving their
families to the United States. The bodyguard business is booming, and anyone
with money, and without personal security, is just asking to be snatched. The
kidnapping threat ruins the lives of millions of Mexico's best educated and
most successful citizens. They run the media, as well as all the other
professions. These are people with clout, and they are leaning on the
politicians to do something about kidnapping in particular, and crime in
general. These are the Mexicans who can legally immigrate to many affluent
nations that would be glad to have them. If the government doesn't act, the
potential victims will.
2008: The centerpiece of this week's special conference on crime, held in Mexico
City, is the promise to continue to purge local, state, and national police
forces of corrupt officers. One of the biggest sources of public discontent in
Mexico is the knowledge that known criminals are protected by corrupt police
officials. What's different now is that Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon, is
taking on the issue.
2008: Mexican President Felipe Calderon said that he would launch an even
harsher attack on crime in Mexico. Specifically, Calderon told senior Mexican
government officials and police officers that Mexico needed "anti-abduction
police units". He said Mexico is plagued by " a cancer of criminality."
Kidnappings are a tool used by organized crime to intimidate officials and,
yes, it's also a business.
2008: Mexico's huge CEMEX cement conglomerate has refused to accept Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez' terms for nationalizing cement assets in Venezuela.
CEMEX has some significant investments in Venezuela.
2008: The estimates vary, but 800 people may have been murdered in and around
the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez since January 1, 2008. Juarez is directly
across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Army raided a house in the town of
Tierra Blanca (Veracruz state). The soldiers found 25 "kidnapped" Central
Americans who were being moved to the United States. The people freed were from
Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
2008: 30 people were killed over the weekend in violence in Chihuahua state.
News sources reported that 14 people were slain August 16 in an attack on a
dance hall in Creel, Chihuahua. The attackers used automatic weapons (likely
2008: The Mediation Commission, set up to facilitate negotiations between the
Mexican government and the EPR (Peoples Revolutionary Army) said that the
Mexican government had two Mexican Marxist guerrillas may have been
"disappeared" by Mexican security forces. The two men, Edmundo Reyes Amaya and
Raymundo Rivera Bravo, are EPR "causes célèbre." The men disappeared in Oaxaca
2008: Eight people were killed in a "gang hit" in Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua
state). Armed gunmen (wearing body armor) entered a drug rehabilitation clinic,
selected eight victims, and killed them. Mexican officials said the attack involved
a "gangland feud." The Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels are locked in a battle
for control of Juarez.
2008: A US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) said that 90- 95 percent of the illegal weapons seized
in Mexico come from the US. The "iron river flowing south" is a huge political
issue in Mexico. The ATF has arrested "gun traffickers" in the US who have sold
weapons to "straw buyers" (front men). The buyers connect to Mexican organized
criminal gangs and drug cartels.
2008: The US Border Patrol reported the four Mexican Army soldiers accidentally
crossed the US-Mexico border and "briefly detained" a US Border Patrol officer.
The USBP agent convinced the Mexican soldiers that they were on the wrong side
of the border. The Mexicans decided he was right, released him, and moved
across the border. The incident occurred in a remote location in Arizona.