Mexico: Civil War Crosses The Border


June 30, 2008: The impending withdrawal of the National Guard from the US-Mexican border is a bit controversial. A number of US leaders (particularly state governors) think the Guard serves a useful purpose. The Guardsmen provide backup for the US Border Patrol. They also are a public and political statement about US intent to protect the southern border. As of the end of June 2008 there are under a thousand National Guard soldiers on "border duty" and most of them are involved in infrastructure construction (fence lines, roads, maintenance).

June 23, 2008: "Spill-over violence" from Mexico's drug war, ie, violence moving north into the US, is once again a hot topic. "Hit lists" including US citizens, are one reason, but police on both sides of the border have reported threats from drug cartels to "expand the war." Indeed, this would get the drug cartels some very big headlines and scare the US public. But angering the American public would be a huge mistake on the part of the cartels. Cartel leaders may assume that they could sucker the US and the Mexican government into some type of conflict. That's Hollywood thinking. What these kind of attacks would do is foster closer cooperation between the US and Mexico.

June 20, 2008: A Mexican state policemen was murdered in the Sinaloa capital of Culiacan. Mexican investigators report he was killed by fire from AK-47 assault rifles. Culiacan is regarded as a "highly sensitive area" by Mexican federal authorities and the Mexican Army. In May 2700 troops and paramilitary police deployed to Culiacan to try and stop drug cartel violence in the city.

June 19, 2008: The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has turned up a "death list" (hit list) attributed to Mexican drug cartels. The list includes the names of an American policemen in New Mexico. Allegedly several US citizens appear on the list. Several lists have appeared in the last month, naming people in northern Mexican cities (most of them in the city of Ciudad Juarez, which is across the border from El Paso, Texas).

June 15, 2008: Mexican police forces are complaining again that they lack the firepower to take on drug gangs. Local and state-level Mexican police are still for the most part armed with pistols. The Mexican federal police want to provide local and state police with more submachine guns and assault rifles.

June 9, 2008: The Houston, Texas police conducted a major anti-gang operation in Houston. The police issued an interesting statement. The main target of the sweep was the Los Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos (Brotherhood of Latin Gunmen) gang, which has close ties to Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel. The gang handles some of the Sinaloa drug cartel's distribution in south and east Texas.

June 3, 2008: May 2008 was a particularly bad month in Mexico. Initial reports are that almost 500 people were killed in drug-related violence

June 1, 2008: Mexican President Felipe Calderon has gotten a lot of public support for his Cartel War against Mexican narcotics gangs. However, a recent Mexican national poll reported that 53 percent of the Mexican people believe the drug cartels are "winning the war."





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