The government has concluded that crime and crime-related violence
have cut growth in Mexico's gross domestic product (GDP). The official figure
is one percent meaning the drug war and the crime wave stunt Mexican economic
development. This isn't news. Political corruption in Mexico stunts growth even
more, and corrodes public confidence as well. This is why President Felipe
Calderon has placed so much emphasis on cleaning up police departments and
fighting political corruption. What the violence does do is increase the doubts
of foreign investors who are interested in building new factories in Mexico.
2008: U.S. and Italian police are going after the overseas operations of the
Mexican Gulf Cartel. Raids in both countries have arrested 175 people and
attempted to shut down drug distribution and money laundering. The U.S. has
indicted the three senior leaders of that cartel.
10, 2008: The US will delay deploying a "virtual fence" complex. The "fence of
sensors" project is being run by the Boeing corporation. Political pressures to
build key physical fences is one reason. Still, deployed sensors (audio and
video) already play a role in watching the US-Mexico border.
2008: The government said Mexican Army soldier arrested a major drug cartel
leader, Alberto Sanchez. He is a "kingpin" in the Gulf cartel. Sanchez was
arrested in Villahermosa, Tabasco state.
2008: The "kidnapping boom" or epidemic has become a major political topic in
Mexico. It is one reason President Felipe Calderon held a special national
security conference in Mexico City in late August. Kidnapping the rich and
politically powerful gets headlines, but Mexican media point out that
kidnappers strike across the economic spectrum. This is one reason many
Mexicans are talking about "reinstating the death penalty" for the crime of
kidnapping. Even lower and middle-class families have had family members
kidnapped. Here, the kidnappers demand from $500 to $2000 for the loved-one's
return. Calderon is trying to use public indignation as a tool for reforming
the police. The gangs commit these crimes because they think they can get away
with it and one reason has been police corruption. This is what Mexican
reformers have called "institutional weakness" in the police forces.
Army is taking control of security in several towns in Michoacan state. The move by the army has been an
2008: Government security officers reported that they had found a 150 meter
long "drug smuggling" tunnel in the town of Mexicali. The tunnel had not been
completed but the objective was the California city of Calexico.
army arrested three men suspected of killing 15 people in the town of Nuevo
Casas Grande (Chihuahua state). The men placed under arrest were armed with
2008: One Mexican soldier was killed and four others wounded in a firefight
between the Mexican Army and a group of gunmen. The firefight occurred in
2008 A group of approximately 15 "cartel hit men" made a big mistake when they
attacked a group of Mexican Army soldiers camped in Guanajuato state. The hit men
threw grenades at the soldiers and then attacked with automatic weapons. Two
soldiers were wounded in what became an extended firefight. However, the
soldiers killed three gunmen,
2008: Cartel hit men attacked a ranch in Chihuahua state near the town of
Aldama and killed five people. The area has been a battleground between two
rival drug gangs.
2008: The government said that drug cartel leaders had "given permission to
their hit men" to cross the US border in order to attack "targets." US police
sources also reported the same story. The possibility of "spillover violence"
isn't new but these allegations by the police indicate the drug gangs are
threatening violence. Why? There could be a political objective bait the US
into launching an attack on drug cartel hit men and then portraying the attack
as an attack by the Yankees. That might politically weaken the Calderon
government. "Might" is the operative word. The Mexican Army is doing fairly
well in taking on the drug cartels and President Felipe Calderon is popular, in
part because he is taking on the gangsters.