Sunday, August 31, 2008

Drug war terror spreads in Mexico as bodies are dumped in tourist areas

Say it with a sting.....

Chris Ayres in Los Angeles
Eleven decapitated bodies have been found outside the city of Merida on the Yucatan peninsula, heightening fears that Mexico's recent descent into violence has reached even heavily protected tourist areas.

All the bodies showed signs of torture and were tattooed with star signs and the letter “Z”, suggesting that they had fallen victim to the country's growing drug war, which has left more than 2,700 dead so far this year.

Merida is a popular stop-off point for tourists on their way to visit the Mayan pyramids at Chichen Itza. On the other side of the Yucatan peninsula is Cancun, a Las Vegas-style holiday destination popular with US tourists; an hour or so farther south of Cancun is the resort town of Playa del Carmen, where many US hotel chains have built five-star properties.

Perhaps inspired by the insurgency in Iraq, Mexican drug gangs have started to use mass beheadings as a macabre public relations tool.

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In an incident two years ago, several severed heads were rolled across the floor of a nightclub in the southern state of Michoacan. Earlier this week, four decapitated bodies were found in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego.

The aim, according to government officials, is to create “an atmosphere of terror”.

Jose Guzman, a Yucatan state prosecutor, said that the heads from the bodies found in Merida were still missing. “We believe that the executions were an isolated incident and not part of a strategy to destabilise the state,” he added.

Critics say this is wishful thinking. The resurgence of drug overlords in Mexico — along with endemic corruption in the police force and military - has led to a near-nationwide collapse in security. In May, the country's chief of police was murdered and, according to a recent study, Mexico now has more kidnappings than Iraq and Columbia.

So far, Mexico's most notorious drug overlord, Joaquín “Shorty” Guzmán, remains at large. According to popular legend, Mr Guzmán pays $2 million (£1 million) in cash wherever he stays to ensure protection, never uses a mobile phone twice, and once managed to conceal 7.3 tonnes of cocaine in cans of chilli peppers.

In another incident, he paid off a police commander with $1 million in cash and five Dodge Ram SUVs, in exchange for permission to land a cargo plane without interference.

Public outrage over Mexico's soaring crime levels reached a new intensity a fortnight ago after the killing of a boy aged 14 after his businessman father paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom money.

It was later alleged that a corrupt police detective was part of the plot.

The only consolation for Mexicans has been that the drug war had left the tourist industry unaffected. No longer: the discovery of the 11 decapitated bodies on the Yucatan peninsula has already made headlines all over the world.

In addition to those bodies, another decapitated body was found 50 miles to the east of Merida, in a town called Buctzotz. Like the others, it showed signs of torture.

President Calderón responded to Mexico's rapidly deteriorating security situation last week by signing a national security pact, including a promise to purge corrupt police officers.

He said that “a cancer of criminality” had spread across the country, adding: “It's not about looking for who was guilty in the past. We're all responsible.”

Analysts say that this marked an important change of strategy. Since coming to power in 2006 after a contentious election, President Calderón has used the military to chase down drug overlords, a policy that has been criticised for being too one-dimensional. After all, the protection of drug traffickers by the police and military — to many, Joaquín “Shorty” Guzmán is a Robin Hood figure — has made successful prosecutions extremely difficult, if not impossible, even with financial support from the United States.



Have your say

It is really sad that the darkside is taking over countries. If Mexico doesn't get this under control, and quick, travel to their country will turn off like a light bulb. When it comes it will be pretty tramatic. Time is critical on this; it must be dealt with or public opinion will turn on them

A Brock, Palm Springs, USA

Having an uncontrolled border with the U.S. where illegal activities can take place, smuggling drugs, immigration, slaves, promotes this. At some point the money and violence is too much, Mexico will fall into anarchy, there will be no government. Lock the border, save Mexico and the U.S.

Jimmy, Los Angeles, CA,

O'Bama/Biden - The Wizard of Oz Ticket

Given that O'Bama can't give a speech without a teleprompter and Biden can't write his own speech they will now call themselves 'The Wizard of Oz Ticket'.


Pat Mabooty, North Shore Oahu, US

How can any legal resident of the United States read this article and still think we don't need a decent fence at the border? Good fences make good neighbours; especially when there are not common values and cultures.

Simon, Lake Forest, USA

When the presence of law is absent(cops), people must be able to defend and protect themselves and their communities. Without that ability, they are helpless victims and are at the mercy of criminals and outlaws (corrupt cops, drug-lords, the town rapist , etc.) Thank God for the 2nd Amendment.

JamesW, RiversideCA, USA

Don't blame my country for the failures of a corrupt, chaotic government.

Jack, Oklahoma,

Many Asian countries have a strict death penalty law for drug smugglers and works. Unfortunately the US is too limp wristed in its punishment of drug sellers and users.

pug, Studio City, United States

And so history repeats itself. Look back at prohibition -- the same kind of stuff was going on. How much longer are we to have a prohibition on drugs. Legalize them now, stop the war.

Claude, Lexington, KY, USA

Gee Greg from Bremerton, why don't you move to Mexico?? Be fortunate your from a country that allows you to criticize it as much as you do. Oh and John from Edmonton, America doesn't want you uber-liberal Canadians any more than you want us......

Larry, Phoenix, U.S.A.

I agree - send in the Navy Seals
but don't send in the DEA if you want results. They are busy here
busting small time dealers on TV.

Dr Nick, NY, us

As difficult is to accept it, the American societey has a lot of blame. The only reason those criminals in Colombia, Mexico and Asia exist is because they know their product will be consumed in the US. No consumption - no production.



Alberto Genel, Miami, FL

This violence simply moved to Mexico from Colombia when the Mexican Cartels took over the drug smuggling routes. The ONLY solution to this problem is for the US PEOPLE to LEGALIZE drugs. This would require us to take responsibility for the people we love, rather than rely on the DEA. Fat chance.

Lindsay, Wilmington, DE, USA

To Greg from Bremerton
If you don't like it here, do something about it or leave.

james, jerome, usa

Hey! John from Edmonton,
Hate to break it to you, but Canada IS a suburb of the USA. Like it or not, you are part of the grand global skeem. You already have Mexican illegals in your midst. Same problems coming your way...a little later but soon enough.

Duke, Midway, USA

".Apparently these good people are cowards."

Yes, it's amazing isn't it that these same Mexicans who are afraid to confront their problems in their own country are perfectly willing to protest in ours? Who could be proud of a country where they can't find work, because of corruption?



Dewayne Calhoun, ocala, usa

Carol said best 'all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing' ... truth always hurts that is the reason it is so unpopular. It is always easier to blame someone else. I only wish is wasn't the drug use of Americans causing this. That hurts also.

Paladino, Orlando FL, USA

Several people have pointed out that these problems are a result of demand from the US. Several have also suggested that the solution is to legalize drugs, to some degree. That may be appropriate for some drugs. In the meantime, however, just stop consuming drugs. Do it for your own conscience.

Charles, Las Cruces, USA

For all you Americans who think it is just Mexico's problem: Get ready , it's coming this way.

Mikey, West Chciago, USA

The war on drugs is what causes this, no one is killed over the drug trade that is big tabacco or big booze. People are going to do drugs and if the 2 trillion dollar war on drugs as proven anything, its that nothing can be done to stop people from doing drugs.

Steve, Green Bay, USA

If legalizing drugs would end this in our country and in Mexico, then why not legalize murder, speeding, drunk driving, gambling, prostitution, theft, and while you're at it, just empty all the jails since it is such a drain on our economy to keep them in there...what a utopia! Get real!!!!

Gerald Tobey, Troutville, USA

Multiply by three all sentences for crimes committed under the influence, capital punishment after 3 felonies, carry them out, and see what happens to the drug trade. Of course, those people in high places...

Eugene, heidelberg, germany

I agree with Michael from Ridgewood. Why don't all the potheads of the world find something more productive to do with their lives? Instead of escaping through drugs, why not use that energy to help someone who needs it? God knows, the world is full of opportunities to do something worthwhile.
Nan

nancy Lim, olney, United States

Decriminalize drugs. Don't legalize them. For this reason: If it remains illegal, government cannot tax it. Possession would be similar to a parking or traffic citation. The big thing is, we do not want government in the business of relying upon tax revenues from it. It becomes power.

Edward Holman, Dallas, Texas, USA

Legalize production in Mexico and tax the Overlords, tax the drugs too that will be sold at pharmacies. The US demand doesn't cause these problems, Mexico's ineptitude at solving the issue is the cause.

John R, Los Angeles, CA, USA

High time to decriminalize drugs particularly in the U.S. So long as you're not harming someone else remember that you own you and are entitled to put in/on your body whatever you'd like to. Such is the benefit of a free person in a free society. Anything less is bondage, serfdom.

David, Atlanta, US

Perhaps Fabian can point to his own country of Germany as an example of what the United States can do to curb its appetite for hedonism. Marxism is not an option so we might look at the history of Germany and her solutions she had for those who committed crimes as they did in the twentieth century

Ken Blatchford, ALBUQUERQUE, USA

Corrupt inefficient government operations are what is responsible for the human tide from Mexico. This is just one more example, and it's nothing new.

Stephen Martin , Santa Monica, CA. ,

Legalizing drugs in this country would go a long way towards ending this in our country and in Mexico

Chris, Winston-Salem, NC,

If you use illegal drugs you are contributing to this problem. It's as simple as that. These murderous drug kingpins exist because of the demand created for their product in countries like the US. You CAN do something about this simply buy not buying or consuming illegal drugs.

Michael, Ridgewood, United States

If prohibition was repealed these problems woudn't exist.

Fabian, Essen, Germany

It is a part of American culture that creates this propensity for an insatiable drug appetite. The demand is what creates the supply. We must address the Mexican issue with this in mind and approach the problem on two fronts. 1) change our own culture's hedonistic values. 2) Control immigration.

TS, Daytona Beach, Forida, USA

MX has been ruled by the elite class for so long that corruption is the only viable source of income for those struggling to survive in this failed country. The insatiable appetite for power and money by a select few has allowed this to happen. It is now out of control and in the hands of true evil.

El Õ¿Õ¬, Laredo, TX , USA

I am sure that Mexico does have many good people,but all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.Apparently these good people are cowards. Rather then run across the border stay and fight for your country. Carol Illinois, U.S.A.

carol hanson, lansing, USA

It's tough living here. We hardly ever go out, except on special occasions and even then, there's always a fear that gangsters are going to show up, shoot, rob or kidnap. The military patrols the streets but you never hear of them capturing anyone; they do however search random cars and steal stuff.

Rafael, Juarez, Mexico

I will worry about crime in Mexico the moment the crime statistics in the US fall below those of Mexico. In the meantime, the USA and its people continue to be violent, they tend to absorb violent entertainment without second thought, and continue illegal killing wars for profit in other countries.

Greg, Bremerton, USA

Hey Paul, and other Americans, I hate to let you down but there will be no North American Union. Canada does not want anything to do with you crazy Americans. Never!

John , Edmonton,

The Mexican government alone will not be able to stop this problem. Send in a Navy SEAL team, give them month, and you'll see a drop in crime. I guarantee it.



Chris, Chicago, USA

Hey Chris Ayres... It's Colombia, not Columbia...

Matt Meader, Seal Beach, USA

2,700 Mexican die just so Americans don't have to lower the demand for cocaine. If drugs were legal, the violence would stop. Instead of the US giving billion of dollars to Mexico, we could use the tens of billions spent each year in America to slow the trafficing of drugs to educate our children.

Mikey, San Antonio, USA

Just who is buying the stuff. US money funds every dime of the traffic. If the US would address the problem of usage then all this would go away. There has to be some form of leagalization and control to take the supply problem out of the hands of these drug lords.

Rick W, Atlantic City,

It is naive to think that allowing the Mexican citizenry to arm itself would bring this lawlessness under control. It is also naive to think that it would not provide a real benefit to the law-abiding people as well as a real deterrent to crime in armed
communities. Criminals fear armed citizens.

JD Dyess, Round Rock, USA

Douglas Manchester, you are extremely naive to think that citizens with weapons can clean up Mexico. How could they possibly do this when the army cannot? If a Mexican points a gun at a drug dealer he, and possibly his entire family, will be wiped out forthwith.

Richard

Richard Ward, Lopez, USA

To me, it shows the drug lords are increasingly desparate as they resort to these types of tactics. The battle will climax and good will eventually prevail. There are far more good people in Mexico than corrupt people.

Boddles, Dallas, USA

Mexico is well on its way to becoming a failed state. The USG is a long-time enabler, having been a willing safety valve for Mexico for many, many years.

22 year career in US Immigration law enforcement left me with few illusions. Unlike our so-called "leadership".

It's going to be a rough ride

Thomas Casey, Buffalo WY, US

@Richard - I agree! Mexico has very "tough" gun laws, kind of like DC where only the criminals have guns.
If Mexican citizens were allowed to be armed THEY could do the cleanup instead of the corrupt cops doing nothing.

Second Amendment rights are critical to a lawful country!


Douglas, Manchester, USA

Hey Matt in Tampa,

We'll have that kind of action up here as soon as they implement the North American Union.

Paul, Baltimore, MD USA,

We need to deport illegal aliens with skills (plumbers, carpenters, & electricians) to Iraq and Afghanistan to build new communitiies. We also need to set up a "cop swap" whereby the Coalletion trained Iraqi LEO's are used in Mexico, and the Mexican LEO's are used in Iraq.

Ron, Appalachia,

Black market anarchy is clearly the result of outlawing high demand (if very dangerous) drugs.

But it is unclear whether the world would be better off if we legalized narcotics and made them available like we do alcohol.

Either way, there we be much pain and death until demand is addressed.

Parker, Seattle, USA

Some people want to annex this country to solve our immigration problem? It's like saying "I'll take that cancerous malignant tumor and move it to my brain - I'll be able to control it better" -

William Bedloe, Washington DC,

The open borders policy (for mexicans only) defacto in force by a corrupt US Gov't that panders to illegal alien criminals will only insure this behavior perpetuates. We already have these same druglords kidnapping people off the streets of Southern California and taking them back to Mexico.

Julie Scott, Chula Vista, United States

@Rishard, San Diego, USA:

Rishard, your comment just made my day! What about legalizing drugs to solve this issue? Or, wait: How about declaring decapitation a national tradition and natural right of every law abiding citizen; Problem solved!!

Sven, Germany, Europe

David in San Diego, I couldn't agree with you more. In fact, the most corrupt countries all have problems with trying to improve a troubled economy. Another pt, Mex is next to the largest economy in the world (US) but they still can't seem to use this better improve their own econ. condition.

tod, Matsuyama, Japan

Let's have wide open boarders, instead of pourous ones. We can have this kind oif action up here in the states!

Matt, Tampa,

When will Mex get it's head out of the sand and legalize gun ownership for law abiding citizens?

Rishard, San Diego, USA

That's what I like about Mex tourism. Nice walk along the beaches and you could bump up against any body.

Eugene, heidelberg, germany

Well, as I always say, "Enjoy your 'Robin Hood'.

That's why the U.S.A. doesn't have this kind of crime, we ALL have guns, we will shoot to kill, and they will die in droves!!

Very little kidnapping, homicide, almost acceptable, though homicide includes self-defense.

James, SF Bay, U.S.A.,

Mexico has lost its soul. There is no rule of law and thugs rule the day. I long ago vowed that I wouldn't set foot there ever again. I won't support such a corrupt place with my tax dollars.

Kelly, Houston, USA

I live in San Diego -- just 15 miles north of Tijuana. I NEVER go there.
As a lawyer, I happened to be in court a couple of weeks ago, and saw criminal sentencing. It was all illegal aliens being sentenced for serious crimes -- including crimes against persons.
We need an impenetrable border wall.

David, San Diego, USA

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