The Los Angeles Times has a chilling story up about how a battle between two rival drug cartels is strangling an area of northern Sonora south of Sasabe.
Altar, mentioned in the story, is west of Santa Ana. Saric, also mentioned in the story, is directly south of Sasabe.
I have talked to a number of people who have been in the area recently, and the LA Times story, if anything, understates the problem.
Gasoline is not available in some of the towns, and one person who tried to bring gas to the town was murdered.
There are roadblocks in the region manned by cartel gunmen.
Mexico has effectively lost control of the area to the cartels, who are fighting it out.
Anticipate a flood of refugees from towns being taken over by the cartels. Shouldn’t the US establish a form of asylum for people fleeing drug cartel violence?
If and when the Mexican government really attempts to regain control over areas such as this, expect a whole lot of violence and bad news coming out of Sonora.
There will not be a secure border between the US and Mexico as long as the cartels can gain control over the Mexican side of the border and run these areas as private little kingdoms.
Read the LA Times story please to understand the seriousness of what is going on south of Arizona….
….This is Mexico’s hidden drug war.
Ciudad Juarez and other violence-torn urban areas may rack up large body counts and capture headlines and presidential visits. But here in the northern part of the state of Sonora, two of Mexico’s strongest drug cartels are waging a battle for scores of human and drug trafficking routes into Arizona that may be just as sinister.
One of the gangs is using a slow, bloodless strategy of patience over confrontation: It’s trying to starve out its rivals.
The result is a siege of medieval proportions that has cut off a region about the size of Rhode Island from government services, and severed a lifeline to thousands of ranch hands, storekeepers and retirees. Few dare leaving on the roads, and even fewer brave going in.