Rumors on the border? What about the truth? Mexican drug cartels are seeking to control the Mexican side of our border

Interesting story in the Arizona Republic about the rumor that a Mexican drug cartel seized some ranches on the US side of the border in Laredo.  This story was run on the Citizen as well.

While the story that the Mexican drug cartel tried to seize ranches on the Texas side of the border proved to be false, the news item goes on to note:

As part of their illegal smuggling operations, criminal groups do control ranches on the Mexican side of the border, having either bought the land or intimidated ranchers into giving them access. This is possible because corruption in Mexico is endemic, and the rule of law is weak.

Many criminals hold dual nationality, and operating on both sides of the border is common. But the idea that they would try the same tactic on the U.S. side is unlikely, authorities say. Seizing land would be too risky because it would expose criminals to U.S. law enforcement.

Now let us all think about this accepted fact…that Mexican drug cartels DO control land on the Mexican side of the border to protect their drug smuggling routes. They do this by either buying land on the Mexican side of the line, or intimidating ranchers to gain access.

There is a ranch just accross the border west of Nogales where the drug cartel attacked and killed one of the cowboys working on that ranch last May. It happened.

One has to wonder how many ranches on the Mexican side of the border have been bought by the drug cartels?

One has to wonder how many ranchers on the Mexican side of the border have been intimidated into granting cartel access?

Wouldn’t that be an interesting map of the border for everyone to see? I would hope the US government actually has some idea of the degree to which the cartels control the Mexican side of the border.

In some alternative universe the fact that the drug cartels are buying ranches along our border and intimidating ranchers and even killing them ought to be really big news.

But as to all thing “Mexican” …whether it be 59 dead Mexicans in our borderlands in July, Mexican women being raped after they cross, Mexicans victimized by bandits after they cross, Mexican cowboys being killed by the drug cartel…. ho hum in the United States.

When and if Americans recognize that Mexicans are human beings, and we share a common enemy here…then maybe we’ll get real about dealing with border security and protecting life and property of  all the human beings who share this border on both sides of the border

For our side of the border to be secure the Mexican side of the border needs to be equally secure.

Rumor mill inflames border debate
Alfredo Corchado – Aug. 16, 2010 01:02 PM
Dallas Morning News

EL PASO, Texas – The ominous reports have zinged around the Internet for weeks, raising fresh fears about border security: Armed members of the notorious Mexican criminal group, the Zetas, seized two ranches near Laredo, Texas.

But law enforcement officials say the reports are false.

The latest incident, officials say, is one more cautionary tale of how bloggers are trying to influence the agenda over border security by fanning fears based on stories that are going viral without first being thoroughly reported or confirmed.

The latest rumor began swirling the weekend of July 24, when editors and others received reports that the Zetas had invaded U.S. territory. The story was based on a law enforcement bulletin stating that officers were looking into a tip that the Zetas had invaded the two ranches.

The bulletin was leaked to freelancer Kimberly Dvorak, a conservative writer who lives in San Diego. On her blog, she describes herself as journalist dedicated to writing “fair free and balanced stories” about local, national and international news stories for more than 15 years. She could not be reached for comment.

The Internet report was picked up by other bloggers, and reporters made inquiries.

Laredo Police Department spokesman Joe Baeza told KGNS-TV in Laredo that the story is “just one of many unconfirmed rumors and threats that we get here on a daily basis.”

One police investigator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “We’re swamped with so many rumors that this takes away from us doing our jobs. The fears out there are unreal, and the ability of these bloggers to penetrate society is out of control.”

As part of their illegal smuggling operations, criminal groups do control ranches on the Mexican side of the border, having either bought the land or intimidated ranchers into giving them access. This is possible because corruption in Mexico is endemic, and the rule of law is weak.

Many criminals hold dual nationality, and operating on both sides of the border is common. But the idea that they would try the same tactic on the U.S. side is unlikely, authorities say. Seizing land would be too risky because it would expose criminals to U.S. law enforcement.

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About Hugh Holub

Attorney and writer.
This entry was posted in border issues, border security, mexican drug cartels. Bookmark the permalink.

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