Saturday, May 22, 2010

So Far From God: Intermezzo

First, a vid. Here is the link where I found it, Drug-Crazed Mexican Pirates Terrorize Texas Boaters, which itself links back to the source, Pirates terrorize boaters on Texas lake, dated May 20, 2010:

For further background, we review Pirates plying the waves of Falcon Lake, dated May 18, 2010:

McALLEN — Heavily armed Mexican freshwater pirates have been shaking down U.S. boaters on Falcon Lake, a reservoir and bass fishing haven that straddles the Rio Grande.

At least three such incidents have been reported since April 30, the latest on Sunday, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety warning issued Tuesday that linked the muggings to northern Mexico's increasing lawlessness.

According to descriptions of the incidents, the robbers — in at least one case posing as Mexican federal law enforcement officers — searched fishermen's boats for guns and drugs, then demanded cash at gunpoint.

One of the incidents reportedly occurred on the U.S. side of the lake.

"The robbers are believed to be members of a drug trafficking organization or members of an enforcer group linked to a drug trafficking organization who are ... using AK-47s or AR-15 rifles to threaten their victims," the DPS statement said. "They appear to be using local Mexican fishermen to operate the boats to get close to American fishermen."

In other developments, over half the police force of one Mexican town have quite due to the threat of drug violence. From Mexican town's police force quits after ambush, dated May 19, 2010:

MEXICO CITY -- Most of a small Mexican town's police force has quit after armed men ambushed and wounded two of their officers.

The resignation of six of the 11 municipal officers in La Union Monday evening comes after several other Mexican towns have seen mass police resignations because of cartel violence or threats.

State police in Guerrero, which La Union is located, said Tuesday that it has deployed 20 of its officers to patrol La Union until further notice.

The resignations came two days after their colleagues were ambushed and left La Union's police force with five members: the chief, the deputy chief, an officer in charge of weapons logistics and the two wounded officers who are hospitalized.

Meanwhile, people in some Mexican towns have begun taking the law into their own hands.

In Mexico State, on the outskirts of Mexico City, authorities said Tuesday that residents of a town beat a man death on suspicion of robbing a young couple of 200 pesos (about $16) and a cell phone Monday.

The suspect and an accomplice allegedly held up the couple with a knife and what later was found to be a toy gun.

About 300 people pursued the two men, caught one and beat him so badly with sticks and fists that he died in an ambulance, officials said.

Finally, Mexico's President Calderón is sadly blaming the US for the flow of weapons to the cartels. From Calderón urges U.S. to ban assault rifles, dated May 21, 2010:

WASHINGTON — Mexican President Felipe Calderón urged U.S. lawmakers Thursday to restore a controversial assault weapons ban, saying easy U.S. availability of the high-powered firearms contributes to the escalating violence in his country.

Calderón said an increase in drug cartel killings began after Congress lifted the ban in 2004. Today, he said, gangsters point the guns at not only rivals but Mexican authorities and civilians.

"There is one issue where Mexico needs your cooperation, and that is stopping the flow of assault weapons and other deadly arms across the border," Calderón told a joint session of Congress.

We, of course, know that the weapons are in fact military grade arms that have been sold by many countries, including the US, to foreign militaries, and from there have been resold to Mexico's cartels - but let's not permit truth to interfere with sound politics!

In a 40-minute speech, he also took pointed exception to Arizona's crackdown on immigrants and urged the United States to work with Mexico to fix a broken immigration system.

The comments brought a swift rebuke from House and Senate Republicans, who accused the Mexican president of meddling in U.S. affairs.

"It is inappropriate for President Calderón to lecture Americans on our state and federal laws," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. "Moreover, the Second Amendment is not a subject open for diplomatic negotiation, with Mexico or any other nation."

The assault weapons ban was first approved by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994. But some of its supporters paid a political price, and Republicans gained control of the House that year with the help of the gun lobby.

Calderón acknowledged the political sensitivity of the issue, and said he respects the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee that citizens can defend themselves and their nation.

"But believe me, many of these guns are not going to honest American hands," Calderón said. "Instead, thousands are ending up in the hands of criminals."

Yeah, but not via lawful sales to law-abiding US citizens, who are buying weapons individually. The cartels are buying them in quantity, and get wholesale prices on the world market; they're not smuggling them down from the US in ones and twos, they're bringing them in from Asia and Africa by the boatload.

Mexico has seized 75,000 firearms over the past three years, he said, and 80 percent of them were traced to the United States. Some 7,000 gun shops and dealers dot the border from Brownsville to San Diego, Calif., Calderón said.

Research that "80%" statistic and see what you come up with.

Just another tequila sunrise? ;)

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