Tag Archives: united states

Is “Terrorism” a problem?

The countless murders, threats, gory videos showing the torture, burning, beheading, and shootings of people that are spread across the internet are all a part of what the Mexican cartels are doing. This is very similar to what they are/have been doing over there in Afghanistan, but over there it’s labeled as terrorism and over in Mexico it is not. If it’s not terrorism then what is it? According to an article by Whitney Eulich of the Christian Science Monitor it’s “variously called a criminal insurgency, narcoterrorism, simply war, and – less frequently – terrorism. Mexicans, in everyday language, call it la inseguridad (insecurity).”

The article states that Hilary Clinton last year proclaimed that Mexican drug cartels and its organizations are turning into an insurgency. “An insurgency, in security parlance, is often thought of as a step beyond terrorism, more of a mass movement of violence and crime.” Both Mexicans and Americans alike were unhappy with this comment, and President Obama declared an apology in regards to what she said. That’s interesting, why did he have to apologize? He didn’t have anything to do with her comment. Everyone knows Obama’s position on the situation, so why does he have to barge up in there? Let Hilary take care of it herself. I’m sure that was embarrassing for her to have Obama apologize when she’s the one making the claim. Plus, she’s a grown experienced politician and woman that can fight her own battles. I understand Obama was trying to “do the right thing,” but I’m sure she knows what she’s doing.

Back in August, Mexican President Calderon said that the casino attack in Monterrey was an act of “terror.” “He tweeted it, his spokesman repeated it, and then in a televised speech, he said it again. It was the first such official use of the term, and there was no domestic political backlash.” Why is it that when a woman says something about a political affair there’s almost always controversy, and then when a man says something, it’s not as frowned upon (obviously depending on the issue). But the media seem to forgive men a lot more. Of course the case could be that Calderon did not receive any backlash because he is the guy running the country that encompasses all this terror. But, it’s still a debatable case.

Apparently, what’s going on in Mexico doesn’t count as terrorism according to Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

He said that “Scholars agree, terrorism has to be political: a fundamental political change sought through violence.”

Many people feel that it’s not important to determine whether there is or there is not terrorism but to focus on what will happen once the actual word is used.

“There are obvious economic impacts associated with the terror label – such as driving tourists away – but more specific dangers exist, say experts.”

Human rights activist Florencia Ruiz Mendoza says “the term would be convenient for both governments in increasing funding to combat cartel violence, but would hurt average Mexican citizens.”

“If the cartels are terrorists that allows the Mexican government to fight back. They might release more troops throughout the country and set up more military checkpoints,” Mendoza says.

Article Source: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/can-mexicos-pervasive-drug-violence-be-considered-terrorism

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The children continue to suffer

An article in Latino Fox News talks about the suffering and victimization of young Mexican students now attending school in Texas.

They have a lot of psychological issues since they have grown up for over 6 years now in a war zone because of the Mexican drug war.

Even though they are mostly free of physical dangers they still have many emotional issues to work through.

One of the classes they take involve a victimization course in which educators teach about the psychological stages of a mind that has suffered from violence.

But these youth understand and have gone through these stages many, many times and don’t need a constant reminder since they are living through it everyday.

One of the 17-year-old students, Alan Garcias, declared to his classroom crying, “I’ve been through all three stages: impact, recoil, reorganization of my life. My mom goes in and out of recoil stage.”

These troubling times for these students have been a problem in their academic studies that it’s led to some Texas school districts having to provide classes and counseling they teach in the military, since those in the military have been through similar experiences.

Officials aren’t keeping track of the students troubled by the violence on the border seeking help or counseling, but it involves kids from border cities that go to the U.S. for schooling as well as those that have already moved to Texas to go to school.

It’s really sad because many families are afraid to reach out and seek help because they think that if they talk to counselors they would be identified by the criminals that are trying to harm them. So parents encourage their kids to not speak about their issues.

“The emotional difficulties affect them ‘in many areas of academic performance,’ said Alma Leal, professor of counseling at the University of Texas at Brownsville and coordinator for counseling and guidance of the Brownsville Independent School District. They suffer from poor discipline, lack any sense of security and fear losing loved ones.”

One of the courses taught as I mentioned earlier that deals with victimization, also explains how children and teens can talk about their experiences. Keeping those thoughts and feelings inside are not healthy for children.

Counselors have been teaching these classes utilizing the same skills they learned to counsel children of military parents.

“Children fleeing from the cross-border violence and those whose parents have been in combat share issues like separation or loss of a parent, she said. But unlike military children, those coming from Mexico have sometimes been exposed to violence or been victims themselves.”

The issue that they are battling is that the entire community doesn’t understand the importance of helping the children. They are simply “tackling the problem, but we are not solving it.” (<<<Alvaros)

Read the article about this issue here: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/11/28/students-survive-mexican-drug-war-but-struggle-with-emotions-in-texas-schools/#ixzz1f7ybHleX

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Cartels threaten voters’ lives

Drug cartels have been trying to change the votes of Mexican citizens by threatening that their houses be burned and their families killed inside them. They did not want the PRD party to be one of the final candidates so they made phone calls to Morelia (a state capital) threatening them with these attacks also saying that if anyone mentions this threat they will all be killed.

Well, it turns out that the PRD candidate was unsuccessful in getting voted, and he proclaims it was the cartels’ fault.

However, there are still other candidates that are standing for the freedom of voting and saying that they will continue to encourage citizens to vote who they please…that is one right they (cartels) cannot take away from the people.

I guess we’ll see how all of that turns out this coming year in the official election in 2012.

I’m not sure if the Mexican inhabitants are totally convinced by the cartels or by the government. In the end people choose what they want to do…which may result in death, which may not. It’s really unfortunate that even for something so small as voting for someone can be a threat to their life.

Meanwhile, the United States is worried about its own election, where the candidates don’t have much to say about this entire issue.

It’s an odd thought for me as an American in present day to have a censorship on voting.

I suppose if this were over 90 years ago, I would have not been able to vote since I’m a woman.

But thankfully I’m not living in that era.

And thankfully my life is not threatened if I want to vote for a specific person or party.

I’m extremely fortunate to have many freedoms. Now if only the drug abusers in the U.S. that also possess many of those freedoms will think about the freedoms (or lack of) of those innocent people in Mexico.

But it doesn’t seem likely.

 

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What did old articles say?

So just for the heck of it, I decided to look up older articles about the Mexican drug war to see if they were saying anything different back then to what people are saying now. But to my surprise, I discovered a lot of the same comments and opinions.

I looked up two different articles. One from 1997 and the other from 1999 and both located in the New York Times online. They are both opinion pieces and very short, but that’s what i wanted. Something that just shared what they thought over 10 years ago about the issue quick and straight to the point.

The first one from February 28, 1997 is a letter to the editor. This person touches upon drug certification and that the government uses that as an excuse to blame others and not focus on their own intelligence capabilities, or in this case, failures in Mexico

I was unsure what they meant by drug certification so I looked it up and in a different article it says,

“In early 1997 and again in 1998, the Clinton administration set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill with its drug certification decisions, which rate the anti-narcotics efforts of other countries. Members of Congress scurried to release ever longer lists of detailed demands on Mexico, and to see who could champion the largest package of arms and training for the military and police in Colombia. We deserve more than a repeat performance from lawmakers in the years ahead.

Congress should end the drug certification requirement. The policy has been an ineffective tool for drug control, and it has undermined other important U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere.”

The quote above comes from this website here: http://www.fpif.org/reports/drug_certification

So now that I’m informed on what drug certification is, this makes more sense. It’s just like what’s going on with the ATF and their numerous unorganized operations. The intelligence agencies have a terrible reputation when it comes to the drug war in Mexico.

The piece said, ” General Gutierrez was arrested on Feb. 6 and the Administration only learned of it two weeks later. Where were the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency? A thorough reorganization of the United States’ antidrug effort in Mexico is needed.”

Yep, that definitely sounds like something someone would say these days as well. The times may change but the government and its organizations doesn’t.

The link for that piece is here: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/28/opinion/l-mexico-drug-war-exposes-us-intelligence-gap-854565.html

The next piece was a regular opinion article written February 15, 1999, just two years after the previously mentioned article.

This one started out with “Mexican officials recently unveiled a $400 million high-tech anti-narcotics strategy billed as a ”total war” on drug trafficking.”

So it reveals Mexico’s plan saying that this was no surprise. Then it moves on to also criticize drug certification and blame the U.S. for it’s ridiculous need for drugs.

Well doesn’t this all sound familiar? That’s because it is.

Mexico still has its “anti-narcotics strategy” that costs millions of dollars, and the U.S. still has an immense hunger for illegal drugs. Nothing has changed except the drug certification. That’s not used anymore…and if it is in some cases,  it’s not made a big deal.

The link to this article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/15/opinion/judging-the-mexican-drug-war.html

So, it’s unbelievable to think from over 10 years ago to now, we are still stuck in the same predicament…except it’s continuously getting worse. More deaths, more money being spent, more need for illegal drugs. Corruption and travesty. Such a sad ordeal.

These articles and many of the opinion pieces today still stand by the fact that Mexico and the U.S. are to be equally blamed for this, just as my mission statement claims.

Stop doing drugs!

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Famous Mexican Hitman

El Sicario is a well-known hitman working in Mexico to kill all sorts of people. Criminals, beautiful women, guys that didn’t pay back their loans, and even guys that did pay back their loans. He’s been working for a Mexican drug cartel for years, and in an interview with Michael Bowden he discusses his life as a professional assassin.
“The sicario sits in a chair, in the same motel room where he  used to hold his kidnap victims and torture them. He has a black felt pen and a large sketch pad. As he tells his stories, he makes primitive diagrams or lists to emphasize his points.”
There is no escaping from this hitman. He’s very skilled, strategic, smart and knows a lot of people. And when it’s time to capture and/or kill a victim, “the police will have been told in advance to make themselves scarce.”
It’s so scary to think that nothing can stop these people. Even the police are afraid of them. Are they going to take over the world? Like really what can anyone do to stop them? We’ve seen this repeated several times like in Argentina, Colombia, and other countries and eventually  each one has died down. But now that this specific war is getting extremely close to the United States, it seems like nothing will stop them. Everyone thinks that legalization of drugs will make things better, but I don’t really see that being the case. People want things they can’t really have. The new, more dangerous illegal drug will come around and people will hunger for it and not care as much for marijuana or cocaine. I don’t believe legalization will solve this issue.

The sicario (in spanish meaning hitman), started out working for the Juarez cartel in his highschool years, and since then has only gotten better at what he does.  After highschool he decided to enter the police academy although he was only eligible in one of the 5 areas he was required to know.

“The academy taught him many skills – surveillance, interrogation, how to use weapons, etc., that made him a better and deadlier criminal.
By the time he graduated, 50 members of his class of 200 were already on the payroll of the narcos. He says that the narcos are present in every institution and at every level of society.”

It is just unbelievable that they just let this guy in like it’s no big deal. You can see what a corrupt organization they’re running. Reading from the actual interview itself, the hitman said the MAYOR of Juarez was the one that got him into the police academy!
I just can’t comprehend what’s going through the minds of people…not just the police academies, or government, but everyone in general. Why did this even start?
Most people would blame it on the U.S. It started for their craving for illegal drugs, however, it doesn’t mean that Mexicans (narcos) had to turn into criminals and start serving the needs of the U.S. citizens. I just hate when people don’t do the right thing. We’re all born with a right and wrong sense…how can they live the lifestyle they know is wrong? It drives me crazy…where is the good in people?
There must be other ways to make money than this dangerous and violent lifestyle.
The assassin said it was an “easy” way to live. Had nothing to do with his childhood or the way he was raised. How can killing people be an easy way to live?
I don’t care if the cartels are swimming in large piles of money, I would hope your morality as an individual and a clean conscience should count for something, but apparently I’m wrong. Living in filth is the cool thing to do.
How much happiness can the cartel’s money really buy? The sensation of power can only go so far when you realize no one truly loves or cares about you. I could rant for hours on end about this…I’m an extremely moral person, if that makes sense.
If any family member tells the police of loved ones kidnapping when they are threatened not too, the cartels immediately find out and will kill anyone in that family and anyone that gets in their way.
The original article that I found this interview on is from an online Canadian newspaper. The individual that wrote this had a lot of compassion towards the  people of Mexico and seemed angered towards the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board and the Minister of the board.  She wishes she could make the Minster and others on the board watch the documentary about this Sicario interview to stir up some kind of compassion about the Mexicans that had been seeking refuge in Canada.
She believes that if Mexicans say they are afraid for their safety and their lives that people should not doubt them right away.

“A CP story on the CBC website says that in 2005, 3,400 Mexicans made refugee claims in Canada. In 2009 there were 9,400 claims (remarkably close to the number of people killed that year, which was 9,600, according to a Mexican government report quoted by Democracy Now.)
But it seems that Canadian government officials didn’t look for an explanation for this increase (here’s a potential one: Mexican president Calderon brought the army into the “war on drugs” in January 2008. ).”

But apparently now the Canadian government chose that Mexicans require a visa to visit Canada because they believe that “Mexican requests are not serious.”

“The same CP story on the CBC website goes on to say: “Asylum claims from Mexico decreased 90 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009,” Ana Curic said in an email to The Canadian Press. “That has saved taxpayers $400 million.”
Of course, it’s nice to save money, but did we do it at the cost of someone’s life?”

It’s a bummer that now Canada has decided to get harsh on immigration like the U.S. has started to. It seems like no one is able to help the innocent Mexican people. I hate that I feel helpless, I can’t do anything except sit here and blog about it.

I have not seen the documentary about El Sicario, Room 164, but I definitely plan on it.

Maybe some miracle will happen and the innocent people will be saved, but for now, they’re in desperate need of help.

Article Source: http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2011/11/19/ridm-2011-a-very-dark-side-of-mexico-el-sicario-room-164/

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Calderon, a man of many suits

Mexican cartoonists Antonio Helguera and Jose Hernandez created the above cartoon of President Calderon wearing a variety of suits for his different “special occasions.” By the descriptions of each one, it sounds like these suits are not very appealing to the Mexican people. No doubt that making fun of the president in this way shows that the Mexican populace has lost confidence in him. Calderon initiated the head on military fight against the drug cartels but he does not have the full support of his country. How is the drug war supposed to get any better if Mexican people can’t believe in their own President? Perhaps Calderon should stop the acting, take off all these costumes, and take things at a different angle…listen to what his nation is telling him.

 

I plan to more or less translate into English each description underneath the cartoons of Calderon and analyze why I believe the cartoonists wrote it.

 

1.) Well, to start off, the Mickey Mouse character caught my eye first. The caption directly underneath it says, something along the lines of Very Tight Pants, Very High Pants, or Well Swaddled Pants.

 

Description: designed especially to receive high authority/ranking  officiality from the U.S. government.

 

Analysis: My way of looking at it is it seems like Calderon wears the pants, he’s the boss here. And his pants are so tight, it’s like to say he’s got the balls to say certain things, or he’s got the guts to because he blames everybody else using their first and last name.

He even blamed the U.S. government about the crisis of the cartels in his country to the point that President Obama personally had to pay him a visit in Mexico to clarify things. So he’s got the tight pants, because he’s got some nerve.

 

2.) The next one to the left is the burglar looking character of Calderon. The title says “Model Chompiras,” meaning little thief or good for nothing.

 

Description:  This fine suit inspired by the ideologies of the PAN party, is the one that Calderon used when he took over the presidency.

 

Analysis: People in Mexico use “Chompiras” for slang to refer to Calderon when they want to say he is good for nothing. Chompiras was a little thief on a television show back in the 70’s in Mexico. But every time he wanted to commit a crime, everything would go wrong, so he was bad at being a thief. So I’m thinking that means the people think that Calderon is such a  “good for nothing” that he even sucks at being at thief.

 

3.) The next one to the left is the Doctor suit. The title is “Doctor’s Coat.”

 

Description: this design was created for very special occasions when Calderon needs to show an air of authority like new measures against the common cold or announce when a lady that was raped by soldiers in reality had gastritis.

Analysis: So, I believe the idea is that he got into power to be the doctor of Mexico’s illnesses. He was going to cure all of Mexico’s sicknesses. But actually the only thing he really does is take measures against little problems, the big ones are still there.

In real life, he’s given a speech about the drug war where he’s metaphorically worn a doctor’s coat. I will paste a small passage from an online news article that talks about this speech. It’s all in spanish but if you use google translator most of it makes sense…which is actually what I did. So below you can read some of it.

 

Here’s the link to a news article addressing this speech.

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/columnas/71965.html

 

Calderónmetaphorically put a white coat to speak of the famous war against drugs.

He responds well to Javier Moreno of the country on whether imagined the magnitude of the problem:

‘When I came to the presidency, his reach was no longer tenable. I got to the theater knowing that the patient had a very serious condition, but when opened, we realized it was invaded by many places and had to heal at any cost.

At first strange parallelism. Well, in war and there is blood in the operating room, right? Sometimes a lot … And dead, as we have in Mexico.

Still, Dr. Calderon is confident that the patient-country-cancer drug save.

Note: you did not say that we are winning but not enough, famous phrase from his attorney, assistant operation, Eduardo Medina Mora. The diagnosis of the chief surgeon of the nation state is less optimistic: we will win, he says. When? What cost? After many chemotherapies, radiation, operations? Who knows?

-By Katia D´ Artigues
16 June 2008

 

So Calderon, to sum it up, believes that Mexico has the right strategy and the exact cure and will of course win this war, while others continue question.

4.) The following cartoon down is the image of Calderon in a Catholic priest outfit. This title says something like: Cassock for the Gala. A cassock is “an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church.” (wikipedia)

 

Description: Perfect when there are events organized by the Vatican. But the Pope doesn’t feel like coming.

 

Analysis: The picture here is that Calderon is very moralist (in his speeches). He tends to preach (to the Mexicans) just like the priests would do to a congregation.

 

He has the custom/tendency to preach to the Mexican people in different public acts as if they were all Catholic. He talks about the Virgin Guadalupe, the Pope, and he quotes Bible verses thinking that all Mexicans are Catholic and belong to his “flock.” But he obviously doesn’t know his own country at all, for not all of them profess the faith of Catholicism.

 

I’m going to post a portion of a blog post from a Mexican woman who was angered by a speech Calderon gave about Catholicism representing the Mexican people.

Once again, it was all in Spanish, but I used google translator to turn it into English.

 

After all, many Mexicans, most Mexicans, the Lady of Guadalupe is a sign of identity and unity. We Guadalupe, independently, dare I say, much of the faith, beliefs and non beliefs and, of course, it is for those who profess the Catholic faith, who certainly brings this image as representative of Mexico and the Mexicans. He stressed that the Basilica is a place full of significant events since the appearance of the Virgin to Juan Diego, landmark religious, social integration factor of national unity and cultural diversity “(presidencia.gob.mx).

Who has told so blessed official, who can claim the right to consider ourselves professing the same religion, in this case Catholicism, as if we were his flock?

Obviously, it continues without being in his right mind. He forgot that there are figures in the various percentages of believers, a number of religions and even freethinkers or atheists, we add a not insignificant number whose status is attributed not pleasant nor edifying us.

He continued in his exalted sermon (sorry, in his address substance) noting that:

“… The design is inspired by the papal coat of John Paul II, who is fondly remembered by Mexicans for his message of peace we need.”

Unfortunately I lost the link to this blog, but if I do end up finding it, I’ll edit it into this post.

 

But this lady’s strong opinion absolutely has some truth in it. Calderon seems to have the fame of being more of a Pope than the real Pope and more be a better Virgin Mary than the actual Virgin Mary, bringing his Catholic religion to the spot light in every opportunity that he can.

 

 

5.) Finally the last suit is the Napoleon looking guy. The title says “Straightjacket.”

 

Description: designed especially for delusions of grandeur. It’s a suit made to order to visit Waterloo City, Chihuahua to let the citizens in that area know that we are winning the war against the drug cartels.

 

Analysis: Sarcastically saying, like Calderon is actually going to go to Chihuahua and say “Yeah we are winning the war against the narcos”…But the people living there and going through the war in everyday life know it’s not true. But he likes to go around acting like he’s so important like Napoleon. But think about it… what ended up happening to Napoleon?

 

What other suits can you think of?

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drug Cartels+MX gov+American Gov=destruction

Many people argue that the head on fight against the drug cartels in Mexico is counter-productive, while the government apparently favors this method. However, a few days ago a new study was released by the Cato Institute by Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter in which he examines the ventures of the Mexican drug war and covers their failures and further research.

The title of the study is called Undermining Mexico’s Drug Cartels. This study puts it’s attention towards the consequences of the prohibition of drugs along with the argument of legalization. In addition to this, it goes over the dangers and violence blowing up just south of the U.S. border, slowly sneaking it’s way into the United States.

Often outsiders believe that the drug cartels are the only ones accountable for the violence and mass murders covering Mexico, but what’s forgotten or perhaps ignored is the indirect faults of both the Mexican and American governments.

Top international drug-war expert Sanho Tree says that cartels are not in favor of killing people because it messes up business. The case in which this happens is when they really want to occupy a certain area of land, or a city, to be in control of and have their business there, but there’s competition/another gang in the way.

The government have their hands full getting rid of the cartel competition, but those ones that are being “rid of,” as in getting arrested, or the ones that aren’t very smart in their tactics and don’t really know what they’re doing. It’s the other ones, the ones that use strategy and are creative and know what they’re doing are the ones that succeed.

When looking at it from a large perspective, Tree says this is what we can behold of Mexico these days, “state-directed efforts are selectively creating coteries of super-traffickers.”

Therefore, the whole message they are trying to get across is that using war to get rid of a drug problem is not the answer, it is ultimately catastrophic.

I did not hear about this, but apparently “the government boosts drug prices by artificially constricting supply while demand remains constant.”

But putting the cost of drugs aside, the cost of human life has been greater. This is something that cannot be ignored. The blame is on the shoulder of the drug cartels, the Mexican government, and the United States government. They all share an equal part in the violence, and they are all able to do their fair share to change their ways and their policies; to succeed not fail!

Article Source: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/re-framing-drug-violence-6159

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