Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Violence on the US-Mexico border

Estas noticias so espantosas. Sugiere aun mas militarizacion de la frontera de ambos lados.
-Dra. Valenzuela

Violence on the US-Mexico border

Image: Zachary Tirrell, Flickr
Due to increased pressure from the Calderon administration, some members of Mexican organized crime may begin crossing the border in significant numbers to set up US-based operations.

By Sam Logan and M Casey McCarty for ISN Security Watch (29/01/08)

Dozens of murders have resulted from battles between the Mexican security forces and armed criminals along the US-Mexico border since the beginning of this year. It is a spike in violence that has many in the US worried that gun fights may spill across the border, carrying all the reprisals that left a string of Mexican border towns without journalists, mayors, police chiefs and musicians in 2007.

In another bloody encounter for what has already been a violent year, on 7 January, a van full of gunmen ran a roadblock outside the border town of Reynosa, Mexico. Mexican soldiers and federal police chased the van to a small house across the street from the Reynosa police station. The gun battle began soon after. In the aftermath, 10 suspects were arrested and five policemen were dead. Along with the suspects, Mexican police seized three automatic rifles, an Uzi submachine gun, grenades and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

The US Border Patrol has not taken any extra precautions, but is keeping its agents in the field "abreast of the situation," according to Border Patrol spokesman Oscar Saldana, who recently spoke with ISN Security Watch.

"We're advising everyone to be on the alert and be extra cautious because of the situation on the Mexican side," he said.

Others, however, argue that more action must be taken to prevent the establishment of a significant presence of Mexican organized criminals inside the US. However, preparations on the US side of the border are directly linked to a lack of resources from the federal and state levels.

"What has been appropriated is likely spent," Kent Lundgren, chairman of the National Former Border Patrol Organization, told ISN Security Watch in a recent telephone interview.

And what may come from the federal government in the future will almost certainly be delayed by US presidential elections.

When the lives of officers are at stake, Lundgren said, law enforcement must prepare for the worst case scenario, which could be the possibility that a small group of armed men could cross the border and encounter a patrol cruiser. The resulting firefight would be no contest. The heavily armed Mexican criminals would easily overcome one or two Border Patrol agents most likely armed with only pistols.

"We have seen no indication that law enforcement in South Texas is prepared for the worse case in this matter," he said.

Meanwhile, the Mexican government has shifted its posture from reactive to proactive. No longer interested in waiting for Mexican organized crime to strike before responding, Mexican President Felipe Calderón wants to hunt them down, starting with Los Zetas in the northeastern Mexican border state of Tamaulipas.

Sigue leyendo aqui.

No comments: