Matthew Keever" />
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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Cartel violence prompts US aid

Kidnapping, torture and brutal beheadings have become commonplace in many areas of Mexico.

Two years ago, the Mexican government declared war against the country’s powerful drug cartels. Since then, the cartels have been fighting back tooth and nail.

A little over a month ago, Juarez’s police chief, Roberto Orduna, stepped down from his position after two officers were killed. The cartels had made good on a threat to kill at least one police officer for every 48 hours Orduna kept his position.

In Mexico’s deadliest city, an uncorrupt police chief was making a difference. And he was forced out. Since the cartels are trying to control many areas along the border of Mexico, it’s not hard to see that action needs to be taken or circumstances will be dire.

Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, says the stakes are high for both Mexico and the U.S. ‘It is certainly something that is a major concern,’ she said.

‘It is our neighbor to the south, it is our trade ally.’ ‘hellip; it is something that I, as secretary of Homeland Security, pay a lot of attention to,’ Napolitano said.

As of Tuesday, Mexico can look forward to more support from the U.S. The Obama administration announced it will be increasing the number of federal agents and amount of surveillance equipment along the border.

The administration also says efforts will be aimed at stopping illegal traffic into Mexico, not just smuggling into the U.S.

Napolitano said the war against drugs is ‘a demand issue and a supply issue.’ She said the administration’s efforts will include increasing Border Patrol agents, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive teams and Immigration and Customs enforcements both along the border and in Mexico City at the U.S. Embassy.

Thirty million of the stimulus package will be spent in support of these efforts. High-tech X-ray equipment would be installed at most points of entry into the country, officials said.

Napolitano, who is planning to make a trip to Mexico, said she will stop in Texas and discuss the deployment of the National Guard with Gov. RickPerry.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to arrive in Mexico on Wednesday, followed by Napolitano, then Attorney General Eric Holder and finally President Obama.

‘I’m going to be working with President Calderon in Mexico to figure out how we get control over the border that’s become more violent because of the drug trade,’ Obama said last week in a town hall meeting in California.

During the meeting, he emphasized his support of Calderon and stressed the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. With the American economy circling the bowl, the last thing we need is to lose an ally and trade partner. Unless we want another country as our overlord soon, it’s in our country’s best interest to keep all its relationships intact.

Besides that, Mexico deserves our help. Since the demand for drugs here is much of the fuel for the violence there, the U.S. has a moral obligation to step in.

Violence is high and needs to be curbed. More than 7,000 people have been killed in Mexico in the last 14 months.

Matthew Keever is a communication junior and may be reached at [email protected].

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