I’ve been covering the the ATF’s Fast and Furious scandal for almost a year. During that time, I’ve followed the guns and peered into the nightmare world of Mexican drug cartels. More specifically, the horrific violence inflicted on tens of thousands of Mexicans at the point of a gun. I’ve watched cartel carnage spread from isolated communities and drug routes to the entire country. Remember Fun in Acapulco? “This city of dazzling hotels and sunlit beaches rose to fame as a playground of Hollywood stars,” Reuters recalls. “Today, Acapulco has now earned a very different reputation-for gangland decapitations, kidnappings and extortion . . .
As Mexico’s drug war grinds on, killings in Acapulco have almost tripled this year to nearly 900, making the Pacific resort one of the most violent cities in the world and the second-deadliest in the country. The endless reports of slayings have kept the drug chaos on the front page even as killing slows in some parts of Mexico, where in 2010 the war claimed a record 15,273 lives.
So horrifying was the death toll that the government, which declared 2011 to be Mexico’s “year of tourism,” has simply stopped publishing a count.
The main reason Mexico’s descent into a narco-terrorist controlled country doesn’t get much play north of the border: it’s not happening north of the border.
Oh sure there’s some “spillover violence.” And yes, a Mexican “rip crew” shot and killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (using ATF-enabled firearms no less). But we’re not seeing made-in-America images of the kind of mind blowing violence that typifies Mexican cartel activity in their home territory.
Supposedly, the cartel leaders and their murderous minions know better than that. They know that if they hang a few decapitated corpses from an American highway overpass like the one above, Uncle Sam will end its blind eye policy towards cartel activities and come down on them like a ton of bricks.
I’m not so sure.
A cartel is not a disciplined organization; it’s a loose confederation of bad guys. A cartel boss can’t issue an edict against inter-American violence and expect his U.S.-based “affiliates” to keep their goat horns and chainsaws in check. A nothing-to-lose illegal immigrant connected to one of the cartels might just import his tactics stateside. Hey, it worked in Mexico . . .
As Mexico has shown us, it’s easy enough to become inured to violence, no matter how extreme. The first example causes shock and outrage. The second, not so much. At first, people figure it’s contained to the criminal community so . . . nothing to do with me, mate. And then it kinda spreads.
Police get bought or shot. Same for judges. Society gradually sinks into a cesspit of criminality. Violence strikes everywhere. By the forty-thousandth murder, it’s just another day, another federal prosecutor gunned down. Another police chief assassinated. Another 11 men dumped by a reservoir. Another dead blogger with a warning note pinned to his lifeless, headless corpse.
Think it can’t happen here? It IS here.
Federal agents say Dallas is a hub for the Mexican drug cartels.
“We’ve listened, through wire taps, and we know the organizations’ commanding control cell are talking to commanding control cells in Mexico – directly to the trafficking cartel heads,” says Drug Enforcement Agency Agent James Capra.
Capra says the Gulf Cartel, La Familia, and the Sinaloa Cartel all have a presence in Dallas.
“They have familial roots here. Some of them grew up here, have families here, have established networks here,” he says.
History is also our guide; the wave of cocaine killings and corruption that plagued Miami in the 80s was a horrific harbinger of what unchecked Mexican cartels can do to dozens of American cities.
Another sign: this image snapped by our Managing Editor in St. Louis. Check out the car tat on the blinged-out Tahoe. It says “SINALOA.” That would be the home of America’s favorite Mexican drug cartel, the homies who bought firearms under the loving protection of the ATF.
As Drew points out below, in border states, it’s SOP to put a sticker on your car indicating your point of ethnic origin. To assume that a pimped-out SUV was purchased with the fruits of criminal activity in conjunction with a Mexican drug cartel would be the worst type of stereotyping.
And yet I take this image as a sign that America is now home to millions of undocumented economic refugees (at best) who hail from the heart of narco-terrorist territory. Our government’s lack of resolve when it comes to protecting our borders, its reprehensible dealings with drug cartels, is about to bite us in the ass. You have been warned.