Mexico’s Murderous Mayhem Mounts. Coming Soon to A Neighborhood Near You!

While U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bleats on about Russian attack helicopters aiding and abetting Syria’s repressive regime, eluniversal.com [via Google translation] reports that Mexico’s cartel carnage continues unabated. “The number of homicides from the dispute between organized crime groups in the 32 federated entities in the country reached 47,515 murders in the first five years of the Felipe Calderon presidency. The deaths reported by the federal government indicate that there were 62 homicides in December 2006;  2, 826 in 2007;  6,838 in 2008;  9614 in 2009;  15,273 in all of 2010, and 12,903 deaths from January to September from presumed criminal rivalry.” Yes, well, you may notice that the murder stats are cartel focused. So did eluniversal . . .

The first doubt that the PGR’s report raises is, just what is understood by “in the context of rivalry among criminal organizations”?  Does this include confrontations with law enforcement agencies, or the number of civilian victims of abductions or robberies?

The PGR states that the number is derived by counting the homicides– in the context of (criminal) rivalry– that were reported to the federal government by the state attorneys general and prosecutors. One hopes that the states would at least have been asked to use uniform criteria for consideration.

One hopes? That’s about all you can do when the rule of law has disappeared. And disappear it has . . .

Thanks to a porous border, billions of dollars in illegal drug sales to American consumers, an endless supply of guns, grenades and ammo (via U.S. weapons sales to the Mexican and Latin American military and police) and Uncle Sam’s support for the Sinaloa cartel (against Los Zetas), our southern neighbor is turning into/has become a narco-terrorist state.

The body count grows, and the threat to our security increases. USA Today:

Not even fake IDs are made in America anymore.

Overseas forgers from as far away as China are shipping fake driver’s license and other IDs to the United States that can bypass even the newest electronic digital security systems, according to document security experts and the Secret Service.

The new IDs are “an affront to the very sovereignty and dignity of the states that issue them,” says David Huff, a senior special agent in enforcement for Virginia’s Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, which has investigated some of the frauds.

Most troubling to authorities is the sophistication of the forgeries: Digital holograms are replicated, PVC plastic identical to that found in credit cards is used, and ink appearing only under ultraviolet light is stamped onto the cards.

Each of those manufacturing methods helps the IDs defeat security measures aimed at identifying forged documents.

The overseas forgers are bold enough to sell their wares on websites, USA TODAY research finds. Anyone with an Internet connection and $75 to $200 can order their personalized ID card online from such companies as “ID Chief.” Buyers pick the state, address, name and send in a scanned photo and signature to complete their profile.

ID Chief, whose website is based in China, responds personally to each buyer with a money-order request.

What, pray tell, is the primary document required to purchase a firearm in the U.S. (and, lest we forget, vote)? Let’s review . . .

The Obama administration helps Mexican drug thugs buy 2000 guns at U.S. gun stores, enables “undocumented Americans” to enter our country, says nothing to China about fake IDs (or the thousands of tons of meths precursors sent to Mexico), cracks down on a gun smuggling ring bringing weapons into China and establishes a long gun registry for border states.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

38 Responses to Mexico’s Murderous Mayhem Mounts. Coming Soon to A Neighborhood Near You!

  1. avatarJSIII says:

    This is all about breaking the foundation of what is Ameirca, when the Mexico thing spills over into a real civil war it is going to destabilize the entire South West of America and create a flood of refugees from the violence. Ontop of the other groundwork that Obama has laid this will be too much and America will falter, much like the UK did after the mid 1800′s. Creating an unstable state near your enemy or his territories is the easiest way to destroy an Empire.

    • avatarirock350 says:

      That will happen when hell freezes over and poodles grow wings. The scenario you described is baseless and has been tried numerous times by our neighbors to the south with less than favorable outcomes…for them.

    • avatarDarren says:

      As a Texan, my response to you is “good luck with that”.

      You would not believe how incredibly well-armed the population is around here. The one advantage that Zeta gunmen have over the average American is the willingness to kill. Give the civvies around here a little time or motivation to get over that and the Zetas will find themselves so far into a crack they won’t know what hit them.

      A couple of the civvies around here where I live were hired by the DOD to train Army shooters for the DMR role. I know another fellow who hunts whitetails at 600m+ with a AWM. I know a couple of ex-military folks here who are hella good shots and have more kit than you can shake a stick at, and we KNOW this area. Seriously, good luck with an armed incursion around here. Heck, I would wish the feds good luck in trying to impose martial law around here.

      Things may be different in house-to-house combat in Houston, San Antonio or Dallas, I’ll grant you that, but fundamentally the drug gangs don’t have the manpower to pull that off on a wide scale or for very long in the USA. This is not some downtrodden third-world country with restrictive gun laws, this is a HEAVILY armed nation with active shooters, a large cadre of recently-trained and combat-experienced military in the population and the ability to not just respond in kind but completely overwhelm small units.

      If they thought it was good for their business they would already be here, in force, doing all the things you suggest they are capable of doing. We know what they can do, but they have no IDEA what we could do in response. Either that or they have a very good idea of what to expect and have no wish to go there.

  2. avatarGS650G says:

    This is going to make contraception, free health care, pensions, and all the bickering about who spent 16 trillion dollars pretty insignificant. Eventually we will end up in a hot war on our border and within cities in the US. Does anyone seriously think these people are afraid of our laws or law enforcement? Our SWAT teams are no match for them.
    Which will lead to a movement to upgrade SWAT with more gunships, tanks and a MOAB.

    • avatarg says:

      “Gunships, tanks, and a MOAB”

      LOL… playing too much CoD:MW3?

      I agree, the situation in Mexico is terrible… though I don’t think we should make light of the trouble in Syria either. Destablization in the entire Middle East = trouble for Israel = trouble for the whole world.

      Scary stuff.

    • avatarDarren says:

      SWAT can handle some situations. They shouldn’t be overly afraid in the acute phase of SWAT, because SWAT has ROE to deal with and there are only so many SWAT units. Hit 15 places in a city at once and SWAT cannot respond to them all.

      Individual citizens have much less in terms of ROE. If you’re firing an automatic weapon at others in a public place then you’re an imminent threat to my life or that of others and I get the benefit of SYG laws. I don’t have to question you, I just need to center-punch you and wait for some sort of cavalry to show up and tag-and-bag you. If I can pin you in place for a while, it’s likely that someone else will show up with a long gun he uses to bag hogs or deer, wait until he sees one of your eyes and gives you a new .308 pupil.

      Don’t forget that the first response on 9/11 was a bunch of salesmen and airline travellers on Flight 93 that self-organized and fought back with the only thing they had. That is what Americans do. Yes, we will wait for the cops to show up at least initially but when pressed we come together and respond, and we tend to be exceptionally vicious. The response to the Northfield Raid by the James-Younger gang in 1876 is a great example. I believe that a similar MO would emerge once people knew the police were overwhelmed.

      They aren’t afraid of our SWAT, but they should be afraid of us as a whole.

  3. avatarNate says:

    “Most troubling to authorities is the sophistication of the forgeries: Digital holograms are replicated, PVC plastic identical to that found in credit cards is used, and ink appearing only under ultraviolet light is stamped onto the cards.”

    The machines which print the (legitimate) ID cards are made in China. You do the math.

    • avatarCody Mikles says:

      +1

    • avatarAaron says:

      In a business magazine article I read well over a decade ago, there was an interview with a Chinese official. Even back then, the issue of “copying” our goods came up.
      To paraphrase:
      American interviewer: “It’s clear to us that your country is still one step behind our copying countermeasures, like holographic authentication stickers.”
      Chinese official: “That’s why we recently established our Institute for Reflective Materials.”

  4. avatarCarlosT says:

    Now can we talk seriously about legalization? The cartels are getting their money and their motivation for violence from the illegal drug trade. If that market becomes legal and legitimate players move in, the cartels either have to become legitimate themselves or die off. Either way, the violence will be greatly reduced. We can then spend some of the billions we spend now on drug enforcement on more productive things, like mitigation of the effects of drug addiction and things like that.

  5. avatarSanchanim says:

    The US needs to declare the drug cartels a clear and present danger to the US. The military needs to attack them directly. Anything less and we will find ourselves being over run by these cartel members. With out direct military intervention our LEO’s are no match. The brutality and amount of armor they carry would be a blood bath for our LEO’s.

    • avatarST says:

      If only a solution were this simple.

      The drug cartels are at their core businesses. Illegal businesses,but businesses the same. They sell a product and make a profit in the process.Due to the addictive nature of drugs and the markup the dealers can make with it being an illegal product, these businesses make more money than the GDP of some small countries.This is a major reason Mexico is suffering as it is, because the cartels have bought off so many corrupt officials that law and order is a dim memory.

      Sending in the army to physically execute every member of these cartels-assuming that’s even possible-would only change the names on the “Board of Directors” . Rest assured the ” companies” wouldn’t go anywhere, not as long as millions of addicts are willing to pay up for product on our side of the border. I daresay a military intervention would make things worse:we’d basically end up cleaning their house for them, shooting dead the inept and unlucky…..leaving the more agile, smart, and ruthless members in charge of billions of dollars of underground resources.

      • avatarSanchanim says:

        This is the crux of the issue. With the way we run our boarders and would handle any military operation we couldn’t win.
        The only was to truly gain ground is to wipe them out en mass. You know as well as I there are whole towns in Mexico which are drug towns. Those need to be wiped away. Find the cartel leaders, their weapons caches, manufacturing and processing plants. All those need to be gone, wiped away. Take all that old napalm and use it on the pot fields. If they have no product, and the top three layers of the cartels have been wiped clean, and they have no product to move, or places to process it then maybe, just maybe we might get an upper hand.
        You have to realize that means being ruthless. This means a 120% commitment to protecting our borders, which means instilling a shoot first ask questions later policy for folks crossing it.
        Sound a little militant and crazy? You Betcha.
        I remember the first time a female blew her self up in Jerusalem. It was a serous changing point for all of us. Now females weren’t safe anymore. You had to guard against kids, men and woman. She looked like any 16 year old you might see walking down any street in America, except the few pounds of explosives strapped on her.
        You had to start asking yourself, are you ready to kill a girl or a kid to protect yourself, and protect your country. If you can say yes then that is the mind set you have to have.

        • avatarST says:

          What you are discussing would amount to a massacre of Mexican citizens-and given the human capacity for greed, a vain one in the long run.

          Being a veteran myself I understand the mindset of doing what it takes to win the fight, but there’s no point in even starting one if its all for naught. Assuming we nuked every populated area in Mexico, someone else would step up to smuggle drugs into America. Our marketplace is just too powerful to be ignored. Someone in Europe would become the next “boss”,the narcotrafficking would shift from north to south instead, and history would repeat itself in Canada.

          Just like we can’t ban guns and expect it to stop gun sales -see the UK-,we can’t ban drugs and expect to win.

        • avatarAnon in CT says:

          Ok pot, whatever, but can you really see legalizing heroin? crack?

          And how to combine that with free Obamacare for everyone?

      • avatarDarren says:

        Assassinating the leadership of AQ has not made them more dangerous. Taking out bombing cells in Iraq only made them sloppier and more stupid.

        The idea that we are the only example of Darwin’s evolutionary pressure on this system is not entirely legitimate. The pressure the military could bring to bear would only provide an external force that is already similar to the internal forces acting on the cartels in weeding out the weak and stupid. The folks at the top right now have fought to get there for 20-30 years, they are already the smartest and most agile the cartel system can produce. The networks have a lot of moving parts and more than a little institutional memory can be lost by spilling brains on the ground. Take them out to the equivalent of the O-1 level in their organization and you’ve lost a raft of operational experience and contacts.

        They’ll try again, that’s entirely true. But they’ll have to relearn decades of experience at cost to them, and we’ll still have institutional memory for everything we’ve done to thwart them. The question is how many of them you have to kill to get them reduced to this point, and what the cost in violating Mexican sovereignty will be in the short and long terms. The maquiladora plants contribute significantly to our GDP, that’s going to be the first casualty of a military incursion.

        As far as the border goes, you can’t build a 100% effective border but you can make problems for border-crossers. You just have to decide if a 90%-effective border fence is worth the additional cost over a 75%-effective fence. The Israeli experience is that fences can and do work, you just have to decide how committed you are to the project.

    • avatarmatt says:

      La Raza and all their followers would throw a shit fit if we began any significant military action south of the border. If you thought the Zimmerman protests were bad…

    • avatarPhilthegardner says:

      I would rather see the death penalty imposed on ANYONE caught in the US with more than one ounce of prohibited drugs. Dealers AND users should be executed. This may be a more feasible solution than bringing “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” solutions to the border.

      The only reason we are in this situation is because the market is responding to our huge demand. And as I see it, a large part of our crime problems are drug related anyway. Combine this with the huge drain on the nation’s budget clothing, feeding, protecting and housing the millions of criminals now incarcerated, a sweeping massacre withing our borders would be more productive and possible than said massacres outside of it.

      If we have to think in cold-blooded terms, I would recommend that we do so with the lessons of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan in mind.

      • avatarJFP says:

        “Dealers AND users should be executed. ”

        Right on Phil. Oh, and given Oregon state law, if you have sudafed cold meds without a prescription, you’re a criminal. Should I be killed (let alone jailed) if I have some left over cold meds from a few years ago when it was still legally purchaseable over the counter? I can cross the border into Washington State and buy it with only the Fed regs on purchasing/amounts. If I go back home to Oregon and I’m stopped for whatever reason and its found in my car/house, I should go to jail?

  6. avatarGS650G says:

    I’m not sold on turning the USA into a “legalized drug” nation is going to solve anything because unless it’s tax free and sold at rock bottom prices money would still be made illegally on it.
    The Mexican drug gangs would switch to bath salts eventually, anybody in favor of more people using that s#it and going Zombie?

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      Moonshine is still made but the criminal enterprise surrounding it is not nearly as much of a menace as it was during Prohibition.

      • avatarAnon in CT says:

        Why? Because the booze available in the store is better and not too expensive. Nobody wants to go blind from bathtub gin, so mooshine is pretty much a niche/nostalgia product at this point.

        Pot’s totally different. I am not ant-legalization for cannabis, but anyone who thinks that distribution is going to be government regulated and taxed has already been hitting the product.

        • avatarDarren says:

          I’m sure the fine folks at Philip Morris could get you higher than SpaceX given a few months’ notice. Plant science is plant science. If there’s money to be made in increasing THC content, all those things can and will be manipulated and the Marlboro Man will suddenly sport dreads while selling primo weed.

          Don’t underestimate the power of billions of dollars of legal capital. The one thing that could mess this up would be the government setting THC limits or such and giving illegal producers an opportunity to have a market. I’m not a big fan of drug legalization but if done right the tobacco companies have the distribution channels, government connections and labs full of scientists to make pot the illegal growers can and do kill for.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      “anybody in favor of more people using that s#it and going Zombie?”
      —–
      [morbid humor]

      Well, the gene pool could use a little chlorine, I suppose.

      [/morbid humor]

    • avatarmatt says:

      Yep the entire argument for legalization is that it could be taxed as heavily as cigerettes. When I was out in CA a couple years ago I compared pot store prices to street prices in Chicago, CA almost as expensive.

    • avatarST says:

      As much as banning the sale & possession of firearms only changes the prices and location of the transactions, so it is for illegal drugs. Just like Joe Scumbag will get his gun irrespective of the law, Joe Addict will get his fix. Its best for the public good if that addict buys his fix from a taxed and regulated industry, instead of sending his money to some crook off the books to fund death and murder.

      • avatarPhilthegardner says:

        That’s why I recommend the eradication of Joe Addict. It will save us a ton of money in the long run

        • avatarMichael B. says:

          Murder is never right and if you’re being serious with your comments I think you should seek psychiatric help.

        • avatarShely says:

          CY,My boys has been interested in guns for a LONG time. I think its in the boy genes.As far as I can see, they are not more vineolt after playing guns. Personally, I would prefer if they don’t play. But I am not a boy, I cannot understand their fascination.

  7. avatarMichael B. says:

    How’s that drug war working out for ya?

  8. avatarShane McBane says:

    McBane thinks we need to get a handle on this now before it snowballs. No disrespect to Syria, as those atrocities certainly need to be addressed, but McBane’s much more worried about the problems right on the other side of our border. McBane out!

  9. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    Please allow me, for a moment, to put on my tinfoil hat. Ahhh….there….all snug and nice, I feel so much better now.

    So, where was I? Oh yes, China and the War on Drugs. Does anyone recognize that China is actively engaged in war with the West and the United States specifically? I’ve thought this to be a curious phenomenon for a long time now; both the subtlety of the Chinese playbook and the West’s failure to recognize that they’re being played.

    China actively engages in so many things that aren’t conducive to a harmonious and peaceful world community. Here are just a few items off of the top of my head, not in any particular order; 1. Bootleg intellectual property. 2. Industrial espionage. 3. Hacking government sites. 4. Contaminated consumer goods. 5. Fomenting political, social and military instability. 6. Propping up sociopathic regimes. 7. Exporting materials needed to make illicit drugs. 8. Bootleg pharmaceuticals. 9. Exporting war materials to to unstable, oppressive and genocidal regimes. 10. Forging identity documents on an industrial scale. 11. State sanctioned imperialistic and expansionist policies in the south west Pacific, Latin America and Africa. Etc, etc. It’s like a group of blind men describing an elephant where they each can only touch a small bit of the animal. No one, it seems, can see and explain the whole picture.

    The Mexican cartels are only one small, but significant, front in this war. Does anyone doubt for a moment that the Chinese leadership cheers every new atrocity at and below our southern border? Does anyone doubt that the Chinese leadership won’t do everything that they can to keep this insanity moving forward to further undermine our country? The Chinese don’t have to fire a shot and they are very good at the long game. It’s a pretty brilliant strategy if you ask me.

    • avatarDarren says:

      On the plus side, China has real & significant fiscal problems that they have yet to address. Their exports help GDP significantly, but there are less-productive means of GDP expansion they are heavily into as well. Google “Ordos” and “South China Mall” and look into those money-sinks. Building them contributed to GDP calculations, sure, but that’s sunk cost they may never recover. Ideally, you spend capital to improve your GDP in the future. Empty cities for a million people and empty “largest shopping mall in the world” are not GDP boosters year-over-year. Their debt crisis, when finally recognized, will be significant and surprising to many.

      Combine that with a one-child policy and an aging demographic and a male-heavy population and China had better not play a long-term game, they won’t be around that long.

      The Chinese, European, American and Japanese economies are all falling rocks, being dragged back to earth by debt. Europe seems to be in the lead right now on the way to impact, Japan has been falling for a couple of decades (due to some of the same issues that are beginning to devil China) and the US has far and away the greatest mass of debt. The implosion of Greece could very well take Italy, Spain and Ireland with it, with some nasty flashover on the rest of the EU. It may even trigger a debt crisis here as bad as or worse as 2008. If China gets hard up and starts liquidating our Treasuries to get capital it may tank us in the process. Things are an interconnected mess.

      If China gains any advantage from our crisis it will be short-lived. Milton Friedman postulated the linkage of economic freedom and political freedom, so far the CCP has been able to buy cooperation by allowing entry into the middle class. If the containerships from the China coast stop flowing because our economy implodes, the CCP will have a horrific problem on their hands in short order. Not only will the Chinese middle class suffer but everyone waiting to join the middle class will suffer as well. I don’t know if domestic order in China can stand that kind of economic jolt.

      This doesn’t mean that some folks in the CCP see the opportunity you suggest and discount the risk to themselves, heck, some really well-educated people thought mortgage-backed CDOs were going to make them rich and bet billions on it. It means that it may not end up being to their advantage to the degree they hope.

    • avatarPhilthegardner says:

      Tell me some suit in New York wouldn’t gladly finance MORE of these Chinese shenanigans if he knew it would result in another couple hundred million in his year-end bonus package. As Darren so rightly points out – we are all connected in this game. You push, I pull.

  10. avatarflboots says:

    Less we forget the drug cartels will have a free rain. Remember they bought off B.O. in the white house and halder and contributed to the dem. campain.

  11. avatarRoadrunner says:

    One sad fact about the 47,000 figure is that in the last 5 years, well over 5,000 Mexicans have just disappeared. Dropped off the planet, and never heard from again, no bodies, no trace. It can’t have turned out well for most of them. The official numbers are probably very low.

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