The story is pretty simple. In Mexico, right beneath us, there is an actual war on drugs going on. Not the metaphorical kind we think of here in the states. Apparently we’re not talking about just going in and having our kids not do drugs. Not trying to impart on them the disastrous effects they’ll have on their lives, and the lives of the people around them and the further impact it’ll have on the community as a whole. This a war where people shoot other people. Dead. I had heard about it. I had a cognitive knowledge that it was going on, but didn’t really comprehend the actual scope of it.
I looked into the Mexican drug thing because recently in the Mayor of the town of Santiago was found Murdered after being Kidnapped three days earlier. Six local police officers were found to be involved in the kidnapping and murder. In the same state (Nuevo Leon).
The first thing I learned is that there are a lot more than one “Santiago” in Mexico. I was very confused as to which one it was. Was the mayor kidnapped from the Santiago along the Yucatan peninsula, the Santiago over in the Baja region, the one that’s near Texas, one closer to the border of Arizona? Turns out it was the Santiago that was sort of a suburb to Monterrey (the one near Texas).
This story “reads” the same just about everywhere because there are only a handful of reporters who touched on the kidnapped mayor. Most news outlets just ran an AP article from E. Edward Castillo. I may not have looked hard enough, but I only saw four other writers covering the topic, all with some ties to the associated press.
The surprising thing to me on that story (outside of Government officials being kidnapped) is that there just weren’t a lot of articles written on it. I sort of understand where that comes from. Nobody wants to talk. I completely understand that. I grew up not having any desire to talk to police, but my reasons are far different than those of Mexican citizens. They don’t know who to talk to. Apparently what goes on down there is that, as a cop, if you don’t roll with the drug cartels on some level they just kill you. More than two thousand officers have been killed since 2006. That’s just police officers. The total number of people killed in some sort of drug related violence is over 28,000 according to the government. 141 Soldiers that weren’t also officers have died in that time frame as well.
That’s a lot of people, sure, but before I got all bent out of shape I looked at Mexico’s overall population. I was on the verge of thinking to myself that the entire country was just totally out of hand and wondering how their economy hadn’t just dive bombed into Haitian territories. They have about 111 million people. So taken in context it isn’t as world ending bad as I thought, but seriously, are we surprised people are trying to get as far away from that as possible? There are numerous reports of gangs just heading into people’s homes during parties and killing everyone inside. It seems mostly indiscriminate.
The politicians in Mexico seem to not want a lot to do with it. Gubernatorial candidates are being mowed down at an alarming rate. You make a stance against drug cartels and you just about sign your death warrant. They’re in an actual war. A federal officer was found dead not long ago all burned up. The only time they tend to catch the actual drug lords is when that body is lying in a pool of blood after an engagement with soldiers. The members of the police force that aren’t in the pocket of drug dealers are slowly turning into a militia. It’s not noticeable over most of Mexico at the time, but the signs are all there.
The rest of the world is pretty dead on this issue. I could not find one single opinion piece on the subject. Just factual articles written by the same four or five journalist camping out in Mexico. Those guys need a raise. For reals. Only minorly related to this story, I found a story from a few months back about a reporter that had been murdered for reporting on these stories.
Back to the Mayor that was kidnapped and murdered, it turns out that he had only been in office less than a year. He hadn’t made any sorts of legislation against the gangs. He had received death threats from multiple gangs just warning him to stay out of their way. He called a few mayors in other Monterrey suburbs looking for advice on how to deal with the matter. The most he had done outwardly against gangs was show up at a few security meetings. Most people familiar with him seem to just be at a loss as to why he would be a target.
Maybe that’s just it. Maybe he just happened to be like the people who just happened to be having a party. The attack, not so much aimed at him, but at everyone else in Nuevo Leon. Not that he was some figurehead, but that it didn’t matter who you were, if you even are considering entertaining the notion of opposing these drug cartels. Or it’s possible that he just was in the middle of two different battling cartels.
On the whole, I’m really just surprised at how little play this story gets everywhere. It could be because I just have a difficult time watching the news due to the types of stories they put on and I don’t have cable so I don’t ever get to see punditry shows so this story could be out there, but I don’t hear a bunch about it, so I doubt it’s as prevalent as balloon boy was.