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Rival drug gangs terrorize Mexican town

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posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:06 AM
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Rival drug gangs terrorize Mexican town


www.msnbc.msn.com

For people caught inside Mexico's drug corridors, life is about keeping your head down and watching your back.

No town knows this better than Villa Ahumada, where the entire police force quit after 70 cartel hit men roared through killing the police chief, two officers and three townspeople. Soon after, the rest of the 20-member force quit in fear.
Residents were left defenseless again last week when gunmen returned and kidnapped nine people, despite the soldiers manning checkpoints.
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posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:06 AM
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Sinaloa, Juarez gangs battle
Federal investigators say Villa Ahumada is a key stop along one of Mexico's busiest drug smuggling routes, where the Sinaloa cartel has been challenging the Juarez gang for control. The military staffs checkpoints miles outside town, and soldiers and federal police roll through each day, but residents are largely left on their own. The town of 15,000 is about 80 miles south of El Paso, Texas.

"In the small towns, the narcos want to have an open sesame," said George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. "They want to be able to pass through as they see fit, and they've got the muscle to enforce that, but it's unfortunate for the residents. This is where you've got enclaves of failure."

Cartels treat these towns as fiefdoms — in some communities, everyone from the furniture owner to the barman to local officials pay a kind of tax to the gunslingers, border expert Victor Clark said. The extortion not only gives gangs an extra income, it also makes clear who's boss.

"In land occupied by organized crime, society's rules are completely altered," said Clark, a lecturer at San Diego State University who has studied one such town in the Mexican state of Baja California. "This is their territory, and you pay them for protection, or they will kill you."

Villa Ahumada has been without a city police force since May, unable to find anyone brave enough to take the job. Even Mayor Fidel Chavez fled for a time to the state capital, Chihuahua City, last year. After the army and state police pledged to have more of a presence in town, he returned and put 10 residents in charge of reporting suspicious activities to the authorities.



But there was little these unarmed citizen patrols could do when heavily armed assailants in black ski masks drove SUVs into town last week, kicking in doors and carting off nine residents in blindfolds. They called state authorities, closed their office and fled.

The gunmen had already executed six of the hostages near a desolate ranch called El Vergel, about 30 minutes north of town, by the time soldiers swooped in. The other three kidnapped men were rescued as soldiers rappelled into the desert from helicopters to chase those fleeing on foot. By the time the shooting stopped, 14 suspected pistoleros and one soldier were dead, and townspeople felt more desperate than ever.

Villa Ahumada is a town where scruffy dogs amble down gravel streets alongside slow-moving pickups. The economy depends on highway travelers stopping to eat at countless wooden burrito stands, but business has dropped by 50 percent since last week's violence, and the mayor has criticized the media for harming tourism. He declined repeated requests by The Associated Press for an interview.

Some residents are stepping forward despite the risks to demand more safety. Nine men applied to be police officers this week as part of a renewed effort by the state of Chihuahua to establish a presence in town.

"These are all people from the town who want peace and security for their families," said Manuel Rodriguez of the Chihuahua State Public Safety Department. He was administering an exam Monday designed to evaluate their skills, character and psychological stamina, with questions like: "Do you consider men and women equal?" and "What would you do if there was an attempt on your life?"



www.msnbc.msn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:29 AM
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Time to send in U.S. Troops to clean up this mess kind of like they did with Escobar in Columbia!!!!!!!!!!!!



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:35 AM
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No, no, no.

They just came here for jobs. Jobs that Americans refuse to do.

Are murdering and smuggling jobs Americans wont do?

What I dont get is that say I and a dozen others just up and started doing all of this crap in some suburb of Boston, for instance, we'd be faced almost immediately with the full force of the law ranging from local national guard.

So why are foreigners essentially allowed to participate in open warfare with nearly no opposition whatsoever?



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:53 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 

For many years now, Mexican police made more money working for the cartels than the govt. The new president, Calderon, decided to crack down and replaced the corrupt cops with new ones and Federal Police.

Then he sent in the Army.

Thousands of people, civilian, LE and military have died in the past few years.

It is a "drug war" rather than a war on drugs.

I used to go to Mexico several times a year, but quit in 2001 when they started kidnapping and killing Americans(dopers and cops).



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 08:27 AM
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I'm more concerned about the borders...It's only a matter of time before Mexico collapses and since theres a drug war, millions of mexicans will be flocking here most likely and we can't have that..We're struggling as it is. It's pretty ridiculous that drug cartels are essentially wearing down that country's defenses. These stories get more and more crazy everyday and frankly it's appalling. The U.S. should be very concerned, not only for the mass illegal immigrants but for the drug cartels as well. The only difference if they came here in full force is, they wouldn't have a chance.

I feel pity for them but they need to stay on their side right now especially because we can't risk all this madness over there coming here and endangering our lives and our families lives.

BIG BIG ISSUE.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 08:57 AM
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Its even worse than you think, AOA. The Federales have been crossing the border, too!

Sometimes they dress as civilians and come across to buy stuff at little border towns, but they'll even come in ARMED and IN UNIFORM to do it or chase after smugglers.

Isn't that an Invasion?

Crazy. It can't keep up like this.

jw



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:28 AM
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Living in south-central New Mexico I might be able to shed a little light on the atmosphere to our southern neighbors. Northern Mexico is dirt poor and I mean alot of dirt! There gov't hasn't nearly the resources as one might believe. The whole area is like a very spread out rural area. There military is almost nil compared to other countries. The U.S. is only concerned about their property line. Pretty much as in any other community, if you live on the other side of the tracks you're on your own. You can kill each other all day long for all we care. But if you want to change your neighborhood, we'll be more than happy to buy you out for a penny on the dollar. Can anybody say "North American Union". Anyone?



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:49 AM
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replt to pst by geo1066

I was raised in San Antonio and have a ranch in Atascosa, TX. My work took me to and over the border regularly.

They've always been on the fringes, especially in the really rural areas, like across from Big Bend, but this is fn disastrous.

It's awful to see what their gov. does to them.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 10:28 AM
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Here's a story about how some of their gov't works..
A couple of years ago I was doing some work for this Mexican National that owns a condo up here. He asked if he could just pay up to date and put everything else on hold until he was able to get back up here. He owned a fozen food processing buisness there in Mexico. Apparently he was awarded a contract for another plant but the only way he was able to collect on it was to start building on his own which was fine with him. He dumped millions into it including his own personal assets. There gov't had the monies allocated but somewhere the monies got "misplaced". I haven't heard from him since then and don't know if he even still owns that condo. His neighbors, who I also do work for, come over from Houston a couple times a year and also haven't seen or heard of him. I really respected this guy and only wish him the best.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:26 PM
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could've stepped on somebdy's shoes who had better ideas for the business.

I've seen it at work too.

Funny, though. A while back if you knew how to play their game and 'played along' things worked out fine.

Now, it can be lethal.

Glad I don't do that anymore, but I sure miss the good times and hospitality that could develop.

That's what drug trafficking and quick bucks have ruined. Nothing gets done right anymore.

jw



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