Mexico Meltdown: Ground Zero in Juarez
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Mexico's war on the powerful drug cartels is not going well. El Presidente Calderon (pictured in a controversial South Park episode) recently visited besieged Juarez to mend fences with the local citizens for the failure of his anti-cartel crackdown to work. The violence is so bad there that residents have been demanding United Nations peacekeepers.
Calderon visits Ciudad Juarez, By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2010

Facing intense political pressure and demands that he resign, President Felipe Calderon traveled Thursday to Mexico's deadliest city to defend his troubled fight against drug cartels, which critics charge has only intensified the violence.

Angry crowds greeted Calderon as he arrived in a heavily guarded Ciudad Juarez. The president said it was time to launch a much-discussed expansion of the drug war to include efforts aimed at tackling social issues, such as unemployment and addiction.

"I am convinced we have to review what we are doing," Calderon said. "We need a much more integrated approach . . . wider actions . . . of a social nature. Police and military action alone is not enough."

To underscore the point, Calderon took with him an unusually large contingent of Cabinet members, including the ministers of health, education and public security. However, he was short on details and, in initial remarks, did not earmark money for new programs.

Calderon's visit to Ciudad Juarez was prompted by the Jan. 31 massacre of at least 15 people, many of them youths, at a high school party, the latest in a spiral of increasingly gruesome bloodshed that has made the city across the border from El Paso a living hell.

If Calderon can't get a grip on the spiraling violence by drug gangs, the relative handful of people fleeing to the United States will turn into a flood. The article above noted the massacre of 15 young people in Juarez. Now their families want asylum in this country: Fearful Mexican families of teens slain in massacre seek refuge in Texas, Dallas Morning News, February 6, 2010.
Young people who survived the massacre are despondent, afraid to leave the house and have no plans to return to school any time soon, the family members said.

"They not only killed my son," one father said. "They killed off the entire neighborhood and whatever little faith we had in our government. By staying in Mexico, we feel like sitting ducks, afraid that sooner or later we'll take another bullet."

As many as 10 other families plan to leave the neighborhood and seek shelter somewhere in Texas. Many have already abandoned their homes and are living with friends and relatives in other parts of Ju??rez.

America may appear safe and law-abiding next to Mexico but that is hardly a worthy comparison. Our southern neighbor is turning into what Colombia was in the 1980s — a violence-riven narco-state, and that poison has infected this country as well.

The Department of Justice reports cartel organizations exist in 230 American cities. The influx of Mexican criminals rapidly turned Phoenix into America's kidnap capital. Mexican crime here is bad enough already, but it can get much worse. Welcoming more rotten apples does not support public safety in this country.

Unfortunately, at least one judge is kindly disposed to the idea of asylum based on being a crime victim: Girl who fled Honduran gangs is granted asylum. There's millions more where that one came from.

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