Arizona deaths murder-suicide, not drug cartel violence…Arizona Republic

Yet again, Pinal Country sheriff Paul Babeu sticks his jack-boot in his
mouth.  After giving an elaborate speculative statement to media yesterday
that the 5 bodies found burned beyond recognition in an SUV in the desert
near Casa Grande last weekend were victims of spillover drug cartel
violence, it turns out that it is a family tragedy: all 5 people are
members of the Butwin family of Tempe, Arizona.
To the best of my knowledge, in all or nearly all, of the violent incidents
and the monotonous drumbeat of “violence spilling across the border” have
been shown to be homegrown incidents and most not related to Mexico or to
the particular border geography at all.
Also below is an AP story from yesterday repeating Babeu’s claims with no
questions asked and a press release from Babeu, who, according to the
Republic article, is no longer taking calls on the subject.

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It is very refreshing to see the reporting on this by the Arizona Republic.
And it makes us realize how so much misinformation gets out there.  I would
bet that even with this excellent and detailed debunking of the bogus and
exaggerated claims by Babeu and others in Arizona about spillover violence,
most people will continue to think that the five people found dead in that
SUV in the desert had something to do with drug cartels… Sometimes
Facebook and Twitter can create a gigantic reflecting pool on the web and
an initial erroneous account gets repeated so many times, no one notices
the correction…  just my opinion…  molly

Cracking the Mexican Cartels—NYTimes op-ed

Does anyone believe this?  What about the YEARS of testimony from victims
of violence and extortion in Ciudad Juarez, that the Federal Police are the
perpetrators? What evidence is there that this “top-down” strategy of
killing or arresting “king-pins” has done anything to decrease the supply
of drugs flowing out of Mexico or raising the prices of drugs in the US?

“To do that, he would need forces capable of patrolling urban areas,
collecting intelligence, and gathering the evidence necessary to prosecute
drug traffickers — functions that only professionalized law enforcement
agencies could carry out. To win this war, Calderón needed cops he could
rely on.”

I would propose that the evidence indicates that the military and police
forces patrolling urban areas are guilty of hunting down street level drug
sellers and killing them, and of extorting businesses, kidnapping people
and all manner of other crimes. And that the violent effects of this
so-called successful strategy is causing the violence to spread to areas of
Mexico far beyond the border. It will be interesting to see if the longer
version of this article to be published in Foreign Affairs presents any
evidence of these claims…  molly

 

The Deadliest Place In Mexico Who’s killing the people of the Juarez Valley?–Melissa del Bosque in the Texas Observer

To reach the deadliest place in Mexico you take Carretera Federal 2, a well-paved stretch of highway that begins at the outskirts of Juarez, east for 50 miles along the Rio Grande, passing through cotton and alfalfa fields until you reach the rural Juarez Valley, said to have the highest murder rate in the country, if not the world.

The Juarez Valley is a narrow corridor of green farmland carved from the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande. Farmers proudly say it was once known for its cotton, which rivaled Egypt’s. But that was before the booming growth of Juarez’s factories in the 1990s left farmers downstream with nothing but foul-smelling sludge to irrigate their fields. After that, the only industry that thrived was drug smuggling. Because of the valley’s sparse population and location along the Rio Grande’s dried up riverbed, a person can easily drive or walk into Texas loaded down with marijuana and cocaine.

For decades, this lucrative smuggling corridor, or “plaza,” was controlled by the Juarez cartel. In 2008, Mexico’s largest, most powerful syndicate—the Sinaloa cartel, run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman—declared war on the Juarez cartel and moved in to take over the territory. The federal government sent in the military to quell the violence. Instead the murder rate in the state of Chihuahua exploded. The bloodshed in the city of Juarez made international news. It was dubbed the “deadliest city in the world.”

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