Patterico's Pontifications

1/15/2009

Anarchy in Mexico

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 7:55 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Earlier this week, the U.S. military Joint Forces Command released a report that Mexico was one of two countries (along with Pakistan) that “bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse” as a failed state:

“The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.”

The report that Mexico might collapse was based on the increasing number of murders, crime and lawlessness arising primarily from drug violence and corruption. As a result, U.S. Homeland Security has developed plans to bring state and federal law enforcement and troops to border areas to deal with incursions.

Today’s report from Juarez convinces me Mexico may be closer to failing than the Joint Command report suggested:

“A group calling itself the Comando Ciudadano por Juárez, or the Juárez Citizens Command, is claiming it will kill a criminal every 24 hours to bring order to the violent crime-plagued city.

The announcement of the supposed group was the first known case of possible organized vigilantism in Juárez as police and the military have been apparently unable to stop a plague of killings and other crimes.

“Better the death of a bad person than that they continue to contaminating our region,” the news release stated in Spanish.

The supposed group issued a news release via e-mail stating it is nonpartisan and funded by businessmen fed up with crime.

The group, also calling itself the CCJ, said it would issue a manifesto in the coming days and would set up a system where residents can electronically send information about criminals.

“Our mission is to terminate the life of a criminal every 24 hours … The hour has come to stop this disorder in Juárez,” the CCJ stated.”

I assume these are, in fact, generally law-abiding citizens desperate to protect themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods. I sympathize with their motives but there’s only one word for this: Anarchy.

— DRJ

66 Responses to “Anarchy in Mexico”

  1. I assume these are, in fact, generally law-abiding citizens desperate to protect themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods.

    But so many of the people of Mexico have for decades voted almost religiously and blindly for their version of America’s liberals/Democrats. In that regard, Mexico’s electorate is very similar to the populace of America’s urban areas, particulary the inner cities. Therefore, it’s hard to sympathize with people caught in a quagmire, be it in dysfunctional Mexico or elsewhere (eg, crime-plagued “hoods” of Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, etc), when they really are their own worst enemies.

    Mark (411533)

  2. Legalize drugs in the U.S. and the Mexican drug gangs disappear.

    When drugs are legal, some people in the U.S. will use and become addicted to drugs that do not currently use drugs. This is the only downside of legalizing drugs.

    Balance the harm to the U.S. caused by that vs. the harm to the U.S. caused by having a Spanish speaking Somalia next door.

    tomhynes (c43c0a)

  3. You could also revoke all of the laws against murder, and then you could not call any of the murderers murderers.

    JD (d1f299)

  4. Makes me wonder where exactly the US is on this scale……

    EricPWJohnson (7b1362)

  5. #

    You could also revoke all of the laws against murder, and then you could not call any of the murderers murderers.

    Comment by JD — 1/15/2009 @ 8:16 pm

    WOW then we really could clean out city/state/federal hall, probably only take a week or so eh?

    The only folks that actually continue to support prohibition of certain drugs are those profiting by it!

    TC (0b9ca4)

  6. No Tomhynes, you see, the government of America is RIGHT about drugs being bad and being RIGHT is all that is important don’t you get it? The fact that prohibition has funds strong, well armed mafias etc all over the world is irrelevant. Nothing is relevant except that the American government is always always RIGHT. What needs to happen is for every person all over the world to “just” stop using drugs! Then we will all stop having any kind of sex except for procreation, start being honest and open in all of our business dealings and everyone will ‘just get alone” It’ll be like on Star Trek.

    I read somewhere that the death squads in El Salvador started out as anti-gang Regulators.
    How long do you think before some Moderators come along to moderate the Regulators?

    EdWood (110653)

  7. I think it should go farther than legalizing drugs; unlimited drugs should be subsidized. But would you agree with me that overdoses should not be treated by hospitals? Anyone diagnosed of a drug overdose should be removed from the emergency room and taken to jail until they either recover or die. Isn’t that fair?

    Tea Totaler (2259e1)

  8. Wow! From 0-crazy in 7 comments.

    campfreddy (b75fa5)

  9. I seriously doubt that the generally law abiding, but terrorized populace of Juarez is actually going to carry out vigilante justice. It is much more likely that a rival cartel is either funding or providing the foot soldiers for such an effort, even if there are some legitimate businessmen who are tired of the violence and extortion that are nominally the backers of such a project.

    This is much more likely to be just another extention in the cartel wars for control rather than a true right-wing death squad type of development. Such a right-wing vigilante movement typically begins with rogue elements of the police or military and generally only happens with the quiet backing of the government or because government control over the military has broken down (examples being El Salvador and Columbia)

    From what I’ve observed neither is the case in Mexico. Although corruption is a huge problem in the police, and to a lesser extent in the military, there is no indication that the Calderon government has any intent to resort to hit squads, or that they have lost control of their military. As for the local police, there simply hasn’t been an effective local police force in Juarez for years mostly because the Juarez cartel either kills them or buys them off.

    Oh, and thinking that such a simplistic solution as legalizing drugs is going to make such systemic problems go away is facile thinking of the worst sort.

    CStudent (f30411)

  10. I think we should begin providing drugs to kindergartners during the Obama Administration during their age appropriate sex education classes. They’ve got to learn some time so why not make it in a safe environment. Why not teach them that some drugs make you horny. It all makes sense. I think California would make a great test state for the plan. Shit, San Francisco was going to have city sponsored shooting galleries for addicts. Did that plan ever get off the ground?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  11. The first doper president legalizes dope.

    Think of the symmetry!

    I really like the plan.

    For the chirren!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  12. Think of all the money we could save, hell, earn, if we legalized and taxed terrorism. We grant licenses to terrorists to cull a set percentage of our population at substantial fees with substantial penalties if they exceed their bag limit. We eliminate the cost of the futile war against terror, get some needed cash, and save the planet at the same time.

    nk (9097f8)

  13. It’s laughable to theorize that legalizing narcotics in Mexico will solve the rampant crime problem plaguing that nation. The reason is that for all intents and purposes — because so much of the Mexican political system is corrupt and feckless (because lots of cops are on the take, because the judicial system is so porous and permissive) — drugs already are legal in Mexico.

    Mark (411533)

  14. “Oh, and thinking that such a simplistic solution as legalizing drugs is going to make such systemic problems go away is facile thinking of the worst sort.”

    CStudent – I agree completely, but I don’t think our friends on the other side of the argument are as interested interested in making problems go away as they are in getting drugs legalized.

    WAKE AND BAKE BAYBEE!!!!!!111!!!ELEVENTY!!LUAP!NOR!!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  15. It is truly amazing, and very disturbing, how the Left/BDS Brigades in America fixate on the 4000+ deaths suffered by the military in the “Global War on Terror” since 9/11, but are oblivious to the 5000+ deaths in Mexico in 2008(!) due to the cartel wars there.
    I would suppose that they ignore this looming disaster only because they have completely failed to come up with any rational link to George W. Bush; and so, they have no way to blame it on him.

    AD (d614d2)

  16. There comes a time when the choice is between anarchy and tyranny. I would have to reluctantly but vigorously chose the former.

    Ken Hahn (24b63d)

  17. A group calling itself the Comando Ciudadano por Juárez, or the Juárez Citizens Command, is claiming it will kill a criminal every 24 hours to bring order to the violent crime-plagued city.

    Oh brother… Why not just call themselves Kira?

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  18. Mexican gangs (heck, all gangs/mafia types), from what I can tell, currently have (1) members, (2) weapons, (3) ability & willingness to use #2 while committing crimes, (4) knowledge of who has/can be paid off to turn a blind eye to said crimes. Assuming for a fraction of a second that legalizing drugs would eliminate all criminal income associated with it (which I have my doubts), do you honestly think that the gangs will go “right, let’s stop all these drug-related activities and become honest hard-working citizens?”

    Heck no. They’ll find another criminal/illegal activity that still pays, like kidnapping (already big south of the border, I hear), mafia-like protection rackets, and the like. Merely reducing income in one area won’t be enough to break their power. I feel that reducing income might sway some only after enough gang leaders find themselves six feet under.

    Nathan (490fb3)

  19. There’s an old saying, good fences make good neighbors.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  20. The only folks that actually continue to support prohibition of certain drugs are those profiting by it!

    Legal junkies dependent upon the INSANE War on Some Drugs.

    I would still like our host to tell us what percentage of the cases prosecuted by his office are related to drugs – possession, murder, distibution, assault, robbery, etc…. And, what percentage of his office’s budget is dedicated to that process.

    And don’t get me started on asset forfeiture…

    Horatio (55069c)

  21. Horatio – Do you think legalizing drugs will solve all of Mexico’s problems? This thread is about Mexico, not Patterico’s job.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  22. Horatio – Do you think legalizing drugs will solve all of Mexico’s problems? This thread is about Mexico, not Patterico’s job.

    No, it won’t, but it will make some law enforcement issues diminish. But of course, if we want to have an anarchistic state on our border…let’s keep doing what we’re doing (and getting the same results – the “definition” of insanity – keep drugs illegal..keep $$ flowing into the cartels…enable them to purchase large quantities of weapons…and take on the Mexican government with vast amounts of money to buy more power…

    Having said that, our host (and other prosecutors/law enforcement personnel) appear to have a vested interest in the the so-called drug war. It would be nice to know how much $$ his office devotes to it. Would he have a job, if drugs were legal? What percentage of his time is spent on drug related crime?

    Horatio (55069c)

  23. “Having said that, our host (and other prosecutors/law enforcement personnel) appear to have a vested interest in the the so-called drug war.”

    Horatio – If Patterico elects to answer your questions, are you suggesting that his answers will be representative of the rest of the country? Are you suggesting that his office should not prosecute violent crimes if they are related to drugs or are you suggesting that violent crimes will go away if we legalize drugs? What crime theory are you advancing here Horatio?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  24. The cartels control areas of production, as well as distribution. Any “legal” would be distributor for a legalized product would still have to deal with the cartels. Who would still have the same financial incentive to kill off the competition and archive a monopoly.

    So, Horatio, Tomhynes, explain exactly how legalizing drugs helps. How is it different from law enforcement simply “stepping back” and watching the competing cartels kill each other?

    LarryD (feb78b)

  25. The only folks that actually continue to support prohibition of certain drugs are those profiting by it!

    Comment by TC —

    There are arguments for and against drug legalization. It hasn’t worked well where it has been tried. Both Britain and the Netherlands have backed off after a few years of legalization. Heroin is the better candidate for legalization but it is not the major problem now. Heroin makes you happy and passive. People who are heroin addicts can actually live productive lives while addicted as long as the drug is pure and available without requiring illegal activity. Constipation is about the worst problem they have.

    Cocaine, the major narcotic problem now, is another matter. It makes addicts hyperactive and paranoid, a bad combination. It also causes cardiac rhythm disturbances that are fatal. It is not a good candidate for legal use. Methamphetamine is worse, if possible.

    Vigilantes arose in the 19th century in places like San Francisco when crime got out of control. They were often backed by the wealthy businessmen and operated in secret. A miscreant got a warning that said ” 3 x 7 x 77″ tacked on his door. Those are the dimensions of a grave. If he didn’t shape up, he ended up hanging from a tree. It worked fairly well for the time.

    I don’t go to Mexico anymore. I did my last Newport-Ensenada Race in 2006. I don’t want to be anywhere near the border towns. I’ve been going to Mexico for 40 years and know a lot of people there but this is the worst it’s ever been. A college friend was US consul in Tijuana back about 1970. He lived in Tijuana and they had to pay kids every week to not break their windows. Anarchy has always been a problem but it wasn’t this bad.

    The rich have high walls and private guards but the rest are screwed.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  26. “The rich have high walls and private guards but the rest are screwed.”

    You mean a high wall and guards helps stem the flow of violence? Wow, who woulda thunk? Maybe we could do something like that on our border with Mexico. Like, oh I don’t know, … a fence maybe? And some National Guardsman stationed at the border? Anyone know of any plans like that?

    Sean P (e57269)

  27. We need to legalize pot smoking, ice smoking, freebasing, but make tobacco smoking illegal. Those evil cigarettes kill people. Disconnect, anyone?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  28. John Hitchcock – I have often said that it would be more socially acceptable to stand in the middle of the street, mainlining heroin and coke while buggering an underage goat than it is to smoke a cigarette.

    JD (1e965b)

  29. It’s only bad if the goat doesn’t consent.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  30. “…socially acceptable…”
    JD moves in strange circles.

    AD (87db80)

  31. JD-
    May I borrow that line?

    I’m still amused that rape and murder in film are less objectionable than a cig.

    Foxfier (db0f51)

  32. JD – You forgot burning the American flag while doing the coke, smack and goat. Just sayin’.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  33. Can’t burn the flag, it would spook the goat.

    AD (87db80)

  34. This may be apocryphal, but when FDR was running for President for the first time in 1932, he said something along the lines of “What America needs now is a good, stiff drink.”

    Then he won and went on to help end prohibition.

    Read the rest.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  35. I think medical marijuana should be legal and probably should be legal for anyone over 18. Bill Bennett, when he was drug czar, said we don’t need to legalize things that make people stupid but voting for Democrats has been legal a long time.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  36. “Can’t burn the flag, it would spook the goat.”

    AD – Not if you have its legs in your boots. JD is familiar with the technique. Trust me on this.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  37. As long as adults are aware of the consequences, and they aren’t likely to become violent, I guess I won’t be too upset about legalizing certain drugs.

    but that’s just it… I don’t think most pot smokers are aware of what that drug does to them. It’s been linked to schizophrenia. It’s not a depressant, it’s a hallucinogen. It’s extremely expensive to treat those who fry their brains on it, though most people seem to be able to handle it with no expensive problems (I’ve never smoked pot, so I really don’t know more than it is a bit dangerous).

    Maybe permitting dumb people to be dumb is OK in some sense, but it’s dumb social policy.

    Joco (4cdfb7)

  38. Comment by daleyrocks — 1/16/2009 @ 12:43 pm
    Yes, I’ve been to Central Texas also.

    AD (87db80)

  39. Gee Joco, do you also have the names of three people killed by second hand smoke?

    TC (0b9ca4)

  40. I actually pay $10 a carton for my smokes, but they’re technically not cigarettes. I cheated the cig-tax those Big Brother libs put in to rescue me from myself. 😉

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  41. Pot didn’t help me during one illness, but I’ve met many others who were helped immeasurably via it’s use – and I’ve always favored decriminalization for simple possession. Of course frequent users will experience serious lung problems over a long period of time, but it doesn’t appear to be as harmful as alcohol abuse -and you don’t hear of too many instances of someone stoned who subsquently went out and robbed a convenience store, and then went home and beat his wife. The more likely outcome in this scenario is the person eats an entire box of Oreos and then passes out. Big whoop de dang do – even our own gov’t had no problem with it not that long ago. But sure, go ahead and belly up to bar for those boilermakers, no problema.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  42. Horatio – If Patterico elects to answer your questions, are you suggesting that his answers will be representative of the rest of the country?

    I submit – albeit without direct evidence – that for major metropolitan areas, yes.

    Are you suggesting that his office should not prosecute violent crimes if they are related to drugs or are you suggesting that violent crimes will go away if we legalize drugs?

    Go away? – No. Diminish – Yes

    What crime theory are you advancing here Horatio?

    The lessons of Chicago and Al Capone during prohibition

    Horatio (55069c)

  43. You could also revoke all of the laws against murder, and then you could not call any of the murderers murderers.

    Comment by JD — 1/15/2009 @ 8:16 pm
    Spot on, JD.

    love2008 who will now be known as Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  44. The cartels control areas of production, as well as distribution. Any “legal” would be distributor for a legalized product would still have to deal with the cartels. Who would still have the same financial incentive to kill off the competition and archive a monopoly.

    So, Horatio, Tomhynes, explain exactly how legalizing drugs helps. How is it different from law enforcement simply “stepping back” and watching the competing cartels kill each other?

    Except you assume that those areas of production are somehow special, and that other areas wouldn’t crop up outside Mexico, both in arable soil, as well as hydroponically.

    Now, if the cartels want to come to the US to kill off their competition – and I believe there would be a lot of it as folks try to create a better product – then yes, violence would still be drug related. But I didn’t see bootleggers try to destroy legal distillers after Prohibition was abolished.

    Horatio (55069c)

  45. Horatio is selling the wax to put on your skis as you prepare to slalom down the slippery slope.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  46. But I didn’t see bootleggers try to destroy legal distillers after Prohibition was abolished.

    True. They formed Murder, Incorporated and committed killings for hire.

    nk (9097f8)

  47. I am no expert and would welcome correction, but I think that criminals like the high profit margins available to monopolies. Before the government gave criminals a monopoly on alcohol they enjoyed and exploited a monopoly on prostitution and gambling. This supported local and citywide organizations but did not need larger organizations. It was the monopoly on alcohol that payed for and rewarded national organizations, buying even State and Federal officials. When they lost that monopoly they showed no interest in competing with legal manufacturers and had the monopoly on drugs and the unions there to take advantage of. The organizations that grew on the booze profits are still with us decades later. How long will we be stuck with the gangs the drug profits are fueling now? I think that until the early years of the twentieth century a 12 year old could walk into a drug store and buy heroin, opium, and other drugs, yet we had little drug problems. There was no profit in pushing it as long as you could buy it cheap at the corner store so there was no one creating the market.

    In a free society where we taught and lived individual responsibility, the problem of addiction would tend to limit itself. Unfortunately, in today’s culture it seems that legalizing drugs would have a huge impact on society. I don’t care much about the addicts themselves but the trouble would reach far beyond them as it does already. Do the folks who advocate legalization have some thoughts on how to handle the impact it would have on today’s socialistic and irresponsible culture?

    This is the issue that makes this hard for me to deal with. Perhaps it bothers others as well?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  48. I assume these are, in fact, generally law-abiding citizens desperate to protect themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods. I sympathize with their motives but there’s only one word for this: Anarchy.

    Assuming they are in fact otherwise law-abiding citizens turned vigilante, and not just a rival cartel or some such, I think they are better described as a response to anarchy than its cause. It’s one thing when people take the law into their own hands for no good reason. It’s quite another when they do so because the law can’t/won’t take the law into the law’s own hands. Anarchy in Ciudad Juarez has been a given for decades; the question is, what are they going to do about it?

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  49. I agree it’s a symptom and not a cause, but I don’t agree there’s always been anarchy in Juarez. I view this as evidence there’s anarchy now.

    DRJ (345e40)

  50. I don’t know about the border towns but I don’t think the drug gangs used to be as active in Mexico. I wonder if the change has to do with it becoming easier to smuggle across the U.S./Mexico border than to bring it into the directly from South America. The vast majority of the police money goes to the top few so the lower levels largely fend for themselves and live on graft. With the huge money carrot and the big murder stick that the gangs have the police and military would be outclassed and the citizens and businesses would be largely unprotected. The people are used to the corruption but not the hard core violence they are seeing now.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  51. Because the corruption is so pervasive in the government (the ruling party rather depends on it to stay in power, like Chicago), I don’t know if the government will be able to deal with these gangs. It would be a shame to see the people have to rise up or face a Colombian type civil war against the drug gangs. That would be a very bad situation to have next door.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  52. Drug gangs have been active in Mexico a long time. Thirty years ago, when my partner was single, he was on a fishing trip in Mazatlan with two friends. They were in a bar/restaurant one night. I think it was Senor Frogs. He saw this pretty girl sitting at a large table with a group and asked her to dance. I think he had had a few cervezas because one look at the group should have warned him off. Anyway, they all looked to el jefe at the head of the table who nodded yes.

    They danced for a while and then it was time for her and her family to go. They offered him a ride to his hotel as his friends had left. He really wondered by this time if he was going to get there. Anyway, he started to get into the front passenger seat of the limousine and the driver picked up a towel and moved an Uzi so he could sit there. They took off in the car with the headlights out, then did a U-turn and drove him to his hotel where they dropped him off.

    The next morning he was sure he would never drink that much in Mexico again.

    Of course, maybe they were just industrialists.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  53. Mike,

    Your frem/partner was not drunk, he is retarded.

    Da'Shiznit (df1dcc)

  54. Actually, Dr K. your partner was very, very lucky. My guess is that he was respectful to his dance partner.

    Eric Blair (3e2520)

  55. Eric,

    Of course he was respectful, he is Mike’s “partner.”

    I think Mike is joto buey.

    Da'Shiznit (df1dcc)

  56. I think that this site could get on very well without Da’Shiznit and whatever other troll identities it is.

    nk (9097f8)

  57. Da’Shiz, I need a translation. I have a lot of surgeon stories and he is the star of quite a few of them, mostly before he married his present wife 31 years ago. Once, he told me, he was doing a case with a female anesthesiologist and he looked around the room. He said the only one in the room he hadn’t screwed was the patient.

    Those were the old days, though.

    Yes, he did have a judgement problem around females when he was single.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  58. Comment by Mike K — 1/17/2009 @ 12:14 pm

    Almost sounds like “Christian” on “Nip/Tuck“!

    AD (108e20)

  59. People used to be shocked when I told them that MASH was the most realistic movie about surgery I had seen. That was years ago. “The Doctor” was also pretty realistic. I don’t watch the TV shows. Of course, everybody gets sense when they pass forty.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  60. I used to watch “Combat!” as a youth. Vic Morrow was my hero.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  61. You could also revoke all of the laws against murder, and then you could not call any of the murderers murderers.

    No, that’s a inept analogy. One can take drugs and do no harm except to himself. You cannot commit murder without harming others.

    bastiches (02d677)

  62. Smoking cigarettes does harm only to myself.

    Or, wait, the second-hand smoke kills others.
    The medical cost of dealing with a smoker costs others money, and is thus a hardship.
    And we also have this new third-hand smoke thing, where the smoke gets into the carpets and other things and then comes out and bites other people.

    So smoking cigarettes harms a lot of other people but doing drugs doesn’t. I understand now.

    All I need now is a goat.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  63. John, I hear Circuit City is having a clearance on “scapes”.

    AD (c28272)

  64. You know it is bad when the Mayor and Council from Cd. Juarez are living in the city of El Paso, TX.

    According to several sources, they commute to and from Mexico to run their city.

    El Paso Times Op editorial from Sunday 1-25-09.

    What will it take before anyone in the US notices what is going on?

    norma (0198ff)

  65. And it’s not just violence in next-door Juárez, such as Juárez Mayor José Reyes Ferriz and others choosing to live here … and other Mexican citizens using our hotels to have weekend respites from the daily killings, kidnappings, extortions and thefts in their hometown.

    norma (0198ff)


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