[Guest post by DRJ]
As if murder, violence and intimidation weren’t enough, now the Mexican cartels want to take control of local governments:
“One candidate was gunned down with his son inside his business. Another is missing after assailants torched her home. In some towns near the U.S. border, parties can’t find anyone to run for mayor.
The violence is intensifying fear that Mexico’s drug cartels could control July 4 local elections in 10 states by supporting candidates who cooperate with organized crime and killing or intimidating those who don’t.
Nowhere has the intimidation been worse than in the border state of Tamaulipas, where Mexican soldiers are trying to control an intensifying turf battle between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas gang.
Gunmen burst into the farm supplies business of Jose Guajardo Varela Thursday and killed him and his son, after he ignored warnings to drop his bid for mayor of Valle Hermosa, a town about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Brownsville, Texas.
“Organized crime wants to have total control over local elections,” said Carlos Alberto Perez, a federal lawmaker for Calderon’s conservative National Action Party, known as the PAN.”
If the cartels gain control of local border governments via elections, I fear it will make it even easier for them to cross the border and operate on American soil.