An ineffective or inappropriate state response will make this tactic go viral:
….Last week, at least 30 Mexicans from the town of El Porvenir walked to the border crossing post at Fort Hancock, Texas, and asked for political asylum. Ordinarily, their claim would be denied as groundless, and they would be turned back. Instead, they were taken to El Paso, where they expect to have their cases heard.
No one doubts that they have a strong claim. Their town on the Mexican side of the border is under siege by one or more drug cartels battling for control of the key border crossing. According to Mike Doyle, the chief deputy sheriff of Hudspeth County, Texas, one of the cartels has ordered all residents of the town of 10,000 to abandon the city within the next month.
“They came in and put up a sign in the plaza telling everyone to leave or pay with their own blood,” Doyle said. Since then there has been a steady stream of El Porvenir residents seeking safety on the American side of the border, both legally and illegally. Among them are the 30 who are seeking political asylum.
In recent days the situation in the impoverished, dusty border town has grown worse. According to Jose Franco, the superintendent of schools in Fort Hancock, the cartels have threatened to execute children in school unless parents pay 5000 pesos in protection money.
And on Wednesday night, according to Doyle, several houses in El Porvenir were set on fire, and there were reports of cars loaded with furniture leaving the town.
I saw this coming. I’m sure that so has anyone else studying insurgency or military history who stopped to give the matter five minutes of serious thought. There’s nothing magical about geographic proximity to the United States that would prevent this tactic, if applied widely and backed by lethal examples, from working. What has been done in the villages of Bosnia or Dar Fur can be done in towns of northern Mexico.
Foresight, apparently, does not include governmental officials though:
Authorities fear that an incident might spark a mass exodus by the residents of El Porvenir that might cause them all to surge across the border at once.
Doyle says there are no plans yet to set up camps for an influx of refugees. “There is just no way to plan for that,” he said. “We are waiting to see what happens. We will use the standard natural disaster procedures if it happens — the Red Cross and housing at the schools, and if it gets worse, the state and the federal government will have to step in.”
I would not bet my mortgage that the Feds would step in – at least not until the situation became an unmitigated, if entirely avoidable, humanitarian disaster. Here’s a hint: Very large numbers of people + a desert + no planning – Food – Shelter – Water = Dead children on CNN. Human physiology is the same on the Rio Grande or in Arizona as in Sudan.
“No way to plan for that”? WTF? There’s no examples of handling influxes of war refugees anywhere in world history? Give me a break. What they really meant is that this kind of contingency planning is politically unacceptable to national security officials because it would offend the Mexican government, a few members of Congress and some activist constituencies in the Democratic Party’s base.
Political Correctness in national security affairs is the autoimmune disease of our body politic.
Mexico drug gangs turn weapons on army – latimes.com ( Hat tip to Morgan)
In coordinated attacks, gunmen in armored cars and equipped with grenade launchers fought army troops this week and attempted to trap some of them in two military bases by cutting off access and blocking highways, a new tactic by Mexico’s organized criminals.In taking such aggressive action, the traffickers have shown that they are not reluctant to challenge the army head-on and that they possess good intelligence on where the army is, how it moves and when it operates.
The bigger question looms, how will this impact the sovereignty of the United States to secure our borders and ensure tranquility?
….When I read each day that the cancer of lawlessness gains control like a reverse “Oil Spot Strategy” right on our southern border; and then read about this and this from the President of a country where we are spending our most precious resource to secure.
ADDENDUM II. –NEW! (hat tip to “The Warlord”):
CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO — A cross-border drug gang born in the prison cells of Texas has evolved into a sophisticated paramilitary killing machine that U.S. and Mexican officials suspect is responsible for thousands of assassinations here, including the recent ambush and slaying of three people linked to the U.S. consulate.
The heavily tattooed Barrio Azteca gang members have long operated across the border in El Paso, dealing drugs and stealing cars. But in Ciudad Juarez, the organization now specializes in contract killing for the Juarez drug cartel. According to U.S. law enforcement officers, it may have been involved in as many as half of the 2,660 killings in the city in the past year.
Officials on both sides of the border have watched as the Aztecas honed their ability to locate targets, stalk them and finally strike in brazen ambushes involving multiple chase cars, coded radio communications, coordinated blocking maneuvers and disciplined firepower by masked gunmen in body armor. Afterward, the assassins vanish, back to safe houses in the Juarez barrios or across the bridge to El Paso.
“Within their business of killing, they have surveillance people, intel people and shooters. They have a degree of specialization,” said David Cuthbertson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso division. “They work day in and day out, with a list of people to kill, and they get proficient at it.”
The special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in El Paso, Joseph Arabit, said, “Our intelligence indicates that they kill frequently for a hundred dollars.”
The mayor of Juarez, José Reyes Ferriz, said that the city is honeycombed with safe houses, armories and garages with stolen cars for the assassins’ use. The mayor received a death threat recently in a note left beside a pig’s head in the city.