Mexico Drug War Spills Across US Border

Tuesday, 14 Jun 2011 06:34 PM

By Jim Meyers

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An eye-opening cover story in Newsmax magazine takes an in-depth look at the bloody drug wars raging along the treacherous U.S.-Mexico border and their devastating impact on ordinary Americans.

In a recent exclusive interview with Newsmax, former Mexican President Vicente Fox said bluntly his nation was at "war" with drug cartels.

“Everybody’s trying to deny that we’re going through a war, but that’s what it is," Fox told Newsmax.

“The Collapse of Mexico — Its Civil War Comes to America” discloses that the battle between ruthless Mexican drug cartels threatens to turn America’s southern neighbor into a failed nation-state — and has spilled deeper into U.S. territory than anyone has imagined.

The drug wars have claimed nearly 40,000 lives since 2006 in a nightmare of beheadings, mass graves, kidnappings, and endemic corruption at the highest levels of Mexican society, as cartels rake in an astronomical $12 billion a year in illicit revenue.

Newsmax spent two months conducting more than 20 interviews during visits to border areas in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, and found that despite the administration’s reassurances, Mexico’s drug cartels have penetrated deep into our nation’s heartland, striking fear in ordinary Americans.

Editor’s Note: Get the Full Report on the Borderline Battle, Click Here Now.

Even a Government Accountability Office official concedes that the United States can prevent or interrupt illegal entry along only 129 miles of our 1,954-mile southern border.

The must-read “Collapse of Mexico” report explores one couple’s deadly confrontation with Mexican smugglers, the truth behind President Obama’s border security rhetoric, the most worrisome sign of Mexico’s escalating chaos, and much more.

Pinal County Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu praised Newsmax's journalism saying the special report  "on the violence that ruthless Mexican cartels have brought into the border regions of the United States is invaluable. They are telling the real story about what's going on near and on the border, the story that the mainstream media just hasn't been willing to report."

Here are several excerpts from the cover story:

No one has to convince Pat and Pennee Murphree that the chaos on the border is spilling over into the United States. A few years ago, the Arizona couple in their 70s retired from their cotton-farming ranch in Maricopa, and built a dream home near the south end of the Sawtooth Mountain range, about 50 miles from the border.

At first, things seemed idyllic there. But gradually, they grew more aware of the traffic taking place all around them. Border crossers would knock on their door asking for food and water. Their fences would get knocked down by the trucks running with blacked-out headlights in the dark. Trucks loaded with illegals would caravan down dirt roads. When a prominent rancher, Rob Krentz, was shot and killed in March 2010, it was a shock to everyone in Arizona’s agricultural community.

But the situation didn’t really hit home for the Murphrees until a few months ago, when a neighbor alerted Pat to a spotter living in a cave on a mountainside about three-quarters of a mile away at an elevation about 800 feet above his house. An experienced hunter, Pat set up a spotter scope in his dining room. For days, he watched as the cartel operative conducted his surveillance. He even saw two other men arrive to deliver supplies.

Despite concerns the cartel could retaliate, he called the Border Patrol and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department. A few days later, they arrested the drug scout and took him off the mountain. The suspect told police his car had broken down, and he had decided to live out in the desert for a few days.

Now every day, the Murphrees wonder if they’re being watched. They frequently carry guns, and the spotter scope has become a permanent fixture in their dining room. Every day, they use it to scan the mountain that towers above them. The beautiful mountain they chose for their retirement location instead has become a source of constant concern. It never occurred to them they could have this problem some 50 miles inside the U.S. border.

“It’s our own country, and we’re being invaded,” Pat Murphree says. “We pay our taxes . . . right now, you might say we’re protecting ourselves. And our government ought to be protecting us.”

***
The cartels run human trafficking with the same casual brutality they exhibit in the drug trade. Migrants heading north are encouraged to pay the cartel “coyotes” for safe passage. Getting caught in the desert without their protection is a really bad idea, and rapes and killings are common.

Smugglers crowd the illegals into trucks, throwing away their backpacks so they can stand shoulder to shoulder. Locals call them “French fry loads.”
Sheriffs say those who slow the group down — women, children — are left to die in the desert. And just as rival gangs, or “rip crews” as they’re called, try to steal the drug loads that come across, they also kidnap defenseless illegals at gunpoint. They hold them hostage in “drop houses” until they can persuade loved ones back in Mexico to raise another $2,000 or $3,000, in order to gain their freedom.

All of which calls into question the curious notion that maintaining a porous border with Mexico is an act of social justice and humanitarian good will.
Almost everywhere along the border, residents are gradually accepting a “new normal,” where the old assumptions of personal security and the rule of law no longer prevail. In Arizona, retirees open up their morning papers and routinely read of high-speed police chases and rolling gun battles between the drug gangs. These firefights occur not in Nogales or Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez, but north of Tucson, about 35 miles from the nation’s sixth largest city, Phoenix.

***
Fueled by a seemingly endless stream of money, the drug gangs appear to be growing more sophisticated with each passing month. In March, for example, illegals disguised as U.S. Marines, wearing desert camouflage uniforms and riding in a white van with military tags, tried to pass through the Campo checkpoint in California. Military uniforms seem appropriate considering that the cartels are believed to possess enough weapons to equip an army, including helicopters, armored vehicles, sniper rifles, shoulder-fired missiles, grenade launchers, and plastic explosives.

Nor are they content to ply their deadly trade only in North America. Cartel operatives were recently arrested in several overseas countries, a sure sign they’re expanding their business abroad.

Some analysts worry the cartels may be interacting with Hezbollah, the terrorist organization nurtured by Iran and Syria.

Michael Braun, former chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Agency, tells Newsmax, “Late last year, the Mexican federal police arrested an alleged Hezbollah cell head who was running a recruiting cell” along the U.S. border. According to Braun, the United States has already arrested a number of Hezbollah operatives it believes were smuggled into this country by the Mexican drug cartels.

Law officers have received alerts from intelligence sources warning that the cartels may start booby-trapping their loads with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the bombs that terrorists use to devastating effect against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. That concern grew less abstract on Easter Sunday.

An IED was discovered along Highway 77 near Brownsville, Texas. It took police about three hours to “render the device safe,” and an investigation is underway. All this underlines the 911 Commission’s worst-case scenario: Terrorists sneaking across the southern border to launch an attack, possibly using WMD.

Editor’s Note: Want to Know More? Get This Month’s Issue of Newsmax Magazine for Free.




© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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