Mexico Gangs Steal Aid From Hurricane Victims

Friday, 25 Oct 2013 09:14 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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Gangs are preventing victims of Hurricane Manuel in southern Mexico from receiving desperately needed assistance, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported.
The Tribune, citing an account in the Mexican newspaper Reforma, reported that some of the worst problems occurred in Guerrero state, where gunmen stole relief workers’ SUVs, forcing workers to return to headquarters on foot.
More than 100 people were killed and damage to buildings and infrastructure was extensive in Guerrero, the Mexican state hardest hit by the storm. Dozens have been reporting missing as well.
Officials said they were unable to deliver relief assistance to 122 communities in 22 cities in Guerrero, according to the Tribune. 
While Constantino Gonzalez, deputy director of Guerrero’s emergency management office, provided no details about criminals impeding aid delivery to hurricane victims, he said damaged roads and poor weather had not hampered the delivery.
Drug traffickers are active in southern Mexico, in particular the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) drug cartel.
The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that drug cartel activity has spurred record-breaking numbers of Mexicans to seek asylum in the United States, with more than 23,000 fleeing here in the first nine months of this year.
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