Tags: Mexico | drugs | battle | cartels

Most Mexicans Turn Blind Eye to Drug Cartels

Wednesday, 30 Dec 2009 10:04 AM

San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico -- The mayor had good news: A notorious thug from one of the drug cartels had been found killed. Hector "El Negro" Saldana would no longer menace the people of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico.

Trouble was, Saldana's body hadn't yet been discovered when Mayor Mauricio Fernandez made the announcement with a flourish at his swearing-in ceremony in October.

How did Fernandez know about Saldana's demise hours before investigators found the body stuffed in a car hundreds of miles away in Mexico City?

Without explicitly admitting that he had ordered the killing, Fernandez eventually acknowledged forming "intelligence squads" to "cleanse" his jurisdiction of undesirables such as "El Negro," who by all accounts kidnapped and extorted with impunity and flaunted his untouchable status by driving around in a yellow Lamborghini.

The top judicial official in the region praised Fernandez's crime-busting initiative as "fabulous." Days passed before any senior government figure criticized the mayor.

The hit on "El Negro" raised a nightmarish prospect for the nation: Had the government's war on the cartels brought Mexico to the point where vigilantism was sanctioned? And were ordinary Mexicans somehow complicit?

"We've all paid off a cop, bribed our way to a degree, been afraid to denounce the pusher at the taxi stand," said Marcos Fastlicht, a prominent Mexico City businessman who is trying to rally citizens into collective action against crime.

"We are all born into this environment and we have not been strong, or courageous, enough. We've all helped this country fall apart."

But many Mexicans would argue that it doesn't pay to get involved. Governments have long discouraged or even punished those who speak out. Given that legions of police officers and politicians have been bought off by the drug capos, it's safer to stay on the sidelines.

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San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico -- The mayor had good news: A notorious thug from one of the drug cartels had been found killed. Hector "El Negro" Saldana would no longer menace the people of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico.
Mexico,drugs,battle,cartels
311
2009-04-30
 
 

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