“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This week in Mexico

State Department issues travel alert for Mexico border region
New Mexico Business Weekly - NMBW Staff

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for northern Mexico citing increased violence in cities such as Tijuana, Juarez and Chihuahua City.
The missive urges U.S. citizens to be alert when visiting the border region, although it also notes that Mexican citizens are "overwhelmingly the victims of these crimes."
The violent criminal activity is being fueled by a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the narcotics trade along the border, said the State Department. Attacks are aimed primarily at members of these organizations, Mexican police forces, criminal justice officials and journalists.
However, foreign visitors and residents also have been victims of kidnappings and homicides in the border region. Dozens of U.S. citizens were kidnapped and/or murdered in Tijuana in 2007. Public shoot-outs have occurred during daylight hours near shopping areas, according to the alert. There is no evidence, however, that U.S. citizens are being targeted because of their nationality.
Gov. Bill Richardson recently sent a letter to President George W. Bush urging him to extend Operation Jump Start, the National Guard deployment along the U.S.-Mexico border. It is scheduled to end on June 15. There are 284 National Guard troops deployed along the New Mexico border. They are to withdraw in conjunction with the addition of 6,000 new Border Patrol agents, but those agents are not yet in the field and Richardson said he fears that will leave the New Mexico border vulnerable, particularly in light of increased violence in Chihuahua.
The State Department alert supersedes another dated October 24, 2007. This latest alert expires on October 15, 2008.

Tijuana doctors protest violence

Fri Apr 18, 7:22 PM ET
TIJUANA, Mexico - Doctors in the Mexican border city of Tijuana have walked off their jobs for 12 hours to protest a wave of kidnappings against colleagues.
About 300 doctors still wearing their white medical robes are holding a demonstration outside state government offices on Friday.
Tijuana doctors association president Jose Patino says at least one doctor is kidnapped each week for ransom in the border city across from San Diego.
Pediatrician Daniel Trujillo says the walkout and protest are to pressure authorities to do more to stem the kidnappings.

Mexico agents detain border police chief
By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press Writer Fri Apr 18, 4:13 PM ET
Mexico's military performed checks on all city police weapons in the border town of Reynosa on Friday after federal officials detained the police chief for questioning about possible links to drug traffickers.
Reynosa Police Chief Juan Jose Muniz Salinas was whisked off to Mexico City by federal authorities late Thursday for questioning on "evidence that links him to organized crime and fomenting drug trafficking," the federal attorney general's office said in a statement.
City officials said soldiers were conducting a routine check of city police weapons in Reynosa, which is near the Texas city of McAllen. Such inspections have been carried out in the past to determine if any of the weapons are unregistered or linked to crimes.
But Miguel Angel Garcia Ahedo, the city council secretary, said in a news release that the detention had not affected city operations.
"The city is calm, and we are operating normally with police patrols in all parts of the city, in coordination state and federal authorities," he said.
Federal prosecutors have less than four days to either charge Muniz Salinas, release him or ask a judge to place him under house arrest without formal charges.
Last month, soldiers arrested nine police officers from Ciudad Juarez, across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas, for allegedly carrying drugs in their patrol cars.
The Gulf cartel is based in Tamaulipas state, where Reynosa is located.

From the LATimes, On the border with Michael Chertoff
This month, making use of the powers given to him by Congress, Chertoff announced that his department would bypass federal laws to speed construction of 370 miles of fence, angering environmentalists and border groups.
From the Dallas Morning News, Environmental Groups Challenge Border Plan

DALLAS -- The U.S. Supreme Court may get a chance to join the fractious debate over building fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

A legal challenge by two environmental groups seeking to limit enhanced Department of Homeland Security powers to suspend more than 30 laws to build the fence is gathering support in Congress.

Mexican helicopter crash kills 11 soldiers
Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:45am IST
By Miguel Garcia Tinoco
URUAPAN, Mexico (Reuters) - A Mexican army helicopter crashed during anti-narcotics operations in western Mexico on Friday, killing 11 soldiers, local authorities said.
The helicopter went down at around midday in a rural area in Michoacan state, a major front in the government's army-led war against drug cartels, Michoacan's state attorney general's office said, without giving the cause of the crash.
"There are 11 men dead, including a colonel, and one soldier was injured. We do not yet know the cause," a spokesman said.
The helicopter wreckage lay on the ground in several chunks, surrounded by dozens of police. A child at the scene told Reuters he saw it plummet out of the sky and hit a tree.
President Felipe Calderon has sent thousands of troops to Michoacan and other hot spots further north along the U.S.-Mexico border to combat violent drug cartels who are fighting over smuggling routes.
Some 900 people have been killed in drug violence this year, and 2,500 were murdered in 2007, including soldiers.
Drug gangs have become increasingly brazen, engaging in open air gunbattles with troops and federal police. The powerful Gulf Cartel this week openly advertised for army troops to desert the army and join its squad of Zeta hit men.

1 comment:

  1. Build that fence. Lay a minefield if you want, would be ok with me. I don't want our land to turn into this.

    Take your vacation in America.