Mexican bloodbath raises fears in U.S

Naco and its border area was one of my primary areas of responsibility when I was a police officer in Cochise County, Arizona.  I also spent much time working with police officers in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico.  Working narcotics along the border was quite dangerous back then.  It’s hard to imagine how much more dangerous it has now become.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but can you think of a more inopportune time to be pushing for this latest immigration “amnesty” bill?  Or NAFTA?  Or North American Union?  Or Washington’s continued refusal to protect our borders?

Please say a prayer for those people living on BOTH sides of the border, where illegal alien and drug smuggling into the U.S. overshadows and affects nearly every facet of those folks’ lives. 

Please remember those murdered officers and their families in Cananea.  There is an old drug cartel saying to police officers and government officials trying to survive in Mexico:  “Oro o plomo?”  Translated, it literally means, “Gold or lead?”  The cartels will pay the officials in U.S. dollars (oro) for their assistance in smuggling and “looking the other way.”  But if the officials try to do the right thing and uphold the law, the cartels pay them with death (plomo/lead).  I submit the officers from Cananea were paid in plomo.  I’ve known many upright, honest, fearless Mexican officers who refused the offer of oro and were then paid off in plomo.

The cartels’ violence isn’t limited to the officers and government officials, either.  Their murders extend to newspaper publishers and reporters, who dare to expose the cartels’ members and their actions.

I wonder when Washington and Mexico City will wake up and deal with the issues on our border?  Perhaps when the lion is at the steps of the White House and the Presidential Palace?  Are our leaders really this naieve or is there something more sinister driving their inaction and ineffectiveness?  Corruption is as old as the human species.  Let us not also be so naieve as to think corruption only affects those in the lower rungs of government.

Bill Breen


Next time you hear of someone making light of the “victimless” crime of drug use, think of those on both sides of the border who chose plomo because it was the right thing to do, because they took an oath and took it seriously.  We need to remember what’s driving all this violence:  drug use and exploiting cheap labor.  “It’s always about the money.”



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Friday, May 18, 2007

Mexican bloodbath raises fears in U.S.
Arizona towns alarmed by rise in attacks, rumor convoy headed north

Posted: May 18, 2007
7:37 p.m. Eastern

© 2007

A bloodbath just south of the Mexican border has alarmed neighboring Arizona towns that have nervously monitored a rise in violence in the Mexican state of Sonora the past two months.

Mexican police killed 15 armed assailants in a fierce gun battle Wednesday after tracking a group that killed four policemen, leading to fears this morning that an armed outlaw convoy was headed to the U.S. border.

About 40 assailants apparently related to Mexico’s powerful drug gangs, drove in a convoy of up to 15 vehicles into the town of Cananea, 20 miles south of the U.S. border, to seize the policemen Wednesday. Mexican state police confronted the gunmen in the mountains 60 miles south of Cananea and reportedly killed 15 of the gunmen.

Today, meanwhile, rumors spread to Naco, Ariz., that its sister city of Naco, Sonora, was threatened with a possible imminent attack from outlaw gunmen who were headed their way.

The Mexican town reportedly closed schools, businesses and city hall.

Jesus Rodriguez, spokesman for the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector told WND the report turned out to be “bogus.” He said border agents have been informed of the attacks in Mexico but have not been under any special orders or heightened alert.

Brian Levin, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, said officers at the Naco, Ariz., port of entry are aware of the situation, but the border is open and operating normally.

There also were reports of a second narco hit squad entering the town of Cuitaca, 10 miles west of Cananea, the Sierra Vista paper said. Local radio stations issued an advisory from city officials to remain at home, according to the Mexican paper El Imparcial.

Officials in the border town of Nogales, Ariz., say they want to see measures taken to ensure the violence does not migrate across the border, reported.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely,” Mayor Ignacio J. Barraza said yesterday. “I have asked that the Nogales Police Department prepare a briefing of what has transpired in the last few hours and over the past month.”

City officials in Agua Prieta, Mexico – which borders Douglas, Ariz. – were on very high alert, surrounded by police and soldiers, Douglas Mayor Ray Borane told the Herald.

Borane said his officials also were taking a similar cautious attitude.

After news of the Cananea incident, Borane traveled immediately to Agua Prieta for a briefing from Agua Prieta Mayor Antonia Cuadras, who later traveled to Douglas for a meeting at Borane’s office.

Borane said he plans to ask for help from the state of Arizona “to provide additional funding for local law enforcement needs.”

In Cananea Wednesday, the bullet-riddled bodies of the four policemen were found on the side of a road, along with 50 spent cartridges, hours after they were seized.

A total of five policemen were killed, said Sonora state Gov. Eduardo Bours, but he did not specify how the fifth officer died.

Another incident took place Wednesday in the Sonora state capital Hermosillo, where unidentified assailants tossed a hand grenade from a passing car at the offices of the newspaper Cambio, causing minor damage.

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