In this Christmas week, there is little peace in the world.
The United States is fighting two wars. The Korean Peninsula has been a tinder box close to exploding into a new war. The Middle East is not any closer to peace and stability now than it has been in recent decades.
Closer to home we have a revolution within a revolution in Cuba, as the communist regime that rules the island cannot make ends meet and is becoming a little bit pregnant with capitalism to see if it can solve its economic woes. Hugo Chávez in Venezuela is desperately grabbing on to everything around him before a new National Assembly in January tries to curb his totalitarian tendencies. Colombia still has a simmering guerrilla problem to deal with. And Mexico may present the biggest threat of all to the United States.
For the sake of clarity, let us avoid the issue of immigration in outlining the problem that violence in Mexico presents to the United States. This has to do with drugs, with an internal civil strife that by November had already killed more than 10,000 people in the Aztec nation, according to government officials. This has to do with American appetite for drugs, its willingness to sell the most advanced weapons to the Mexican drug cartels, and the government’s inability to control the border.
Again, this is about controlling the border for security reasons, not for immigration purposes.
Already Guatemala has sent its troops to its northern border with Mexico as the Zetas drug cartel has based new operations in the northern part of that Central American nation.
In the United States, we have hundreds of cities where the drug trade is controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Mexican drug cartels. Atlanta has become its central distribution center for the southeast part of the country.
A rancher and a National Guardsman were killed recently on the U.S. side of the border. Their murders are unsolved, although authorities suspect the Mexican drug cartels were involved in both cases.
So far, the United States has been lucky. Most of the violence has remained on the Mexican side of the border. Mexican officials with help from American authorities have recently been able to kill many of the leaders of several drug cartels.
But how long before the cartels cross the border, infiltrate gangs in our cities and bring their violence to this country? It’s only a matter of time, unless for the sake of security — not immigration — the United States government becomes serious about controlling our southern border.
Guillermo is a veteran newsman with experience in print and broadcast journalism in South Florida and throughout Latin America. He won the Inter American Press Association’s Daily Gleaner Award for editorial commentary on Latin America.
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Posted by: Conrado Garcia Jamin