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The Mexican government, like the government on this side of the border, also shares responsibility for the growth and the diversification of criminal enterprises centered on smuggling. For the Mexican elite has encouraged its citizens to violate its neighbor’s laws by supporting a mass migration northward as a safety-valve to protect their own parochial interests. The result of this dual undermining of the rule of law is a growing threat to American security and a threat to very survival of the Mexican state.
Terrorist threats, the growth of criminal enterprises and corruption of our own institutions are all clear and present dangers that no one can deny. Another problem that the United States would face, if a worst case scenario were to unfold is the influx of thousands of Mexicans seeking refuge in the United States. That is what happened after 1910 during the Mexican Revolution. Such a situation would create a humanitarian problem on our side of the border that would divert American attention and resources from pressing problems at home.
FP: Tell us a bit about the bravest woman in Mexico, Marisol Valles Garcia.
Custred: The case of Marisol Valles Garcia is both an inspiration and an indication of how bad things are in Mexico, especially in that part of the country on our southern border. Marisol Valles has just become the police chief of a small town in the state of Chihuahua, one of the most violent states in the country. She is not a seasoned police officer. She is student of criminology who took the job when everyone else turned down it down out of fear of the cartels; and with good reason. For example, a local mayor from a town near hers was murdered last June. And just last week-end another local mayor, 59-year old Rito Grado Serrano and his 37-year old son Rogoberto, were murdered in a house in Ciudad Juarez where they were hiding. Juarez lies just across the border from El Paso, Texas and is known as the Murder Capital of the World. Marisol Valles told CNN-Español, “It’s like all human beings. There will always be fear, but what we want to achieve in our municipality is tranquility and security.” If a worst case scenario were to develop in Mexico, perhaps their northern neighbor would, for its own self-defense, be the only power able to achieve that goal.
FP: What has Obama not done to face this crisis and what recommendations do you have for the U.S. government to face it?
Custred: Incursions into the United States by armed Mexican police and military units are well known all along the border. They have been reported by local news outlets and have been the subject of congressional testimony by border authorities. The Department of Homeland Security is also well aware of the problem. Sarah Carter of the Inland Daily Bulletin revealed a DHS report, accompanied by a map, reporting 216 incursions by Mexican military units from 1997-2006. Also, the Tucson sector of the United States Border Patrol issued plastic wallet cards to their agents warning of such incursions and informing the agents that the Mexican troops are well armed and well trained; advice to the agents was essentially to keep out of their way.
A document from United States Border Protection, titled “BorderStat Violence FY (fiscal year) 2008 Year in Review”, reports that violence along the border, including assaults on customs and Border Patrol personnel, went from 37 in 2007 to 147 in 2008, an increase of 359%. This pattern reflects the escalating violence just south of the line. The report was made public only when the watch dog group Judicial Watch sued the government under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain its release. Judicial Watch subsequently posted the document on its website. We have no published up-dates (as far as I known) but the situation is unlikely to have gotten any better. Given the escalating pattern of violence south of the border, it has most certainly gotten worse.
A recent case indicates that it has. David Hartley was jet-skiing with his wife Tiffany on Lake Falcon between Zapata County Texas and Mexico when gunmen approached them from the Mexican side and shot Harley who slipped into the lake and was lost. He is presumed dead, killed by members of a drug cartel presumably because he got too close to an area the cartel had staked out for its operations. At first, Mexican authorities would have nothing to do with the case. Not only did they not search for the victim’s body, they even suggested that his wife may have made up the story or was perhaps somehow implicated in his disappearance. After interviewing her for eight hours they finally began an investigation. Shortly afterwards the head of the Mexican investigator, Commander Rolando Flores, was delivered to the authorities in a suitcase, a sign that the border was the cartel’s jurisdiction, not that of the Mexican state, and a warning to American authorities to get out of the way.
All of this is known to the public and to federal authorities, yet President Obama’s attention is directed not towards defending American sovereignty and safe-guarding American citizens, but rather in trying to overturn a perfectly legal Arizona law that would enlist local and state law enforcement in helping federal authorities to curb illegal immigration, a massive influx which provides cover for possible terrorist infiltration and the safe passage of criminal elements that are spreading out across the entire country.
Obama’s only interest in the border is narrowly and cynically political; a means of mobilizing his Latino base in the face of mounting national opposition to his policies. All this is played out against an ideological backdrop in which sovereignty and citizenship are either of low priority or even denigrated in the thinking and in the actions of those now in control of the federal government.
The Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security, however, are aware of the deteriorating situation in Mexico and of the threat to the United States. According to a source in the military, those agencies are also aware of what the military might be called upon to do both here and in Mexico if a worst case scenario should unfold. This, however, is still low on their list of priorities, compounded by the kind of confusion and rivalry among the services that we saw before Nine Eleven. We can only hope that a worst case scenario, which looks more likely every day, does not in fact materialize.
FP: Glynn Custred, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
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