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At first glance, while highly disturbing, these local drug disputes might not seem an issue relevant to the U.S. Yet the U.S. and Mexico share a 1,933-mile border that 350 million people cross legally every year, making it the busiest border crossing in the world according to the Migration Policy Institute. In addition, Mexico is the U.S.’s second largest export market and its third biggest import supplier. Though illegal immigration flows from Mexico are at their lowest levels since the 1970s, this number still totals well over 200,000. (They peaked at 1.6 million in 2000.) In order to tackle major domestic issues such as immigration, drug policy, and crime, the U.S. must cooperate with the Mexican government; however, instability in Mexico threatens the success of U.S. initiatives and interest in the region.
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A Mexican Meth Gang Wages a Holy Drug War Photo Essays TIME With El Sicario we take a deep dark turn toward the underbelly of the Mexican drug wars Border sage and drug war critic Charles Bowden and translator and
The lines between state-sanctioned violence and criminal warfare in Mexico are now more blurred than ever. But this climate of brutal repression is a routine aspect of law enforcement and daily life for Mexican civilians, who have seen more than 80,000 casualties of drug-related violence since 2006, according to Human Rights Watch. The disappearance of the 43 students is far from an isolated incident, yet the blatant inhumanity of the act and publicly recognized complicity of state and local police strikes a different chord for Mexican citizens spanning the entire socioeconomic spectrum.
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On September 25th, 2014, the students were abducted in the city of Iguala while on their way to solicit donations and commandeer buses for a demonstration. Operating under orders from the city mayor, local police ambushed the students and opened fire, killing three before turning over the rest to the Guerreros Unidos (United Warriors), a local drug gang. The cartel led the remaining students to a nearby garbage dump and massacred them all. Though Mexico’s attorney general alleges that the drug gang incinerated the students’ bodies and dumped their ashes in the San Juan River, an independent Argentine forensic team has not confirmed the Mexican government’s reconstruction of events. Indeed, this mistrust may be well placed, given that independent investigators and rights groups have linked the Mexican president’s administration to the atrocity; a Proceso magazine investigative report recently revealed that the federal government had been tracking the students since their departure and that state security forces were present during the ambush.
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While President Enrique Peña Nieto, government officials, and federal and local police wage the Drug War on Mexico’s streets, Mexican youth and digital activists are fighting a different battle online. Their weapons are not AK-47’s or Black Hawk helicopters, but Twitter handles, videos, statuses, and hashtags. What started as an outraged response to the disappearance and massacre of 43 teenage students from the Ayotzinapa teachers training college has evolved into widespread condemnation of the mass murders, kidnappings, and corruption that reign in Mexico with impunity.
Jews in the American Labor Movement: By Bennett Muraskin
In recent years, the Mexican cartels’ methods of distribution in the U.S. have changed as well. Cartels now rarely outsource drug sales to local dealers, instead choosing to send their own operators to do such work themselves. Because these immigrants have fewer local connections and far deeper ties to the criminal organization, they are more willing to use violence to achieve their business ends. As cartel-related crime has escalated, the violence begun to creep out from major cities and into rural America. In recent years, Oregon has become a prime spot for drug trafficking and cartel-related violence with traffickers using the Interstate-5 corridor for drug runs from California to Washington State, and even into Canada. A similar situation exists on the East Coast’s Interstate-95 corridor. When urban law enforcement crack down on organized crime groups, cartels simply move to more rural and suburban locations to continue their work undisturbed.