Don't Neglect the Violence Along the U.S. Border

In Mexico, drug gangs are increasingly trying to get their message across. Drug gangs are now making death threats to the media and those who inform others of the gangs' actions through social networking. American border patrol security has heightened along the southern border to keep these problems from flowing over, but that is where most U.S. involvement stops. The problems that have begun in Mexico but are now finding their way to the U.S., and it is time we do something about it. To counter this, America must increase its military presence along the border to stem the tide of violence that is beginning to sweep into the U.S.

In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, tortured bodies were found hanging with place cards saying, “This is going to happen to all of the internet busybodies.” The cards were signed with a “Z,” allegedly symbolizing the note was from the Mexican Zeta drug gang who is in command of Nuevo Laredo. The Mexican media has learned to censor itself when it comes to reporting gang violence, as many reporters have been killed and news stations attacked over the years. For the general public however, the growth of social media has meant that an increasing number of people are utilizing tools such as Twitter to inform neighbors of possible gang-related violence. Some public tweets and messages prove to be correct and save lives, but others are false and only rattle fear and create frenzy in communities. Under a current law in that city, those who create a public disturbance because of a tweet with false information are placed in prison for a maximum of 30 years. This rule is absurd. If civilians hear information that there might be an attack in their community, it is their right to inform everyone around them of this without being punished if the information is incorrect.

After foreign military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, America should also consider intervening against the immediate danger along its own borders.  

Mexico contains brutal gangs that have begun kidnapping Americans for ransom, yet we still do little to nothing about it. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, kidnappings of Americans by Mexican gangs quadrupled in 2010. There is no difference between members of a “gang” and “terrorists;” they are both part of an organized group of criminals. Terrorists such as Al-Qaeda may be able to carry out large-scale attacks like 9/11, but gangs in Mexico do the same thing to our and their citizens, just on a smaller scale.  

The Mexican police have failed to work against this violence for a number of reasons. Some officers are on the cartel payroll and corrupt. In June, 10 Mexican police officers, including a police chief, were charged with protecting the Mexican Zeta drug gang.

Americans, such as those in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and throughout all border states are not safe. The U.S. has neglected its own citizens along the border where violence spills over, yet we find it of high priority to help regimes in other nations who assist our economy in no way. The U.S. military needs to be strengthened again and the National Guard should be assisting Border Patrol units along the U.S./Mexico border to keep drug cartel violence from coming north. Once the border is secured by technology and American boots on the ground, it will be time to aid those in Mexico who need the help of a nation who harbors families of those being attacked by many shades of violence in what is now a cartel ruled Mexico. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons