Mexican drug cartels make Phoenix #2 in world for kidnappings

posted at 9:01 am on February 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

According to ABC News, the use of kidnapping by Mexican drug cartels for ransom and revenge has spread beyond the Rio Grande and into Arizona — and the federal government has done nothing to stop it.  Phoenix has become the second-worst city in the world for kidnappings, right behind Mexico City, with brutal dismemberments for those abductees who do not get ransomed quickly enough:

In what officials caution is now a dangerous and even deadly crime wave, Phoenix, Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America, with more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City and over 370 cases last year alone. But local authorities say Washington, DC is too obsessed with al Qaeda terrorists to care about what is happening in their own backyard right now.

“We’re in the eye of the storm,” Phoenix Police Chief Andy Anderson told ABC News of the violent crimes and ruthless tactics spurred by Mexico’s drug cartels that have expanded business across the border. “If it doesn’t stop here, if we’re not able to fix it here and get it turned around, it will go across the nation,” he said.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown warned that as the U.S. government focuses so intently on Islamic extremist groups, other types of terrorists — those involved with the same kidnappings, extortion and drug cartels that are sweeping Phoenix — are overlooked.

I understand about limited resources, but there simply is no excuse for government inaction on this front.  First, the border should have been secured years ago to curtail the kind of access that the drug cartels have to American territory.  Had we built the border wall, much of this kind of activity would have disappeared.  Perhaps Jerry Brown should be asking his Democratic colleagues in Congress why they’ve deprioritized that project, passed in 2005 and still barely even started.

In fact, if Congress wants a stimulus for infrastructure, the border wall would seem like a perfect project.  It would employ people, improve national security, and help protect Phoenix from a plague of drug cartels.  It will bolster our security infrastructure better than golf carts at the Pentagon, condoms for teenagers, and federal health care boards dictating treatment limits to doctors.

But Brown is right that this kind of activity is a form of terrorism inflicted on an American community by foreign forces.  They differ from AQ in that the drug cartels don’t plan to kill Americans on a large scale for political purposes, but the kidnapping, ransom, maiming, and murder of Phoenix residents for profit and/or revenge still qualifies as terrorism, regardless of the motivation behind it.  The primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect the nation from outside attack — and if what ABC reports is accurate, it’s failing miserably in Phoenix.

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Is it just completely irrelevant, and not even worth noting in this post, that the police in Phoenix reportedly say the abductions are of drug cartel members and their families, by drug cartel members?

Ed, it’s come to the point that, when I see your byline on a blog post, I immediately suspect that information I consider pertinent has been left out.

Kralizec on February 12, 2009 at 11:10 PM

They differ from AQ in that the drug cartels don’t plan to kill Americans on a large scale for political purposes,

I’ll differ. Of course it’s for political purposes, and the scale might be small now, but if nothing is done it will grow. However, the answer is simple – end the drug war (I know, it’s been working so well, hasn’t it?). With no cash to fight over (the economic downturn has the hyenas eating each other over the scraps that are available, something here on the border with Juarez has been happening, oh, for as long as the recession has been recessing) the bastids can quit fighting.

TinMan13 on February 12, 2009 at 11:52 PM

Article 1 — Section 10.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

Which part of illegals invading Arizona to kidnap US citizens in NOT imminent danger?

I bet a Governor Arpaio would have the balls to protect the people of Arizona by invoking this section of the constitution.

Someone should — shut down every thing that moves withing 50 yards of that boarder! Not even a jackrabbit comes north.

LifeTrek on February 12, 2009 at 11:59 PM

No constitutional amendment would be needed since no “illegal drug” amendment has been passed.

baldilocks on February 12, 2009 at 10:18 PM

I was referring to the following exchange pertaining to federal jurisdiction vs that of the state in oversight and regulatory activity. I may be wrong but you made a later comment about people pretending to be federalists but not understanding what it meant, and I was under the impression you felt these type activities should all be handled at the state level only.

That would be a nightmare of redundancy, logistics, turf battles, and cooperation. Without a central gathering point for data, public health becomes an issue.

a capella on February 12, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Then have the debate and change the Constitution… don’t just ignore it.

The problem is that once the Constitution is ignored for a “Good Cause”, it creates the precedent to ignore it for less laudible aims… like.. oh… Federal Gun Control Laws?

Romeo13 on February 12, 2009 at 6:07 PM

a capella on February 13, 2009 at 12:18 AM

Is heroin use OK?

Johan Klaus on February 12, 2009 at 9:17 AM

It’s your emaciated body, you do whatchu want!

Sign of the Dollar on February 13, 2009 at 1:09 AM

After we legalize heroin, we can do the same for PCP, LSD, meth, morphine, cocaine and ecstasy.

Bishop on February 12, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Now you’re talkin’, that sounds like my kinda party. Can we legalize prostitution while we’re at it?

Sign of the Dollar on February 13, 2009 at 1:15 AM

Legalize pot, kill invaders. I don’t see a problem here.

Spiritk9 on February 13, 2009 at 2:26 AM

Is it just completely irrelevant, and not even worth noting in this post, that the police in Phoenix reportedly say the abductions are of drug cartel members and their families, by drug cartel members?

It is at least partially relevant. What we are seeing is the customs and habits of Mexicans that make Mexico such a crappy place to live – lawlessness, bribery, hostage-taking, etc – moving into America.

When conservatives talk about assimilation of immigrants into our culture – that which is most definitely not happening with illegal Mexicans – we are talking about everything from learning the English language to embracing American values, including the rule of law.

Most of the world, currently and throughout history, has been a hellhole. What we have in America is rare and incredible; stories like this highlight how close we are to throwing away an amazing society for the god of political correctness and multiculturalism.

Roxeanne de Luca on February 13, 2009 at 2:38 AM

I understand about limited resources, but there simply is no excuse for government inaction on this front.

Interesting how there is no mention in ed’s comments of mccain. This is the issue that can be seized upon to get rid of mccain finally. He’s still talking amnesty and doesn’t even take care of his own.

peacenprosperity on February 13, 2009 at 5:56 AM

Now that the FBI can’t listen in to anybody on the phone (en español) how on earth are they going to catch these guys?

To eavesdrop in English press 1. To eavesdrop in spanish oprima el dos.

Mojave Mark on February 13, 2009 at 8:31 AM

And yet we refuse to close our borders and demand our Government deport these illegals. We deserve what we get because we, as Americans, have not demanded action and elected people that can and will do the job. Welcome to YOUR future, in YOUR schools, in YOUR neighborhoods.


Mark Garnett on February 13, 2009 at 8:56 AM

I can’t read all the prior posts, but I can be assured someone has blasted McShamnesty for these poor oppressed people doing the killings that Americans won’t do?

Let’s roll. And Boycott Maine!

ex-Democrat on February 13, 2009 at 8:56 AM

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