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.