Worse than Iraq? Yes.
It hardly seems possible but Mexico rivals the war zone for the numbers of killings. The savage murders along the U.S. border are not exactly in the hot tourist zones but death like they’re enduring should be something to keep respectfully in mind. This is not of special note only because Americans were killed there on the weekend but just a reflection of the total horror that that country is going through from its narcotics gangsters along the border. Consider these stats:
“Juarez is one of the front lines in Mexico’s war against the drug cartels that operate in its territory. More than 2,600 people were killed in Juarez in 2009.
“Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, has become a focal point of Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s anti-drug efforts after the January 31 killings of 15 people, most of whom were students with no ties to organized crime. The incident sparked outrage across Mexico.
“In the western state of Guerrero, at least 25 people were killed in a series of violent acts on Saturday, state officials said.
“The bodies of 14 people, including nine civilians and five police officers, were found in various parts of the resort city of Acapulco, the official Notimex news agency reported, citing Guerrero Public Security Secretary Juan Heriberto Salinas.
“In the small city of Ajuchitlan del Progreso, 10 civilians and one soldier were killed in two shootouts that started when federal officials tried to carry out search warrants on two locations, Salinas said.
“The government has not released official figures, but national media say 7,600 Mexicans lost their lives in the war on drugs in 2009. Calderon said last year that 6,500 Mexicans died in drug violence in 2008.”
Now I surely do hope that our drunken college kids have a wonderful time getting plastered in Cancun and other locales on their spring breaks — breaks from getting plastered on campus at home. And while I’d hate, too, to deprive the struggling Mexicans dependent on the booze-addled coeds and other scholars from the United States, I have to wonder about the unseemliness of partying and touristing away while thousands and thousands are dying nearby in a horrid explosion of homicidal madness.
The State Department appropriately warns us of the violence in Mexico. It would be cruel to blame or banish from our plans the entire country but when people are being killed, beheaded, maimed and terrorized in such numbers, common sense demands that some deep thought go into our travel plans.
After all, would even our pickled college kids imagine that Baghdad is a neat spring break site?
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