Thursday, February 26, 2009

Violence in Mexico

The United States hasn't been serious about the violence in Mexico because it would hurt our own government and corporate economic interests. Decades of putting our heads in the sand and a refusal to use a combination of diplomacy and economic sanctions to pressure the Mexican government to fight corruption and reign in their drug cartels, have all contributed to the anarchy and violence that is spilling over the border into our own country. Instead, we pushed fair trade and our corporations built manufacturing plants. "Fair" trade and human rights don't generally go hand-in-hand.

Let's close our manufacturing plants in Mexico. The Mexican government cannot protect the maquiladoras who work in them - over 470 women and girls have been killed in Juarez, Mexico. Over 100 journalists have been killed by drug cartel people, some of the victims thrown to the lions...literally. Over 1,600 people, including US journalists and citizens, were kidnapped and killed just last year. The corrupt government of Mexico can't and won't control its criminals and allows them to act with impunity, because the criminals also include the police, military and government officials, themselves. At the end of this post, please read the more detailed information on the inexplicable arrest of over 45 women in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico. Many of them were tortured and repeatedly raped by their arresting officers and held for over a week without bail. The government has purposefully refused to pursue any investigation of these arrests, rapes, tortures, and detentions since they occurred in May, 2006.

The United States government should recommend that all US corporations and non-profits discontinue all operations and pull their employees out of Mexico for their safety. We can use the production jobs to increase our own GDP and humanitarian assistance here in our own country during own rough fiscal times, anyway. Our country should refuse to send any aid or assistance to Mexico until the government pursues the prosecution and detention of all guilty parties involved in the drug cartels, violence and human rights violations in their country. This should help motivate the Mexican government to actually do something significant about the violence. We should be doing something to protect American citizens in border towns on our side of the border, as well. Our reporters and government should also be telling American citizens the truth about the extremely high levels of violence being perpetrated right on our doorstep!

Check out some of the interesting first-hand accounts of life in Juarez, Mexico and across from it in El Paso, Texas, USA on this CNN blog:

Information of the women of Atenco, Mexico, plus a request to write a politely-worded letter to Mexico's Attorney General demanding justice for these victims of human rights violations:

UPDATE 3/7/09
I just learned that an 18-year-old girl, a cousin of a collegue, was murdered by drug cartel members a week ago in Chihuahua, Mexico; she was an innocent bystander. My collegue has stated she would absolutely not travel to Mexico at this time because of the extent of the violence, much of which is not publicized north of the border to United States citizens. This violence includes grenades being thrown into crowds, as well as kidnappings for ransom. If you're thinking of traveling to Mexico, please think twice.

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