Mexico: Border Build Up

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June 20, 2006: The US now has approximately 950 Border Patrol agents stationed on the 5,525-mile long US-Canadian border. The 1,950 mile-long US-Mexico border has 10,300 agents. In 2005 the Canadian border had approximately 1000 agents and the Mexican border 9,600. The increased number of agents and troops along the Mexican border makes a difference, but the net result is just to make people smugglers richer. As more areas of the border become well guarded, smugglers charge more to get people in via more remote areas. The greed, and often callousness, of the smugglers has helped change Mexican public opinion towards the illegal migrants. More and more Mexicans are looking at the exodus as a sign of Mexican failure. Why must Mexicans move north of the border to find economic success? Why not in Mexico?

June 17, 2006: The first 55 National Guard soldiers returned from a two-week long active duty for training tour along the US-Mexican border. The Utah National Guard unit was the first of 6000 National Guardsmen to participate in Operation Jump Start (name of the operation to support border security). The unit served in Arizona. The unit worked to improves roads and install lighting to support Border Patrol surveillance activities.

June 16, 2006: Peruvian police said they had captured a ton of cocaine in a Lima, Peru "safe house." The Peruvian police said they believed the cocaine belonged to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel. A spokesman said the cocaine is shipped from Peru to Mexico's western coast.

June 15, 2006: A new presidential poll showed PRD candidate Anres Manuel Lopez Obrador leading PAN candidate Felipe Calderon. The poll said Lopez Obrador would receive 35 percent of the vote and Calderon 32 percent. PRI candidate Robert Madrazo would receive 28 percent. On May 28 both Lopez Obrador and Calderon polled at 34 percent.

Approximately 300 Arizona Army National Guardsmen began deploying along the US-Mexico border to support Operation Jump Start.

June 14, 2006: Over 2000 policemen fought with protesting teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico. The protestors had occupied parts of Oaxaca City, including the city's central plaza. According to figures supplied by the protestors, 30,000 people participated in the demonstrations and city occupation. The protests began three weeks ago. Protestors claimed police killed three people in the riot but the Oaxaca state government denied the claim. A policeman was wounded in the leg during the riot. Some 30 people were injured in the riot and at least 50 people arrested. The demonstrators said they are protesting their low pay and Mexico's "repressive government."

June 8, 2006: The US is offering five million dollars in reward money for information leading to the arrest of Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez (aka "El Cos"). Costilla Sanchez is head of the Gulf Cartel (drug gang). The Gulf Cartel, Juarez Cartel, and Sinaloa Cartel are the three "leading drug gangs" on the US-Mexican border. The Zetas "hit squad" allegedly works for the Gulf Cartel.

 

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