Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mexico's Forever War

Four years into Mexican President Felipe Calderón's assault on the drug cartels, all his country has to show for it is skyrocketing violence. It's time for a different strategy.

Kevin Casas-Zamora is senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was Costa Rica's vice president and minister of national planning

December 16, 2009, was supposed to be a turning point in Mexico's long and violent war on drugs. On that day, 200 Mexican naval commandos -- the army and local police were considered too infiltrated by the drug cartels to lead the operation -- stormed the luxury high-rise apartment of Arturo Beltrán Leyva, one of the country's most notorious drug kingpins. Following a two-hour gun battle that was captured on local television, the troops overpowered the drug lord's security forces, killing Beltrán Leyva and six of his bodyguards.

The operation was praised by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials and hailed by Mexican President Felipe Calderón as "an important achievement for the people and government of Mexico and a heavy blow against one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in Mexico." Mere days later, however, Beltrán Leyva's gunmen brutally slaughtered the family of a young marine killed during the operation, including his mourning mother and sister, in an act of retribution. This was a mere prologue to the worst spike in killings in the past four years. In the six months that followed this operation, disputes over leadership of the Beltrán Leyva cartel helped push the number of drug-related murders in Mexico from less than 800 per month to more than 1,100, where it has remained ever since.

One year later, Calderón's offensive against the country's drug-trafficking cartels continues to exact a horrible price on Mexico's population. If current trends hold, Mexico will end 2010 with more than 11,000 drug-related killings, up from approximately 6,600 last year. The 2010 figure represents a fivefold increase over the number of deaths in 2006, at the dawn of Calderón's war.

Even worse, drug-related violence is spreading throughout Mexico. In 2008, three states -- Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Baja California -- accounted for 57 percent of killings. Two years later, they account for well less than half of the deaths, as massacres have spread to areas that had previously been largely spared of the violence, such as Mexico City and the state of Nayarit. And yet, not long ago Calderón still claimed that "our hope lies in persevering in this attack, in persevering in this strategy." Despite the difficulties, he promised that "a clear day will come."

Calderón's failure to bring peace to the country should prompt serious questions about his strategy, which has focused on weakening the cartels by military means. More than 45,000 soldiers are currently deployed to this end. While the government can point to discrete achievements in disrupting the cartels' operations, the long-term consequences of its operations have been ambiguous.

For example, seizures of cocaine have indeed gone up in Mexico during Calderón's offensive. However, the scale of the confiscations is underwhelming when compared with those made by much smaller countries in the region, at a fraction of the human cost. Cocaine seizures in Mexico during 2008 and 2009 were similar in volume to those made by Costa Rica and were less than 40 percent of those achieved by Panama's authorities.

Similarly, the government regularly touts having arrested around 20 major drug bosses in the past four years as a signature victory in its war on the cartels. However, this achievement has done little to bring stability to the country -- in fact, it has done just the opposite. The resulting fragmentation of the cartels has unleashed vicious murderous cycles and a geographical dispersion of violence as emerging organizations vie for control of new routes.

When Calderón introduced his military plans to deal with the drug cartels, violence in Mexico was nowhere near the heights it has reached today. The country's murder rate had fallen by nearly half between 1992 and 2006. And this was true even in the states that have borne the brunt of drug-related violence in the past four years. The state of Chihuahua -- where the violence-ridden city of Ciudad Juárez is located -- had 18 murders per 100,000 people when Calderón took over at the end of 2006. Three years later, it suffered a whopping 74 murders per 100,000 people, 13 times the rate of the United States. If Chihuahua were an independent country, it would have the dubious honor of having the world's highest homicide rate.

The post-2007 explosion in the figures of kidnappings and robberies is equally disturbing. The number of reported robberies in Mexico was 520 per 100,000 people in 2006. By the end of 2009, the rate had jumped to 633, higher than at any point since the mid-1990s. One possible reason for why is that the government's assault on the cartels' drug trafficking activities has forced them to diversify their income sources, fueling the expansion of other criminal activities. Whatever the impetus, it's clear that the reach of crime in Mexico is expanding, not contracting.

Calderón has justified his military confrontation with the cartels by arguing that the rule of law cannot thrive where organized crime rules. However, it is equally true that the rule of law can never take root in a situation of widespread bedlam like that of Mexico this past year. The Mexican government's inability to consistently bring down drug-related violence anywhere since the military campaign began is looking less like the inevitable price of success against organized crime and more like the symptom of a strategy in dire need of revamping.

Calderón should begin by rethinking his diagnosis of what ails Mexico. He has based his approach on the notion that Mexico suffers from waning control over its territory, as was the case in Colombia until recently. However, the Mexican government is far from absent in the areas most afflicted by drug-related violence. Of the 10 states with the highest intensity of violence in 2010, the majority receives more money from the federal government than the average Mexican state. Remarkably, with a couple of exceptions, all have ratios of police officers to population that are virtually identical or greater than that of the United States.
Mexico's problem is not territorial control, but the penetration of public institutions -- particularly law enforcement institutions -- by organized crime. This is a problem that cannot be solved by any military contingent, no matter how large, committed, or effective. It requires instead nothing short of rebuilding law enforcement institutions and intelligence agencies.

Calderón should focus less on parading arrested drug bosses before the media and more on restoring trust in Mexico's beleaguered judiciary and police. According to the Iberoamerican Governance Barometer -- a regional opinion poll -- the public's trust in Mexico's judiciary and police fell by 7 and 10 points, respectively, from 2007 to 2010.

Here is the single most important figure that explains the persistence of the drug cartels: 98.5 percent of crimes go unpunished in Mexico. Unless this number starts coming down dramatically, Mexico has simply no hope of containing the toxic social and political effects of organized crime. Despite Calderón's admirable efforts to revamp law enforcement institutions, including the creation of a strong federal police force and a far-reaching reform of criminal procedures, implementation of some of the most critical projects remains in doubt in many parts of Mexico. Restoring the integrity of public institutions should be the government's main focus, not a sideshow to military raids.

The serious delays in the implementation of judicial and police reforms in most Mexican states are symptomatic of the single biggest weakness of Calderón's strategy: the lukewarm support it receives from state and municipal governments. The president's insistence on pursuing a top-down strategy for fighting the cartels has undermined its success and sustainability. The federal government often does not even consult state and local security forces when launching an offensive against drug traffickers in their jurisdictions. While there are often sound security reasons for this decision, it breeds resentment and an attitude among state officials that the war against drug organizations is solely a federal concern.

In 2008, the National Agreement for Security, Justice and Legality -- which included 75 commitments toward the professionalization of law enforcement institutions and the promotion of a law-abiding culture -- was endorsed by every single relevant political authority in Mexico. However, the truth is that the offensive against the cartels continues to be seen as Calderón's war. While the National Agreement was a crucial step toward transforming the establishment of the rule of law into a national priority, the implementation of its mostly worthy commitments has been sketchy, according to civil society organization United Mexico Against Crime .

The National Agreement must be revisited, reinvigorated, and enriched with a clear discussion of goals and metrics. The governors' role is particularly crucial. Despite the often troubled history of abuse and corruption by state-level police in Mexico, the recentralization of police forces in the governors' hands would be an important step toward making them more accountable for the reduction of impunity in the country. It is also important to modify the legal provisions that make felonies perpetrated by organized crime federal offenses, to be prosecuted by the national government alone -- which obviates state and local authorities of the responsibility for tackling the threat posed by the cartels.

But what does the public at large think of Calderón's strategy? Until this year, a majority approved. But support for the president's military assault on the cartels appears to have been a result of the relative isolation of the majority of the Mexican population from the worst of the bloodshed. But the expansion of violence in 2010 is now seriously undermining political support for the government's efforts. In October, only 33 percent of Mexicans thought that Calderón's efforts against the cartels were successful, a drop of 14 points since March.

The president remains adamant in his approach. Less than six weeks ago, he insisted that the cartels "are losing markets, are losing territory, are losing the ability to get their way as in the past." But after four years of ambiguous results and ever worsening violence, the burden of proof for proving these assertions lies with the president rather than with his critics. It is unclear how this military assault has helped the government's efforts to improve law enforcement and reduce the country's endemic impunity. In the meantime, the drug cartels are still doing a brisk business in turning vast swaths of the country into anarchic battlefields.

Rather than bludgeoning organized crime into submission through military means, the government should prioritize the revitalization of the federal and local institutions that have been ineffective or, worse, penetrated by the very criminal elements they were designed to combat. Only after he accomplishes this task will Calderón be able to stand up and honestly declare that the country has turned the corner in the battle against Mexico's drug cartels.


  1. The strategy has been good, the whole campaign has not only been to resort to the military and the police, they have hit the narcos greatly for the past few years.

    The President has also sent several bills to congress, one to consolidate police forces across the country into one police force in each state, but congress has not passed the bill. This bill is designed to revitalize the local police forces so that they can act as the military and federal police is doing now. Once this is achieved, our situation will be very different.

  2. months ago i listed pragmatic my opinion. essentially i felt the strategy has been a failure and has not adjusted effectively.

    there is not much i dissagree w/in this post.

    going after capos has backfired,,it has caused instability, yes in the moment, but also has transcended power to younger, blood thirsty narcos and has acted to strengthen their foes and created greater territorial wars..

    calderon actually has implemented one of my Solutions..taking away corrupt municipals and transferring power to state..i think feds is better.

    i thought a type of martial law should be imposed in prime cities such as mty and juarez...lock in/out the city perimeters much like the safe maquila zones.

    and the true/effective way to hurt dtos and org crime is in the pocket. enforce and create tough wire laws in the us an mx ( $$$ leaves mx to CA/SA and to the world as legit biz) freeze/confiscate assets etc

    and legalize pot in the is 60% of the drug biz

    and re-adress the new prosecutorial laws of proof, its a mess and mass confusion..define and impose..abolish impunity..

    create an effective prison system...and imprison high level dto narcos in the us..

    some of my thoughts..i can dream anyway

  3. Wow> Maybe be Buela should be in charge here, The president follows HIS advise? Yea, Whatever- keep on dreaming son...

  4. Really i'm being sarcastic.. Buela- you do have some pretty good ideas

  5. DEC 26 @ 3:21

    not sure if you are speaking to me and jose?
    i am Buela Chivis female works and lives in Mx founder & chairman of a 501C3 NGO Family foundation, working closely on some projects with state and fed level polititans ( Governor, sec of ed ;senator etc). I did not say Calderon follows mt advice! jaja are you high or simply lack reading skills/comprehension? what I said on my original list of possible solutions he has implemented one that was on my list...or trying it has to pass congress.

    it is a dream for sure.. as i said. i also know i will die without change in mexico. this is a blog...not congress. some people bitch, and complain, or bash people that are thoughtful and offer info for further discussion.

    for me, it is a way to express myself, to what I have learned, what I know, and what I wished could be attempted.

    Take the wild hair out your negative, cynical ass, and perhaps you may learn something from the safety of your sofa..

  6. 2011 will bring a lot of new suprises for those worthless cartels-enemies of Mexico-
    Expect to see more death and destruction for them.
    Expanded use of Drones, satellite technology and U.S intel. will prove to be very, very painful for these assholes. This will be a turning point year for Mexico and its war against these losers.
    Soon the night skies of Mexico will glow orange with the fires of thier assets. These sorry animals will be defeated and smeared with thier own shit.
    Wait and watch what will happen to them.
    Its very, very exciting to watch them fall.
    If you do not think that its true then go back to Aug. of 2010 and see who has already been taken down.
    True- it will never end , however just like the Costra Nostra ( Italian mafia) they will only be a distant memory.
    Death to these rotton Sons of Whores that they are. LFM, EL CHAPO AND HIS QUEERS, THE ZETAS ( who stink- they never bathe) the CDG, THE JUAREZ CARTELS...ALL OF THEM!!!

  7. @ B

    yeap i agree does seem to be time to set up checkpoints around Monterrey, or seems like the authoritys always top short of completing the mission...i mean they let the fukheds just run away and that is it...

    i know i am gonna get a lot of shit for saying it... but it is time to do whatever is necessary..curfews, checkpoints, walking patrols, house to house checks..take the war to every dive, alley, shithole, fancy ass places and all....i mean if this is a fucking war..and it is ..well act like it and stop fucking around..the cat and mouse shit is doing nothing, but making the gob look impotent...

    look at Mier..what the hell happened? ...the pinches narcos were in the town..what?.. is there two roads into mier..and the river behind it...why couldn't the army surround it and wipe a whole bunch of assholes out...

    can you ever imagine this kind of shit goin on in the USA..i mean criminals shooting it out with the army and getting to "run away"...

    chase these assholes to the ground ..don't just throw the hands up and say .."they got away" away?

    what is wrong with putting up big ass cash bountys on these culeros...plaster them up just seems to me that the gob is just half assing the whole fucking thing

    and when they fire corrupt cops ..put a fukn gps on their asses ..or put them in some sort of confinement...don't just let
    them cruise over to the narcos

    get real about it or just forget the whole fucking thing

  8. BUELA,

  9. Finally I agree with the post on 12/26 @ 11:28 pm!
    BTY- does anyone know what happens with the confacatied monies they get? Why not use it to finance the cleaning up of police forces and start new programs for the kids, and especially use it for education!
    Yes, I believe the economy has to start striving but if the DTO's aren't squashed out all they will do is like what they did to me and ask for more quota and how can you expect business to WANT to start up or grow when they know they are going to be "visited" by the DTO's for "operating capital?" It drove my small business out of mexico quick after the first encounter for the quota!!!! Never again!!!!

  10. Personally I say keep up the constant pressure from the Military as per Calderon's war but ALSO implament new ways to clean up the government and build the economy at the same time! It CAN be done if he's tries hard enough!!

  11. The only thing that will "end" Mexico`s drug war is when the Mexican people start to have different outlooks on the way they live. Instead of letting their kids run the show, maybe they should be in charge. how about not calling your 3 year old daughter "mama"? How about not calling your son "mijo"? You cannot be their friend only, you must be their parent first. 99% of problems start at home. sorry, sad but true. If no values are drilled into these kids, the "Narco-Life" is all to glamorous. Time for a different approach to child rearing in Mexico. It isn`t working. You can be poor, but that doesn`t mean you have to do a poor job of raising your kids. I see so many kids running the show at their homes it isn`t even funny. They go where and when they want at 12-14 or so coming , going and all hours. It is high time to "Parent up".

  12. I believe if the US put enough forces along the border{30,000} and stopped all crossings for at least a year,it would hit the cartels where it hurts.The pocket.Just might make them a little careless.

  13. My apologies back to you..

    I love Mx so much, and I see solutions that should be tried...the fact that smart people that rule Mx do not try pragmatic ideas.. tells me they are more interested in maintaining rule over poor people through corruption than creating a society that is secure, hopeful, with possibilities for all its people. my opinion is that seek answers that does not compromise the separation of classes.

    it sickens me.

    sorry....Christmas Day i found myself at the ER, thru my own stupidity...two layers of stitches and a cast from finger tips to elbow...typing with one hand sucks!!! SO i am very grouchy ol lady...jeje

  14. @ DEC 27 7:27




    MIJA=M Y...D A U G H T E R...


  15. @bRITO..





  16. It`s crazy to see all these stupid comments.You talk like the governements are good and the cartels are bad.If you think a little bit more with your brain and you read the history and you see the things with reality you will see how bad are all the governements in this world of shit.You will see that the mexican governement,the CIA are in one hand with the cartel and the mafia.

  17. It`s not an endearment to call a 3 year old "mama" when "hispanic" teens have the highest rate of being "Mommies" than any other ethnic group in the world. you miss my point completely. Don`t be so defensive your blind. I have read along time and never posted and have respect for you Grandmother, but you missed the moral of my whole post.

  18. dang hussy... what did you do to your self?...get crazy on a dirt bike er somethin?

    hope you are gonna be ok...get well soon

    yeap i agree... ta hell with afgannystan ..we need troops on the border, lots of them...these narcos are so spoiled , getting to play with the Mexican policia y ejercito..i suspect they wouldn't fare as well against the US military on the us army and die assholes...

    as much as i am contra the US intervening in the Mexican drug war..i have to admit i would get some sadistic pleasure in seeing their hooded, orange jump suited asses duckwalking around in some hell of a place like gitmo

    as for the govt good y narcos bad statement

    i agree somewhat... especially about the Mex gob ...but which guys do you really want to run the show?..the narcos?...jajjjajaaa..have you ever been to Mexico?...have you ever had any dealings with these arrogant culeros?..if you have and lived are un hombre de bueno suerte

    at least the gob gives you a little dog and pony show while they rob you....

    the narcos?...

    mebbe they gonna watch while the dog and pony fuck you before they rob you, and cut your head off

  19. Wow 'Brito. Can't agree more. LOL with the dog and pony. But guess what, this ain't a local war, nor any bilateral conflict resolution thing between US and MX. Troops on the border won't help! That's a war fueled by un-extinguishing demand in NA. That's a global war, from the Andean mountains to the Canadian plains.

    By fighting, you can only move the shit from country to country. Fix it in MX, you'll have it it in Guatemala/Honduras/Salvador. And Maybe -god forbid- in CR.

    What's the freaking solution? Darwin. As it always was.


  20. Our BB supposed little ol' church lady, 'Buela', speaks vulgar trash talk here once again, I see.

    'i am Buela Chivis female works and lives in Mx founder & chairman of a 501C3 NGO Family foundation, working closely on some projects with state and fed level polititans ( Governor, sec of ed ;senator etc). I did not say Calderon follows mt advice! jaja are you high or simply lack reading skills/comprehension?... Take the wild hair out your negative, cynical ass, and perhaps you may learn something from the safety of your sofa.'

    Now Ernest1's question for us all....

    Does this really sound like it is coming from any female that anybody on this list could know? It don't to me! Yet somehow I get chewed out by some folk every time I mention that 'Buela' sounds not the least like a woman to me, but I can't figure out why others seem to buy his schtick at straight face value???


    And 'Buela', don't talk like a Hell's Angel biker if you really want others to buy your act as a religious church lady. You are as phony as a three peso coin! Your act just is not believable since anybody having open ears can clearly hear how you speak like you just got out of jail.


    YES, this is good question you ask, Brito...

    ''lito 'brito said...
    dang hussy... what did you do to your self?...get crazy on a dirt bike er somethin?'

    Perhaps a Harley Davidson would be more my guess, Brito... He rides it to church and NGO meetings he attends in Ciudad Mier!

  21. Buela, be careful while out riding your Harley...

    'it sickens me. sorry....Christmas Day i found myself at the ER, thru my own stupidity...two layers of stitches and a cast from finger tips to elbow...typing with one hand sucks!!! SO i am very grouchy ol lady...jeje'

    You can hurt yourself real bad when laying a bike down. No wonder you said that you had experience when discussing medical issues in the US Medical Mistreatment System. I bet you really have! But don't you live in Mexico? jeje...


  22. yeap matanzas...the dope fiend has gotta have his dope... ..

    it is a symptom of the social disease of loss of identity ..hopelessness , despair ,, disenfranchisment,,,

    and all this death and misery for a high...for a few minutes of feeling like something, or not feeling anything at all

    funny thing to call something that causes things that are so low..

    there are two main factions against legalization and regulation...

    always the police who's existence is justified ...

    and the criminals who make the money...

    take the drug war away and they both become irrelevant

    what a clusterfuck

  23. ernie ..yer back..q onda esta

  24. @ ernst 1

    now don't start up with B again there ernie,,,

    why you got to be so narsty alla time man?

    she is just salty ..

    no one here can be sure anyone is who they say they are...

    i don't get any "church lady "vibe from her...

    it ruins your message when you do the ad hominem thing..

    i could be anybody could you..jeeezzz mon...cant we all just get along

  25. Ernie
    Dude...hate to see ya back!!! jeeze we had great, intellectual, debate of relevance in your absence!!!!
    Brought issues into 2010...and departed from your tired ol rants of the 70s....
    I will say if you think ass is a vulgar term...well you are an ass. a verifiable ass....
    as for m4e being a church lady...i hate the thought of being in a church, so confining. as adults we know what is expected, what is why sit in a pew? go out a work the deed however we can.
    you, the low life that bragged about throwing Mexicans in the trunk of your car! that disgusted me..that you would think that heroic!! I CALLED CNN HEROES TO NOMINATE YOUR ACTION ...but they said something about forwarding the info to ICE ....don't hold your breath ernie, no one thinks you are a hero.
    FYI...BB staff knows who I am and what I do in cannot accept this because you cannot get around the fact I am a good person doing good work in Mexico yet I say "ASS" ...doesn't compute with your teeny tiny mentally unbalanced mind...jeje
    If you want me to be a man...that is can call me abuelo, ok? if you think in your emotional illness that there is a good reason why anyone would fake either sex...well go for are a strange fucker ernie...( THE FUCKER WAS DELIBERATE A PUNCTUATION FOR YOU)
    As for Mx yes, live there work there, have my foundation offices there and full staff. this year i have battled cancer since November 2009, 3 surgeries 3 rounds more to go and I can return to Mx. but through this all i worked full time thanks to skype, email, fax, blackberry and now IPAD. same with my money making businesses of Asia and us.....
    @ BRiiiiiiito.
    I got the new expensive Japanese carving knife out and as i brought it out the sleeve to carve the daughter called out "mom" ...when mothers hear "mom" they automatically turn...i did and took my eye off the knife...2 inch palm cut....5 in deep muscle sutures and 7 on top of palm. STUPID. and they put a cast on to the elbow.

  26. Brito, I just don't like folk who misrepresent themselves as being a nice sweet woman ('mom') when they are merely the most vulgar of men who then go online writing poop to people on blogs. It is not an ad hominem thing at all.

    Actually... It's kind of like how a marine might act if the woman they were kissing was suddenly discovered to have 'dos centavos' hanging under their bridge, so to speak, if you know what I'm trying to say here?

    'it ruins your message when you do the ad hominem thing.. i could be anybody could you..jeeezzz mon...cant we all just get along'

    Yeah, you could be almost anybody but you are not claiming all these pompous things for yourself as being some sort of fine Hispanic Christian lady, now are you? I can take it that you are NOT perhaps any sort of sociopath LIAR, for example, and I kinda like that as a beginning point for when I talk to people.

    These sorts of fine points, like what you have underneath in your pants??? does have an impact on your 'message' and how it is taken, and whether it really holds any credence or not for listeners/ readers when they get a truer picture of who is spouting off their mouth.


    BTW, hated DFW once again which is as far as I went this year. Bad vibes all around... Wife and kid kept going and are down in the war zone still and should be back next week late, Brito.

    PS- I once put three people in a trunk of a car to get them past a 'checkpoint' of The State and so what? Two of them weren't Mexicans at all, Buela. You wouldn't have taken the risk to your own lousy self is my frank opinion. No big deal but I did it at the time.... for family.

  27. Ernest1, I don`t quite know how to read you. You seem to be intelligent, yet a tad (alot acutally) hypocritical. You denounce anything USA,yet you live in security their. I like how you call out anything your unsure of. I think being pessimistic is the way to be in this day and age, assume everyone is evil til the prove otherwise. I can dig that. What I don`t get, is the argumentiveness towards anyone and everyone, do you EVER agree with anyone`s views but your own? This is not said with any malice at all, I enjoy reading your views, as much as brito`s and smurfs. I do think people that do good for the sake of being a "better person" should not spend a lot of time patting themselves on the back. we`ll see if that gets a response from someone.

  28. I don't think that I am all that argumentative really, Anonymous. I simply have opinions that are quite a bit different from many other Americans, but then again, I have had experiences that are not all that mainstream USA Today either.

    'Ernest1, I don`t quite know how to read you. You seem to be intelligent, yet a tad (alot acutally) hypocritical. You denounce anything USA,yet you live in security their.'

    Not really. I have to earn my bucks in this country, because this is simply where I was born and it is also where the jobs are at in my line of work. I'm just a couple of years away from retirement though, and most likely will end up living in Mexico at that point. ..or perhaps another LA country. SS money doesn't go far in the US these days.

    I can understand people who live in Mexico misrepresenting themselves some on BB to hide their identities from being used against them. What I have little tolerance for though, is for US citizens who deliberately distort and lie about who they are as they post away non stop pretending to be who they are not. They are not hiding themselves from any perceived dangers at all, but simply misrepresenting themselves to others here. When it is done as blatantly stupid as some have been doing, why not call them out on it?

    As to me being anti- US government? YES I am. I think that the Democrats and Republicans TOGETHER are screwing us all over.

    'What I don`t get, is the argumentiveness towards anyone and everyone, do you EVER agree with anyone`s views but your own?'

    Depends on whether you or others shit in your britches when I say that neither Tweedle Dee nor Tweedle Dumb are my team. But it's not me that will start throwing mud in any case. I just don't like our US government and their huge team of PAID militarized thugs. I don't like the generalized lack of culture they have created for all of us either.


  29. i dont think that buela chivis has ever portrayed herself as an angel or a deeply religous person. she's always spoken clearly about her humanitarian efforts and has always expressed her passion towards mexico and its citizens but just becuase she speaks with strength and cusses sometimes, does'nt make it right to call her a man and a fake. she's the complete opposite of being fake. buela does not bullshit. she does'nt sugarcoat her opinions either and whoa! to the person who attacks her verbally. this lady does'nt back down to anyone...but neither does ernest. although ernest's attacks on buela have gotten very immature, redundant and nasty lately.

    @ buela

    with every new comment i read of yours, i know more of you and my opinion about you is that you are a fascinating strong woman; a woman who talks the talk and walks it too. you are open and open-minded. you care for people. and if that does'nt satisfy everyone, oh well! there will always be antagonists who will attack you. what matters most, are the opinions of the people who do understand you.

    i hope your health gets better so you can go out there and help many more people.

  30. Ernest, I am glad you clarified that for me. I`m not particurlarly fond of government myself as they have ALL proven to be self-serving first and foremost. Being that if you don`t choose the "lesser of the two evils" you`ll get stuck with the one you like the least, so I do pick a side. Not saying that they haven`t bit my hand either. I will say you did kind of start the mud slinging at Buela, which makes me no mind one way or the other. I do think she is a she, I also think if she does as she says, good for her, just don`t expect a pat on the back as she`s not the only one doing good, some just do it quietly. I still don`t see the point in the attacks on her. Thanks for the honest, lucid response.

  31. @ Ajulio

    A thousand thanks...I am very clear who I am and who I ain't. With E1...the thing is he is sexist...yep sometimes I say FUCK...sometimes that is the only word the suffices...I get angry about what has happened to Mx. When I first arrived, I was all Pollyana, mixing it up approaching the top level state and fed people to allow me to coexist on school land...which was done. We pulled the Rodney King all getting along. I had been formally recognized for my work, and there is a school named for my organization, the first time ever in Mx that a foreign enity was so honored.

    When I stood alone in the first kitchen I built in a dirt poor colonia, one that feeds 900 students per day and is named for my Mayan Grandmother of Jalisco, I thought I died and went to heaven, such an honor to do this work. But over the years that glee has jaded, some of those I befriended are crooks, in w/DTOs and give a rats ASS for the people of Mx. So I am angry, and I express that at times, but my kids never hear a curse word.

    But I will not apoligize for that, it is SOOOOO petty and misplaced...that's the only thing he could come up with? See didn't I tell you he was a rude ass? Surely a mental issue.. He came back and proved my point. He hates me because I am a strong woman, productive and very sucessful. WOmen are not supposed to be such, so he deems me a man...sobeit..weird,,,but so is he. and I am vulgar...because my comment had the word "ass" but brito had a potty mouth parade and E1 says nothing...sexist. puro machismo.

    I envision him an angry man...stuck in the leftist ideology of the 70s...and pissed because the world has moved on. He knows very little of todays world, it is apparent to someone who is fused into many cultures and lands. He walks around with a scowl. Never happy never satisfied...the world is wrong!!! not E1.

    and he can not answer a Q...ever...he lacks communication skills evident by the amt of people that he has to clarify his statements to.

    A sad SOB...BUT.. he chose this path and chose being against the I have no pity on him...I save that for the children of US, Mx, Kenya, Haiti, and Iraq that I know their stories and I have helped in my way, I save my compassion and sorrow for them.

  32. @ dec 29 7:27 AM

    The world is filled with good people, by far outweighing the bad. I believe in the goodness of people, and that belief was fortified when I first created my foundations. WIthout the help of hundreds of good people, I could not do my work effectively. The human resource out weighs all other aspects in value.

    Many good folks work thruout Mx..all types of charities, I reach out to form project partnerships and see people and get to know them and I am humbled.. and think "that's the person I want to be" still striving to reach more and do better. sadly the violence in Mx has had an impact on foundations, and the economy has had a great impact on donations. We are family foundation (s_) so we are funded by family,,,but I have seen great charities doing amazing work that have had to disban because of the two aforementioned issues...

    another thing to add to the list of collateral damage..

  33. @ Buela

    Yes, the world IS full of good people..Sometimes you have to scratch through the dirt to find them, but they sure the hell ARE out there.

    I'm no usually into commenting, seems my words never travel too well from my mind to my tongue, (or compu)..everything sort of gets mexed and jarbled, but I can tell you, it's a hell of a lot easier, I see, to have viewpoints and solutions to this "drug war" when you are not living in it.

    Hell, somehow here, my mind just goes blank at times. No longer so I think of PRI/PAN, GOLFO/ZETAS, Rich/Poor..just think about getting through each day and making it a decent one.

    Now, I can, after enjoying some good comments and input see how this thread has been railroaded by personal, non relevant b.s.

    Kids, we all know the rules. I don't want to go around pointing dedos and handing out sapes, but
    it's crossing lines tonight.

    Buela and E1, I know you are both very passionate in your views and each of you, along with Brito, Matanzas, J, Ajulio, among others, have given so much to BB sharing your ideals, but like I say lines are being crossed..keep it clean, no hits below the belt.

    Speaking of below the belt, E1, I did get the opportunity to help out in some work with Buela and I can tell you, she's a strong, cultured, intelligent, caring WOMAN who has done incredible work in Mexico and continues to do so.

  34. Ovemex said...

    Agree, moderators hammer down! If anyone is not able to debate without resorting to demeaning/personal attacks, then their point must be pointless. Play nice and fight the urge!


  35. I am really sorry to see that a gentleman such as Mantanzas was lumped into the scolding. We don't always agree but he has always been articulate and repsectful. same goes with Ajulio...and Brito, tho Brito can get a bit salty at times...not mean spirited however.

    Sorry guys...this really was not about you all. One has to just follow the thread backwards and see the culprit..I will not allow a personal attack without a fair response, I have never attacked offensively, and repsect myself enough to respond when someone is so far off base. But I have no interest in an dialog with E1, so boring to me, but I will promise if bet I will have my say.

    I found it curious that Ovemex and Buggs had their say...and then directly under and highlighted comment from it on and see his continued tirade against me...and Mantanzas...convulted mess...

  36. We need a time-out corner on BB when the posts start getting immature...

    I'll keep a more vigilant eye when publishing comments

  37. @ Smurf

    Sorry ya have to baby-sit...but honestly I was stunned that the huge influx of personal attacks against me were let thru...I can take it and consider the source but when that becomes the focus...well the focus leaves revelance..que si?

    I waved the white flag...but doubt I will get a rspectable response...

  38. Buela,
    No arguements here, i def dropped the ball on this one, but lets be fair, u are quick to respond to his negativity as well. Im not trying to stand up for E1 but the guy is basically an island so i let him have his say in leiu of his lack of supporters.

    As Buggs has often said, lets all play nice.

    E1 Im trying to be fair but we have already discussed this. I thought we had an understanding.

    Keep all comments above the belt and lets have a nice, clean discussion, like civilized folk.

  39. Yeah, I agree, there's constructive arguements and then there's just pure nastiness. Being nasty has no kind of constructive value. It just disrupts conversations. For me, the more I learn about buela, the more I like her. You don't meet too many people like her. She's special. But at the same time, it concerns me that borderland beat is going to really focus on censoring anyone that is saying something wrong or against what they feel is right. We need to keep the passion lit or else we can all get stuck with a dull discussion panel.

    At the same time, if anyone attacks buela in a mean spirited manner, I will defend her even though she needs no help at all. She doesn't deserve to be cursed at. But buela made a good point, personal attacks can be much more meaner. There's always that fine line that can easily be crossed if we don't act like adults. What surprised me is that to some, borderland beat can be even theraputic. It allows someone who is forced to stay home a way to communicate freely with others around the world. With buela, this is not just a blogsite, its a big part of her life. Through her humanitarium efforts, she's connected to mexico in a personal way.

    Well, its really about borderland beat trusting certain writers. Knowing that some people will always know how to behave properly without getting too out of line. As far as the others who regularly disrespect and degrade and disrupt, BB will have to decide that one.

    If BB allows us all to say whatever the hell we want to say, we will have a BDN situation and that is much worse. BB does have to stabilize the situation in order to keep its integrity.

  40. To all the Guys and Gals here,I found this site only a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed by the objective journalism that focuses on one topic,the war against the Cartels.My politics are Libertarian and as a Gun Industry insider I am politically active on 2nd Amendment issues,I also lived in Playas De Tijuana and worked for a Mexican Company a decade or so ago.I'm no stranger to the corruption in more than just the Police.I would also hate to see this site degenerate into a bunch of anonymous name calling and insults like Yahoo and many other "News" sites where people seem to post comments and push agendas that have nothing to do with the content of the article.

  41. We do what we can. Sometimes one of these cancerous comments slips past us moderators and infects the entire conversation.

    The best thing to do is ignore the belligerent comments, if they got no responses, they wouldn't keep needling the people they know they can get a reaction from.

    Thanks to everyone for all your patience, as always we at BB strive to please, and we promise our loyal readers that improving the quality of the website (and the comments section) is our never-ending goal.

  42. By the way, the discussions in the forum are never moderated, unless someone makes a threat or something of high danger. They even accused Rise of getting killed during a shootout as a CDG and it's still up:

  43. @ buelita

    I have to give you props, when you want something, you know how to get it lol. There are two types of people: those who choose to be an eagle and fly alone and those who choose to hang around with the crows. You are definitely an eagle. Just like my mom, a hard working mexican woman who doesn't need a viejo to support her.

  44. @ Ajulio...

    You are awesome I thank you for being so supportive.
    I disagree that I am supposed to hear the vulgar personal stuff and not ever respond. I do not read E1 posts, not because I dissagree, it is because they give nothing of value or new...same stuff always. Really it is that simple.

    This go time E1 was out there in his behavior..I had to respond because it slipped passed BB. To say I am a part of it is saying an attacked party is at fault for defending themselves...that is not what I am made of. But I never began dialog with E1, it is he who jumps and attacks. I do not understand it.

    But to attack my intregrity, saying I am a fake...well one never knows who we are speaking to on anon blogs but in this case the staff here at BB know who I am and what I do and Ovemex has stated he knows me and has helped with my foundation work and gave kudos to my work. My foundation was even featured on BB for the Mier Refugees project... I am true and genuine, no one could be otherwise and be so emotional and informed as I am without being on the ground working with and knowing the people and circumstance in the first person..

    I am happy to co-exist with E1 and I am sincere IF he has something to offer the Mx people I welcome him to a project.

    I made a tough decision. I have a cool ongoing project for central american migrants stranded in Mx. I call it "Project 72" it honors the memory of the 72 slaughtered in Tamps. I am working with 2 shelters, one in Piedras ran by a priest. We are going on the first run wed. media has asked to go along. I said yes to highlight the plight of these abused people. The priest is overjoyed at the project saying they are few and far inbetween, he is meeting us on wed. Each migrant will recive a backpack with jackets, gloves, rain ponch, toiltries, cards, phone cards, a wallet w/few pesos.fruit, candy etc etc.

    I bring this up because I had approched BB to ask if they thought the BB readers would like to help out as a way to assist people we read of and feel helpless to help. BB embraced this, and I was going to ask for backpacks...they are difficult to access this time of year in Mx. But I thought better of it and decided to go it alone...why? ....because E1 would demean the project and I feared he would say I am a fake etc and BB would lose credibilty in SOME I passed.

    from now on...screw one is stopping my work or how I choose to conduct a project. not a threat...a heartfelt promise



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