Even for Juarez, this is bad

February 21, 2011

While our eyes are riveted on revolution in the Islamic world and the struggle between labor unions and representative democracy in Wisconsin, the cartel wars in Mexico rage on — 53 dead in Juarez in the last three days:

The El Paso Times reported Monday that the 53 victims, between Thursday and Saturday, included a police officer, a municipal patrolman and a state investigator.

A shootout Thursday in Juarez, across the border from El Paso, left a police officer and two alleged hit men dead. Chihuahua police identified the slain officer as Ricardo Torillo Sandoval.

Later Thursday, state police investigator Jesus Manuel Cruz Landin was shot and killed on his way home. A suspect has been arrested.

On Saturday, Patrolman Benjamin Nunez Nunez was shot and killed by a driver at a traffic stop.
Juarez Mayor Hector Murguia said Saturday that police will keep fighting crime.

I’m sure that’s reassuring to the people of your city, Mr. Mayor, since you’ve done such a bang-up job, so far.

MEANWHILE: You may have a hard time catching a taxi in Acapulco, since a dozen cabbies were killed over the weekend:

At least 12 taxi drivers were murdered during the weekend in Mexico’s touristic coastal city of Acapulco, Guerrero, officials said Sunday.

On Friday, five taxi drivers were found dead in or around their vehicles, and on Saturday, one driver was found dead and tied to his taxi with several gunshot wounds. Later that evening, two others were found shot dead inside their vehicles, one of them being decapitated.

In a separate incident, a group of gunmen opened fire against another taxi cab, killing the driver and three passengers.

The killing spree continued into Sunday, and reached the touristic areas of Acapulco. Five vehicles were set on fire and a chopped up body was later discovered in an apartment building

But there’s no security problem just past our southern border…

Remind me to take my next vacation in some place safe, like Baghdad.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Mexico’s drug war hurts Los Angeles’ economy

January 17, 2011

Call it a spillover effect, or maybe collateral damage. For years, the Port of Los Angeles has been the jumping off point for cruises down the Mexican coast. Those days are now coming to an end, as the ships sail away for good:

The sour economy and growing drug-related violence in Mexico is having a major impact on the two largest cruise ships serving the Port of Los Angeles.

Royal Caribbean is leaving the rough waters of Southern California and Mexico after a voyage that begins Sunday.

The cruise line’s Mariner of the Seas, a 3,100-passenger vessel, will end up in its new home base of Galveston, Texas.

Norwegian Cruise Lines will pull its Norwegian Star out of port in May. The 2,348-passenger ship will end up in Tampa, Fla.

The two ships combined carried nearly half of the Port of Los Angeles’ passengers in 2009.

KABC also provides a video report.

Carnival Cruise lines is also leaving, sending its ship to Australia next year. These ships bring in roughly $1 million dollars each to the Los Angeles economy, so this is a heavy blow to an area already struggling with high unemployment and government mismanagement. The report cites a bad economy in Southern California as another reason for leaving, but, come on. Maybe passenger numbers for Mexican cruises are down because of news like this: 19 beheadings in Acapulco* this January alone — and the month’s not even over!

Small wonder these ships are leaving.

*A major cruise destination. That’ll draw the tourists.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)