Saturday, March 12, 2011

Response to Cartel

The road less traveled . . .

Our Response to the Violence in Mexico
Paper Houses Across the Border continues to work in the streets of the colonias in Mexico, along the Texas border. We research news stories about the violence along the border and urge everyone to read these stories carefully and check the facts.
Every day, according to FOX News, they report about the violence in Mexico. As you listen, watch and read these stories note that almost every story includes a rehash of a previous story or stories about the violence in Mexico. Even a story about citizens protesting in Mexico City in favor of stricter drug laws and more enforcement included 19-paragraphs of previously run stories about the violence in Mexico. (After reading that story, one can easily forget that the new story was about the citizens support of the government crackdowns).

It seems that the media is so focused on proving that Mexico is a bad place and that the government is losing the drug war, that they are incapable of simply reporting the news. Although two horrible ambushes recently occurred where police were killed, almost every other encounter between the police/military and the drug-cartels resulted in overwhelming victories by law enforcement.

How Do We Respond?

Like most Mexican problems, we believe that a Mexican solution is required. We also believe that we are called to continue our direct one-on-one support of the working poor and the institutions that help the working poor to succeed. Our observation is that the cartels control every Mexican border-city. The violence is primarily among cartel members, although many businesses pay protection money to a cartel that is nothing more than a shakedown. The city police are not charged with investigating crime and are ill trained and armed.

Reliable Information is Rare
It is commonly believed that any report to the police is given to the cartel by the police. The cartel then deals with those making police reports. Reporters are intimidated. Even the U.S. reporters are seldom found in Mexico. Rumors abound about kidnappings and extortion.

We respond by being with the people. We walk the streets and help with food, clothing and family needs. We help with medical situation. We help by supporting shelters for children, feeding thousands of school children every school day and by supporting a drug rehabilitation shelter. We support a migrant shelter that is overwhelmed with returning migrants that entered the U.S. from Arizona and were deported to Acuña. (The shelter provides medicine, food, clothing and helps migrants return to their villages). We help by walking door-to-door so that the people know we are still with them to help them in their effort to climb out of poverty.
We also help by talking with fellow Americans. We are all concerned about illegal immigration. A fair bit of hand-wringing, high minded rhetoric and ideas about addressing the symptoms of overwhelming poverty (illegal immigration) abound. We offer real help to the Mexican people by helping them to help themselves. We also point out the facts about the news stories related to the violence along the border.
It has been one-year since any murder took place in Ciudad Acuña. Long before that murder and before the Zeta arrived in Acuña, the U.S. media destroyed the entire tourist industry in Acuña.

If the media needs to focus on a daily story we wish they would report every day, the real story of our time. “Yesterday, an estimated 20,000 children died worldwide from preventable diseases.” Think what a constant focus on that daily fact could accomplish!