Tuesday, May 22, 2012



Note: The people have few options, having lost the right to self
defense and to keep and bear arms.
As we have seen repeatedly, the Mexican people will fight back if
they have something to do it with. Polls in past have shown 80%
support for being armed.

Report spotlights refugees of Mexico's drug war
May 16, 2012 8:14 PM
Ildefonso Ortiz
The Monitor

Apprehension gripped Carlos Acosta as he crossed the Hidalgo
international bridge into Reynosa.

Just a few years ago, he wouldn't have sweated the trip: a few quick
errands in a midsize sedan.

But rising border violence has changed the picture. Today Acosta
makes these trips less often — and only during the day.

It was the volatility of the drug war in northern Mexico that led
Acosta, who was born and raised in the coastal city of Tampico,
Tamps., to move his family to the United States in 2010. They had
been targeted by kidnapping threats. One attempted abduction was
foiled by the Mexican military.

"It just became too much," he said in Spanish. "It got to the point
where not only did you have regular shootouts, but every week you
found out someone you knew had been picked up and his family had to
pay ransom money, or someone else had been extorted.

"That's not the way an honest family should live."

Acosta is just one of the thousands of Mexican nationals who have
packed up their belongings and relocated to another Mexican city or
to the U.S.

Some 140,000 people have been internally displaced by drug cartel
violence since 2007, with the Mexican government still failing to
acknowledge the displacement of people, according to the Global
Overview 2011 report, released in late April by the Internal
Displacement Monitoring Center and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Perhaps dismissive of the report, Mexican Secretary of State
Alejandro Poire noted the United Nations did not compile it, and he
said his office was not familiar with the information on which the
IDMC and Norwegian Refugee Council based their work.


Internal displacement in Mexico and other Latin American countries —
like Colombia and Peru — differs from that seen in other parts of the
world in that it stems from organized crime rather than political- or
religious-rooted conflicts, according to the report.

"People fleeing threats to their physical security by drug cartels
have not necessarily found the safety they sought and have continued
in some cases to face criminal violence," the report states.

The head of the IDMC, Kate Halff, said her organization has been
tracking human displacement for more than 14 years, and 2011 was an
unsafe time for millions of people worldwide — not just in Mexico.

"From criminal violence including attacks by armed groups in sub-
Saharan Africa or by drug cartels in Latin America, to armed clashes
such as those associated with the conflict in (Ivory Coast) or the
uprisings across the Arab world: Such events caused hundreds of
thousands of people to flee their homes," she said. "Many risked
their lives as they sought refuge in unfamiliar environments while
facing a constant struggle to meet their basic needs."

According to 2010 from the IDMC and Norwegian Refugee Council, some
of the increase in violence can be attributed to the violent clashes
between highly armed criminals and the Mexican military.

"In 2006 the Mexican government of (President) Felipe Calderón
launched a military offensive against the country's drug cartels,"
the 2010 report states. "The intervention of the armed forces in
cornering rival groups reportedly sparked vicious turf wars over
previously agreed trafficking routes … some refer to the situation as
one of armed conflict or insurgency."

The Global Overview 2011 report talks about the more than 400
refugees who fled in November 2010 from the small town of Ciudad Mier
to the neighboring city of Miguel Alemán. According to news articles
published by The Monitor at the time, the exodus had to do with the
sudden increase in violence between the Gulf Cartel and their
estranged allies, the Zetas.

At the time, city officials and the Mexican military set up a shelter
at a gymnasium and at the Lions Club hall in Miguel Alemán, across
the Rio Grande from Roma, to house the refugees.

By January 2011, most of the refugees had returned home, the IDMC
report states.

"It is only through effective government action," Halff said, "that
responses can be developed which improve the long-term prospects of
internally displaced people and allow them to make their own
decisions concerning their future."

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