MARCH 02, 2007
Violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is so rampant that the police chiefs of at least a dozen crime-infested Mexican towns have been recently murdered by cartels that use the border cities to smuggle drugs into this country.
The latest shooting took place this week in the Sonoran town of Agua Prieta, which borders Douglas Arizona. The police chief, Ramon Tacho, was ambushed outside police headquarters and sprayed with bullets simply because he was on a mission to actually enforce the law and control the lucrative drug-smuggling routes into the U.S.
His murder is one of at least 12 in the past year, including chiefs in the border towns of Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo. U.S. Drug Enforcement Agents said the crimes were undoubtedly committed by drug smugglers vying for control of routes into the United States. They are sophisticated and violent criminal organizations that will do what it takes to smuggle their goods, say federal authorities.
That assessment certainly contradicts the portrait of the U.S.-Mexico border as merely a passageway for desperately poor immigrants seeking the American dream. Violent crimes originating on the Mexican side of the border have certainly spread to the north, transforming many U.S. areas into run-down and crime-infested ghettos that resemble third-world countries.
The problems don’t end at the border, however. Numerous reports have documented the high crime rate among illegal immigrants living throughout this country. Thousands have been imprisoned and subsequently convicted for violent crimes including murder, robbery and sex-related offenses. Many more have been caught for committing identity theft and drunk driving.
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