Friday, February 27, 2009


Shouldn't British Columbia be watching what's going on in Mexico?

The Globe and Mail - Februry 27, 2009


... The crisis is nothing less than an effort by the major drug cartels to tame and suborn the Mexican state, and not just in the strip along the U.S. border, although the epicentre is there. Obviously, the cartels' leaders do not have designs on Mexico's presidential palace. But through a policy of terror extending from Oaxaca in the south, through Acapulco on the Pacific coast, and up to the great border cities of Tijuana and Juarez, they have made it abundantly clear that they are trying to achieve impunity.

Read the complete article here.

"Gangs" is shorthand for drugs trafficking. The Drug Trade is shorthand for organized crime. Cartels?

The prime minister comes to Vancouver to talk about gangs.

BC's attorney general goes to Ottawa to talk about gangs.

Photo ops aplenty.

But the trial of Jasmohan Singh Bains took place in June 2008 ... without any mention of it in the news media until it was reported here, by BC Mary, 6 months later. It was two more months before Ian Mulgrew picked up on this event and wrote a column about it ("Drug dealer linked to legislature raid imprisoned", Feb. 17, 2009, Vancouver Sun). Why the silence? Why 8 months of complete silence before reporting the trial and 9-year-sentence of an alleged Mr Big, who was connected to the Basi Virk BC Rail Case?

After Ian "officially" broke the story, everything went quiet in Big Media again.

Reports from Supreme Court on the Basi Virk BC Rail trial remain painfully scarce, especially when compared to the way a Coquitlam pig farm was reported. Or the coverage given to a home-made deck.

What's going on? Well, I don't know. But like most other British Columbians, I can't help speculating. I think there's one heck of a lot going on in B.C., and it scares me.

Today, my guesswork is somewhat validated by the report on what's happening in Mexico. I can't help thinking that sometimes silence can send a message even louder than gunfire. - BC Mary.

See also:


THE WORLD - February 27, 2009

Mexico City: Mexico's president says he hopes to quell his country's rampant drug violence by the end of his term in 2012, and disputes US fears that his government is losing control of its territory.

President Felipe Calderon and his top prosecutor said on Thursday the violence that killed 6,290 people last year - and more than 1,000 in the first eight weeks of 2009 - is a sign that the cartels are under pressure from military and police operations nationwide, as well as turf wars among themselves.
"To say that Mexico is a failed state is absolutely false," Calderon said. "I have not lost any part - any single part - of Mexican territory."

Calderon, a Harvard-educated conservative, said smuggling cannot be eliminated as long as Americans continue to use drugs, but hopes he can beat back the cartels by 2012 to a point that the army and federal police can withdraw and leave the problem in the hands of local law enforcement. He declined to give a specific timeline for winning the war against drug gangs ...

[That sure makes me feel better. You? - BC Mary.]

And this story:

Marc Lacey
New York Times - February 28, 2009

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico–Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz is supposed to be the one to hire and fire the police chief in this border city that is at the centre of Mexico's drug war.

But it was drug traffickers who decided that Chief Roberto Orduna Cruz, a retired army major who had been on the job since May, should go. To make clear their insistence, they vowed to kill a police officer every 48 hours until he resigned.

They first killed Orduna's deputy who was operations director, Sacramento Perez Serrano, together with three of his men. Then another police officer and a prison guard turned up dead. As the body count grew, Orduna eventually did as the traffickers had demanded, resigning his post on Feb. 20 and fleeing the city.

Replacing Orduna will also fall outside the mayor's purview, although this time the criminals will not have a say. With Ciudad Juarez and the surrounding state of Chihuahua under siege by heavily armed drug lords, the federal government last week ordered the deployment of 5,000 soldiers to take over the Juarez Police Department. With the embattled mayor's full support, the country's defense secretary will pick the next chief.

Chihuahua, which already has about 2,500 soldiers and federal police on patrol, had almost half the 6,000 drug-related killings in all of Mexico in 2008 and is on pace for an even bloodier 2009. Juarez's strategic location at the busy El Paso border crossing and its large population of local drug users have prompted a fierce battle among rival cartels for control of the city.

Gunmen recently shot at one of three cars in Gov. Jose Reyes Baeza's motorcade, killing a bodyguard and wounding two agents. The drug cartels routinely collect taxes from business owners, shooting those who refuse to pay up. As for the Juarez mayor, who has made cleaning up the notoriously corrupt police department his focal point, the cartel recently threatened to decapitate him and his family unless he backed off.

In an interview in his wood-paneled office overlooking the United States, Reyes, 46, whose father was mayor in the early 1980s, said he was not going to allow criminals to run the city, despite the inroads they are making.

"I'm not going to give in," he vowed in an interview, welcoming the arrival of soldiers so that the traffickers will feel the heat even more.


It really isn't that hard to figure out what is going on. With the newspapers about to go 'down' the reporters et al see cushy government 'spin doctor' jobs as future employment. Why else have so many already taken up political work?
Mexico is going through a terrible ordeal like the Bubonic Plague that swept Europe in the Middle Ages. We can see the early stages of this crime-disease happening in B.C.

I can't help thinking that the best defense begins with people knowing what's actually going on. How do we get the facts? How do we inform ourselves?

Instead of talking about Golden Era and Best Place to Live, our leadership could take British Columbians seriously, and talk about this terrifying issue. They could speak the truth.

Next: we need a working press.

A free press is the best tool possible for strengthening society.

I don't know about you, but I think the news media in BC pretty much destroyed itself by failing in its duty. Canwest just kept trying to sell us stuff.

And like I said, sometimes silence sends a louder message than gunfire.

I still cannot begin to understand the 6 months of media silence after the trial and conviction of the man police were investigating when they raided the BC Legislature.

Even after I found out and published the first report of the trial of Jasmohan Bains and his 9-year sentence, there was a further 2 months of silence.

Can anybody explain that for me?

If you ask me, I think this media silence robs the public of its proper tools for defence.

Sincerely, I hope that some new people with better attitudes will soon replace Canwest in B.C.

By the way, Toronto Star is available, free of charge, online. That's where I found this Feb 28 report on Mexico. And a LOT of other news (Canada and International) as well.

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