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|Bordering On Desperation||
In Nuevo Laredo, on the Texas border, over 70 homicides have been recorded this year alone. Since August of last year, 42 Americans disappeared while visiting Nuevo Laredo. Nineteen reappeared, four are believed to be dead and nineteen are still missing. From the Rio Grande Valley to Baja California, violence and fear are on the rise.
Two obvious reasons exist for this explosion in crime: drugs and corruption. Increased air and port security in the United States has forced more drug traffic over land. Laredo is the termination point of Interstate 35, the major north-south route for middle America. Consequently, it is the busiest point of entry between the U.S. and Mexico.
Mexican drug cartels have bought off a shocking number of police and government officials in the northern Mexican cities and states. These traitors of the Mexican people not only ignore the drug running in their territories, but they have also begun actively fighting in a turf war with other cartels. Honest law enforcement doesn't stand a chance in this crossfire of corruption.
Last month, Alejandro Dominguez stepped up to fill the vacant, and highly undesirable, position of Police Chief in Nuevo Laredo. Seven hours after taking the oath of office, he was gunned down. Dozens of bullets riddled his body, a clear message that the criminals were in control.
The good people of Mexico realize that the sins of a few criminals are wreaking havoc on the entire population. Innocent citizens live in fear of the callous, murderous cartels. Honest vendors have closed their shops and stalls in empty tourist districts. Americans in border towns also feel the effects.
"I was born and raised in Laredo," said Webb County Sheriff Rick Flores, who patrols 80 miles of territory along the Rio Grande, in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I have never, ever seen anything like this before in my life."
One border city has taken what some would consider extreme measures. In Juarez, the sister city of El Paso, Texas, the police are now undergoing "spiritual sensitivity" training. A spokesman with Ciudad Juarez police says that officers will meditate, pray and hear talks by an evangelical pastor.
Their desperation has finally pushed them in the right direction. More government hasn't worked; it has led to more corruption. More ammunition hasn't worked; it has led to more violence. More legislation won't work; new laws would be ignored as easily as the current ones.
If Mexicans can help each other establish real relationships with a living God -- not simply religious rules enforced by superstition -- then corruption will be replaced with integrity, addiction will be replaced with purpose in life, and cruelty will be replaced with compassion.
The unbridled nature of mankind has led to pain and suffering in Mexico. If they can tap into the supernatural power of the Almighty, then they may have a prayer for the future. Hopefully, other nations can learn from Mexico's experience and not turn to God as a last measure, when spiritual sensitivity should be the first thing we pursue.