Grain of salt –the below is a rant…
This is literally old news – from Aug 2011
But it just SERIOUSLY breaks my heart. The more I read on these issues, the more I’m finding the radical belief that everyone who’s an illegal drug purchaser is an unwitting accessory to murder, if not worse. I feel like if more people knew that, less would choose their ‘harmless recreations’.
Look at this simple, and horrifying, statistic from the below article:
In just six months last year (2011), 11,333 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico
11,000 people?!???!!! Several thousand people in the US die under horrible and unfair circumstances in 9/11/2001, and war is declared. THOUSANDS MORE DIE who are largely ignored because what? They’re poor and uneducated? These people get tortured, forced to convert to a gang lifestyle they didn’t want, or they’re murdered in mass graves, and NOTHING HAPPENS?
And this doesn’t even explicitly mention the forced labor and forced prost1tut1on so many people are put into. There’s other articles on it, but basically young women are promised a waitress job in the U.S. Then when they get smuggled into the country, they’re forced into being s3x workers. And being an illegal immigrant and being that they can’t speak the local language, what choices do they really have? None.
All this chaos, all this unnecessary suffering and death, and what does ALL of it boil down to?
If everyone in the US stopped purchasing drugs, 100% ALL people, would it stop everything? No, probably not ALL of it. There’s still the prost1tut1on trade along with illegal labor and I’m sure something else could be found that would be valuable. But I do think it’d stop oh, let’s say a gross guess of 80 to 90% or more? These gangs are not a bunch of idiot hoodlam’s (sp) running around causing trouble. Sure, maybe some individual’s are, but they are part of massive organizations (did you see that thing below about there being around 70,000 gang members in these countries?!?!?) Organizations which could likely give most U.S. companies lessons in effectiveness for that matter.
My whole point in this rant, besides letting off a little steam, is simply that if people would just stop buying drugs, if we could truly get enough people rehabilitated to were the demand for these products would actually STOP? Call me crazy but I think that’d do more for World Peace in Central America than what’s been available since oh, before the time of Cortez. (And okay, there was plenty of bloodshed before the Spanish arrived, but you get what I mean.)
So I say they should stop saying, “Just say No.” And start saying, “Don’t be responsible for the torture and death of THOUSANDS of people in a year. Don’t start or work to quit until you have. (‘Cause I’m sure drug withdrawls have gotta’ be awful-really, they must be, but I doubt they’re as bad as what these people who are tortured to death are put thru.) ”
Mass grave article about how the numbers found in the Northen Mexico territories are overwhelming the forensics teams.
more statistics 12,903 people had been killed in violence blamed on organised crime from January to September 2011 - note this was within a NINE MONTH PERIOD
My original article …
How Mexico's deadly gang tactics are spreading
By Linda Pressly BBC Radio 4, Crossing Continents
Central American migrants in Mexico are vulnerable to kidnap by Mexican drug gangs while they wait for trains heading north to the US
Central American migrants heading north to the United States fear that they are increasingly in danger of being kidnapped and murdered by drug gangs expanding their criminal operations south from Mexico.
"People and body parts were scattered everywhere like stones. There was a torso here, a head there. Even the animals were chopped up."
Salvador, a boatman, is describing the scene at Los Cocos ranch in the region of Peten, in the north of Guatemala, where a gruesome massacre took place on 14 May, blamed on members of a feared Mexican drug gang known as the Zetas.
In this case, those targeted were 27 farm workers, killed in retribution for the farm owner's alleged unpaid drug debt.
But the fear among locals and migrants passing through on their way to the US is that the Zetas are expanding into this remote region.
When Salvador heard about the massacre, he drove there to take a look for himself.
"What I saw at Los Cocos, was just terrible," he says. "I don't want to talk about it a lot because I could get into trouble."
Written in blood
The Zetas have been operational in Peten since 2008, and the fear among local people is palpable.
Following the massacre, a warning was written in blood to the farm owner
"No-one talks about them," says Salvador. "They do their thing, and no-one knows what they are doing or who they are."
Illustrative of this fear, the guide who takes us to Los Cocos does not want to be identified, and we are escorted by a pick-up truck full of soldiers.
The ranch is deserted with just the sound of birdsong carrying on the hot, still air.
There are two rough, wooden huts, which were home to some of the murdered farm workers.
If aside from making a profit from transporting drugs, the cartel can make money from extorting migrants or kidnapping them, they are going to do it”
End Quote Julie Lopez Guatemalan journalist
The earth is littered with the detritus of their lives - mugs, shoes, a mattress.
A message is written - in blood - in large, letters on the wall of one of the white-washed buildings. It is addressed to the owner of the ranch, who was absent on the night of the killings.
"I'm going to find you," it reads, "and I'm going to leave you like this" - a reference to the gruesome scene that Salvador witnessed.
Peten is on many migrants' route through Central America as they head north to the US, through Mexico, where the Zetas routinely kidnap and murder migrants.
Mexico's National Commission for Human Rights reported that in just six months last year, 11,333 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico.
So far they have not done this in Guatemala, but there are real concerns that if they gain control of Peten, this will change.
"The massacre at Peten was a repeat of Zeta behaviour in Mexico," says Julie Lopez, a Guatemalan journalist.
"Right now in Peten, they are struggling for control with some local drug-trafficking groups. For them it's all about profit, and business."
Brother Tomas (right) runs a migrant hostel in Tenosique, Mexico
"If aside from making a profit from transporting drugs, they can make money from extorting migrants or kidnapping them, they are going to do it."
Forty miles across the border in Mexico, the migrants head for Tenosique in the state of Tabasco. Here they can catch la bestia - the Beast - a goods train that wends its way north.
But it is dangerous for migrants to group together.
"If there are more than five migrants together, it is easier for organised crime to kidnap them," says Brother Tomas, who runs a migrant hostel in Tenosique.
"Organised crime groups like the Zetas often target migrants who are waiting for the train. They befriend them, ask them if they want to make a call home or give them food. Then they get on the train, too.
"And just beyond Tenosique, the train is ambushed by masked men in pick-up trucks, and the migrants are taken off at gun-point."
Brother Tomas hears reports of kidnap and serious assault every week.
Jonny and Miguel - not their real names - are Hondurans in their early twenties. They were among a group of eight migrants taken from the train in June.
I was taken to a room and they put a gun to my head. They said I should work for them or I would die”
End Quote Miguel Kidnapped migrant
First the Zetas tried to recruit them.
"I was taken to a room and they put a gun to my head. They said I had to work for them or I would die," says Miguel.
Then they wanted to extort money.
"They are looking for the goose that lays the golden egg," says Jonny.
"First they abuse you verbally, then hit you, torture you, and threaten to shoot you. But we didn't have money, and we don't have any family back home who could pay them. So they let us go."
Jonny and Miguel were very lucky. Families of migrants across Central America dread the call from Mexico, asking for a ransom - $10,000 (£6,100) can be demanded, which is a lot of money for poor families to find.
Find out more
Crossing Continents is on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 11 August at 11:00 BST and Monday 15 August at 20:30 BST
Relatives are forced to sell possessions and land, and then wire the cash in a bank transfer. Even then, they may never see their loved one alive again.
The Zetas who took Jonny and Miguel were not in the mood for killing that day. They probably released them because they realised these fragile young men were poor prospects as recruits, or for ransom.
But the other migrants who were taken with them were not released at the same time.
"We were all separated. I just heard shouts and screams. I don't know what happened to them in the end," says Miguel.
Jonny and Miguel have been so badly shaken by their experiences in Mexico that they have abandoned their journey to the US.
Having turned around, they are now back on their way home to Honduras.
I have wander lust, SOMETHING. I don't know!
Its that old feeling that makes me literally want to stand up and walk in circles. When I was little, sometimes I"d feel antsy and I would just walk in a circle around the kitchen table. Over and over and over and over and over. I never timed it, but I would go until I was physically ill and then go sleep.
THAT'S what I feel like.
I could go paint, but it won't help all that much. I 've done it before. I feel like how I used to feel when I"d sit and write a few pages, but the the drain is plugged. The stopper is in the hole and I don't know what I"m feeling or why.
Except that I feel like someone's clawing fingers over the chalkboard. But I know neither where the board is nor the person. So I feel powerless.
THank God I got some cuddles last night. Not sex. Just plain, simple human contact. It was a TREMENDOUS help. But that's all I've got.
IT doesn't help I've pretty literally lost all my damn friends now too. My closest friends are literally all either moved out of state, married - some with babies- but all too busy (b/c this is what happens when people become a locked couple, it's just part of life. IT just SUCKS BALLS for the people left single. I"m either a damn third wheel or not invited at all.
I HATE it.
But I don't want to date either. Had quite enough, thank you.
Dammit. Except I do NEED people. I hate to admit it, but I guess it's super-true. Maybe that's what my ants are. ... I think it very much is really. I just need to be around more people. Period.
Can't say about this year, but I will say Gran Torino got jipped- BADLY
It was an AMAZING film in every respect! Storyline, character development and growth, perfect cinematography with scene's as well shot as a black & white classic, and is even extremely relevant and a perfect modern retelling of a hero's journey and a redefinition of what it takes to be a hero in this day and age.