Sure, L.A.'s got some violent crime. But even Compton can't compare with TJ. This year alone they've had something like 350 homicides in the border city. Thirty-eight since Saturday. Nine of those had their heads cut off.
To say that it's drug fueled misses the more important point that it's money fueled. It's not the addicts cutting off people's heads, after all. And as the border has tightened over the last several years the markets in Mexico have become that much more important. Tighter markets, stiffer competition, more headless bodies.
Bigger local drug problem, too. Meth use in Mexico has quadrupled in the last six years. You can't move your product to the market, move the market to the product.
And the police don't seem to be helping much. Three of the nine decapitations this last weekend were cops. They've even moved soldiers in to deal with the problem. Mostly to replace the 500 corruptcops that have been reassigned for "retraining".
I'm sorry, but that's a stunningly bad idea. Soldiers are not trained for police work. They're trained to be a large, unwieldy mass that moves from street to street laying down suppressing fire and blowing shit up. And when they pass by, well, that's when the killings happen. Great for riots, sure, not so hot for hit and run murders.
And, seriously, who do you think has better funding?
The thing about this that worries me, and has for a while, is that this is not a problem that exists in a vacuum. The more you look at it the more you realize that it isn't a Tijuana problem, or a Baja problem, or a Mexico problem. It's not just a problem there, it's a problem here as well.
We don't get many dismemberments out this way, but this violence has been spilling into the United States for a long time now. And not just the border states. Kidnappings, murders, beatings. It's nothing new.
But it will get worse.
Personally, I think the War On Drugs(tm) is a flawed idea. Always has been. The focus on destroying supply and not addressing demand does nothing but make the product more lucrative. Ask Al Capone. Addressing symptoms does nothing to cure the disease. Decrminalize a lot of drugs, get rid of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Essentially, reduce the value of the drug trade and folks will move into something that makes more profit. Like the stock market.
Okay, maybe not these days but you'd have an awfully different market if they started chopping off heads.