Drug Cartels on the Move

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, reputed to be the most powerful drug trafficker in the world, was recently arrested after a long manhunt. His capture fixes attention once again on the extremely wealthy, utterly brutal drug cartels that have plundered Mexico and are increasingly active in the United States, where they earn as much as sixty billion dollars a year from American consumers who keep them in business as long as there’s a black market for drugs. Where cartels go, crime and corruption are sure to follow. Chicago is a current example.

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Battle of Columbus

“Where are my guns?” demanded Pancho Villa, flamboyant bandit-warrior of the Mexican revolution. Though he had paid for them, the store across the U.S. border in the town of Columbus, New Mexico hadn’t delivered. He had other grievances as well. So in the early morning of March 9, 1916, Villa led some 500 troops in an attack on Columbus that lasted until dawn, without doing too much damage. Next day, General John J. Pershing, of World War I fame, accompanied by George Patton, hero of World War II, arrived to drive out the Villistas and pursue their leader into Mexico. They didn’t catch him. He was eventually assassinated by other Mexicans in some kind of political intrigue.

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Border Battleground

Mexico’s drug violence is state-sponsored—by the U.S.

Arizona rancher Jim Chilton spots a lone intruder near his barn. He grabs his rifle and rushes out, prepared for whatever may come. No threat. The man drops to his knees, hands in prayer, and offers Chilton his rosary. Chilton declines and instead gives him water. As he gulps it down, he asks, “Which way to St. Louis?”

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Bleeding Arizona

The state’s crackdown on illegals is as much about drugs as immigration.

Rob Krentz was emblematic of Arizona. He ran a cattle ranch in the southeastern part of the state that had been in his family for four generations. But he was concerned for more than just his herd; he was in the habit of giving food and water to illegal immigrants who came though his land on their way north. They were usually headed for farm work. He was a farmer. Ron was “an old school cowboy with no known enemies and a big heart,” writes Paul Rubin in the Phoenix New Times.

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