Border Wars Weekly: a roundup of all the news that pushes the boundaries

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Felipe Calderon whistling in Wonderland

This week alone Mexico has seen 72 immigrants massacred in a border town ranch at the hands of smugglers. Earlier in the week four mutilated bodies were found hanging from bridges near the Mexican capital and border town gunfights broke out between federales and cartels. While drug violence increases and paralyzes Mexico, some believe this might be a sign of progress.

In a recent speech, Mexican President Felipe Calderon acknowledged that violence in the country might increase, but the violence is only a sign of victory in the war on drugs.  “I don’t rule out that there might be more bouts of the violence we’re witnessing, and what’s more, the victory we are seeking and will gain is unthinkable without more violence,” Calderon said. “This is a process of self-destruction for the criminals,” he added.

In an email with the Daily Caller, Cato institute’s Ted Galen Carpenter, Vice President of Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, describes Calderon’s logic as being similar “to the bizarre notion that the worse things get, the better they actually are–which amounts to Alice-in-Wonderland reasoning.”

Carpenter illustrates Mexican government’s lack of control over the cartels by pointing to the desperate acts of local businesses. According to Carpenter, several months ago business leaders in Juarez called for assistance from UN peacekeeping troops and their counter-parts in Monterey just recently “took out full-page ads in major newspapers around the country urging Calderon to send three divisions of additional troops, because the security environment has become so bad.”

The increasing violence rates between Cartels have left thousands dead and according to Carpenter, they are simply a result of turf wars for more lucrative smuggling routes. According to the Los Angeles Times, Calderon’s “drug war” has had little effect on smugglers. Cartels have diversified their services since the start of the war, adding counterfeit DVD’s, extortion, kidnapping, and human smuggling to their list. While they may have 80,000 federal police against them, cartels have still managed to amass up to $39 billion in a single year. Keeping Calderon’s statement in mind, Carpenter comments “Calderon’s war on drugs is going badly, and his argument to the contrary is mere a case of whistling past the graveyard.”

The Brewer files

The U.S. District Judge Bolton’s ruling on SB1070 served as disappointment for the Arizona governor, so now she’s taking matters into her own hands. On Thursday, Jan Brewer’s lawyers filed their first brief in an effort to appeal Judge Bolton’s decision that blocked major provisions of the bill.

According to the Associated Press, Brewer’s lawyers argued that the federal government did not provide adequate enforcement of immigration law in Arizona, therefor the bill would require law enforcement “to assist federal authorities, as Congress has encouraged.” Additionally, the lawyers said that Bolton was mistaken when she ruled that the law could “burden legal immigrants,” which was one of the federal government’s major speculations.