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U.S. sends 500 agents to Mexican border


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U.S. sends 500 agents to Mexican border

DEVLIN BARRETT AND EILEEN SULLIVAN

Associated Press, with a report from Reuters News Agency

March 25, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Hundreds of federal agents, along with high-tech surveillance gear and drug-sniffing dogs, are headed to the U.S. Southwest to help Mexico fight drug cartels and keep violence from spilling across the Mexican border, Obama administration officials said yesterday.

The border security initiative, which expands on efforts begun during the Bush administration, is aimed at drug traffickers who have wreaked havoc in Mexico in recent years and are blamed for a spate of kidnappings and home invasions in some U.S. cities.

The plan was announced as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton prepares to travel to Mexico today for the start of several weeks of high-level meetings between the two countries on the drug violence issue. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney-General Eric Holder are expected to meet with Mexican officials in early April.

The Obama administration's multi-agency plan includes nearly 500 agents and support personnel. However, officials did not say where the additional agents will come from or how long they will stay at the border.

Ms. Napolitano said officials are still considering whether to deploy the National Guard to the Arizona and Texas borders with Mexico, which the governors have requested.

Deputy attorney-general David Ogden said the combined efforts of the U.S. and Mexican governments would "destroy these criminal organizations."

Authorities said they will increase the number of immigrations and customs agents, drug agents and firearms-trafficking agents operating along the border. The government will allow federal funds to be used to pay for local law enforcement involved in southwestern border operations, and send more U.S. officials to work inside Mexico.

Mexicans desperate for an end to drug gang murders, abductions and extortion saw a glimmer of hope in the measures.

"This is what we have wanted for so long. People can leave their houses again," said taco seller Andres Balderas in Ciudad Juarez, the bloodiest flashpoint in Mexico's drug war. Cartel violence has killed 2,000 people in the city in the past year.

"They should have done it a long time ago, given they are responsible for this drug demand and violence," Mr. Balderas added. (Can't argue with him there. The Cartels are just trying to meet the American appetite for illegal drugs. D*mn, drug addicts.)

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I'm all for a more secure border, but I'm not sure how this is going to effect cartel-related violence going on in this country. The gang members perpetrating these crimes are already here. It's already been demonstrated time and again that the drugs will find their way here no matter the effort used to stop smuggling.

And I certainly hope we aren't expecting any substantive help from the Mexican government. They are notoriously corrupt and largely in the pockets of the cartels.

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I'm all for a more secure border, but I'm not sure how this is going to effect cartel-related violence going on in this country. The gang members perpetrating these crimes are already here. It's already been demonstrated time and again that the drugs will find their way here no matter the effort used to stop smuggling.

And I certainly hope we aren't expecting any substantive help from the Mexican government. They are notoriously corrupt and largely in the pockets of the cartels.

You're correct about the gangs. And even if you catch the cartel leaders, they can still run their operations from within jail.

I would turn the island of Guam into one big prison and stick every gang member there. Or we can turn Gitmo into one.

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You're correct about the gangs. And even if you catch the cartel leaders, they can still run their operations from within jail.

I would turn the island of Guam into one big prison and stick every gang member there. Or we can turn Gitmo into one.

Then more criminals step right into their place.

There is only one way I can think of to get violent criminals out of the drug dealing business.

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Then more criminals step right into their place.

There is only one way I can think of to get violent criminals out of the drug dealing business.

I didn't want to say due to being labeled insensitive and against due process, but if your notion is putting a bullet to the brain when you catch them, then I'm all for it.

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I didn't want to say due to being labeled insensitive and against due process, but if your notion is putting a bullet to the brain when you catch them then I'm all for it.

That's not what I'm suggesting at all.

No matter how many you kill or incarcerate, more will be waiting to replace them because dealing drugs is a lucrative business. I'm talking about legalization.

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