When drug dealers ordered 77-year-old rancher Alejo Garza Tamez to vacate his farmhouse so they could expand their drug routes into the United States, he dismissed his workers and fortified his house. Two truckloads of trafficantes arrived early the next morning, firing shots into the air. Tamez began shooting back. As told by the New York Post, he killed four and wounded two before they finally took him out.
How many Americans would have the courage to stand up to the drug lords like that?
For the background we’re not getting in most U.S. media, read “Speaking Frankly: Voices from the Borderlands,” a James A. Baker III Institute report on the metastasis of Mexican drug running into a pandemic of kidnapping, theft and extortion. The lawlessness is so bad in some cities that the middle class is emptying out. By one estimate, 40,000 extortions occur daily in Juarez. As of September 2010, some 10,000 businesses had been shuttered or burned out. When the middle class flees, civil society vanishes.
Broad swaths of Mexican territory are reverting to a state of anarchy. The border means nothing to the drug cartels. Law-abiding Mexicans and Americans are all in this together. Alejo Garza Tamez should be a hero to us all.
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