The disgraceful disintegration of the US-Mexico border continues as the White House and Congress do nothing. Latin American criminal cartels - among others - have taken notice of Washington's unwillingness to defend American territory and, apparently, are preparing to brazenly take advantage of American weakness.
Members of a violent international gang working for drug cartels in Central and South America are planning coordinated attacks along the U.S. border with Mexico, according to a Department of Homeland Security document obtained by the Daily Bulletin.Astonishingly, local officials said they had not been notified of any such alert and were unaware of the MS-13 threat.
Detailed inside a Jan. 20 officer safety alert, the plot's ultimate goal is to "begin gaining control of areas, cities and regions within the U.S."
The information comes from the interrogation of a captured member of Mara Savatrucha, or MS-13, a transnational criminal syndicate born from displaced El Salvadoran death squads from the 1980s.
The MS-13 member, who claimed to have smuggled cocaine for the Gulf Cartel, explained a plan to amass MS-13 members in Mexican border towns such as Nuevo Laredo, Acuna, Ojinaga and Juarez. The Gulf Cartel runs its drug smuggling operations from Del Rio, Texas, to south of Matamoros, Mexico.
"After enough members have been pre-positioned along the border, a coordinated attack using firearms was to commence against all law enforcement, to include Border Patrol," the alert states.
Mike Friel, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, would not comment specifically on the alert.
Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez of Zapata County in Texas said he was angry about the alert because he has never received information from the Department of Homeland Security about this or any other threat along the Texas border.This is the level of attention being given to national security by both the Bush administration and Congress. An open border is an invitation to both criminals and terrorists, but in its lust for cheap labor and Hispanic votes, the Bush administration and the GOP just doesn't care. Unfortunately, it seems that it will take some spectacular event, the massacre of US border patrol agents, perhaps, or a major cross border terrorist attack, before the US government is forced by public condemnation and pressure to perform its constitutionally mandated goal of defending the borders. The relevant question is, in the aftermath of the increasingly inevitable disaster, what will the consequences be for the politicians who ignored the obvious warnings - and duties of their office - and sat by idly whilst the southwestern US was ravaged?
"That is something that I was not aware of, but information like this should be given to us immediately," he said.
Gonzalez said it's another example of poor communication between law enforcement agencies.
"Since Sept. 11, we heard there was going to be a sharing of information, but today we still haven't received anything," he said. "All the information of threat levels, I get through the media."
In Arizona's Santa Cruz County, where in May a sniper shot two Border Patrol agents in the legs, Sheriff Tony Estrada said he was alarmed by the documented threat.