Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Phoenix ranks 2nd in the world in kidnappings

Holy crap! Who knew that Phoenix had 366 kidnappings for ransom last year, which is second only to Mexico City. Police estimate that twice that number go unreported. In 2007, 359 were reported. Most of the victims are associated with drug smuggling across the 370-mile long border with Mexico.

In northern Mexico it appears that anarchy has broken out with police being overwhelmed by the drug cartels' armies. More than 8,000 people in Mexico have died in drug-related activities in the last two years. Here is an excerpt from azcentral.com about the battles just south of the border:
• In April 2007, 70 paramilitary enforcers known as Los Zetas, working for the Gulf Cartel, attacked a police station in Cananea, leaving 22 dead, including five officers. Afterward, about 40 percent of the local police force resigned.

• In October 2008, a convoy of Los Zetas was intercepted in Nogales by Sonoran state police. Ten gangsters were killed and three officers wounded during the shootout.

• On Nov. 1, 2008, armed gunmen attacked the police station in Nogales. The next day, the state police commander was assassinated by a sniper during an ambush outside a hotel. Then, on Nov. 3, police exchanged fire for three hours with gang members. "It was such (a) heavy firefight that police were actually calling for reinforcements . . . and asking for ammunition from the American side," said Wells.
Remind me not to move to Phoenix....or northern Mexico.

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