Editorial: Our Leaders Betray Us – Public Health and Social Impact

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Foreign News Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.


 Saturday 4/11/09

El Universal (Mexico City) 4/10/09

[Followup on the shootout in Zacatecas. M3 report 4/10/09 ]
Israel Nava Cortez, the presumed Oaxaca state chief of Los Zetas, the professional hit men of the Gulf cartel, died in a gun battle with Mexican Federal Police agents in a building in Fresnillo, Zacatecas state, along with two other of his associates. Eight police were wounded in the exchange. Known as “El Ostion,” Nava Cortez was believed to be the bodyguard of Miguel Trevino Morales, “El 40,” a top boss in charge of receiving shipments of cocaine and marihuana for the Gulf cartel. According to Federal Police reports, the fight began when a group of agents responded to a call alerting them of the presence of armed men in a section of the city. On arriving, they were met with gunfire from the suspects who then took refuge inside a large building. A major gun battle ensued in which three of the thugs were killed and one arrested. In the aftermath of the battle, police collected from the building eight high caliber rifles, including AK-47s and AR-15s as well as two pistols. Also seized were six cartridge belts, six armored vests, four “tactical uniforms,” three communications radios and four vehicles, one armored.
A later report confirmed that Nava Cortez was Mexican and not Guatemalan as first assumed. Though he called himself a kaibil (Guatemalan Special Forces), he is actually believed to have been a deserter from the Mexican Army. [A video of the shootout perhaps may still be available at
 http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/590187.html ]
Francisco Javier Estrada Sanchez, defense lawyer in the past few months for members of Los Zetas, was confined yesterday in the federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit, accused of organized crime for his alleged membership in the cartel. The federal anti-drug agency, SIEDO, filed the charges against the attorney accusing him of belonging to Los Zetas. According to the investigation, Estrada Sanchez negotiated agreements with the families of imprisoned members of Los Zetas to withhold information from authorities in exchange for money from the cartel.
A suspected narcotrafficker of the Gulf cartel, Jose Manuel Garza Rendon, was extradited Friday afternoon to Mexico by US authorities for prosecution. [Ref: M3 report 4/8/09 ]

La Prensa (Managua, Nicaragua) 4/10/09

The Mexican Federal Police intercepted 88 undocumented immigrants in two separate operations in the states of Mexico and Oaxaca, official sources reported. The first operation took place yesterday morning in the town of Tultitlan, Mexico state, when authorities arrested 64 undocumenteds, 44 Hondurans, 11 Guatemalans and 9 Salvadorans. They also arrested their two suspected smugglers. The group was near the railroad tracks trying to board a train destined to the north of Mexico.
The second event occurred along the Mexico-Cuauhtemoc highway in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, when police intercepted a cargo truck with 24 Guatemalans hidden on board. The driver and a man traveling with him were arrested for illegal transportation of Central Americans. Mexico is, each year, a zone through which pass “hundreds of thousands” undocumenteds, mostly Central American, who are seeking better conditions in the US.

El Diario en Linea (Chihuahua) 4/10/09

Five mob type attacks took place in Chihuahua City in a three-hour period, according to police reports. The result in the separate events was four dead and one wounded. The sole survivor had been abducted, shot and left for dead.

Sunday 4/12/09

El Diario de Juarez (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 4/11/09

Alleged members of the Mexican Army abducted two youths from a housing unit in Cd. Juarez last Tuesday morning and after two days of torture, abandoned them Thursday morning in a remote area. One of the youths was able to make it home on foot to report that his friend, more severely wounded than he, had died after they were freed and he left him covered with cardboard boxes to help locating him. Friends and families carried out a search for the body after the authorities rebuffed their attempts to get help. They found him Friday. Examination of the body by medical experts indicated severe beatings. Those involved in the search expressed their anger at the Army and the authorities. The family of the survivor opted to have his injuries treated in the neighboring city of El Paso, Texas, for fear of local reprisals due to the gravity of the charges. The mother said that, since early morning, Army vehicles had been driving past her house and throughout the neighborhood, making her very fearful. At press time, an official version by the Mexican Army had not been forthcoming. [photo relates ]



El Universal (Mexico City) 4/11/09

Things heated up in Guerrero state in an area known as Tierra Caliente [Hot Land] when two rival groups of hit men met in downtown Arcelia, Guerrero, and had a shootout resulting in one dead and 10 wounded. The police are investigating whether the fatality was a gang member or a citizen passing through the area.

El Financiero (Mexico City) 4/11/09

Next week, President Barack Obama will make his first visit to Mexico with unprecedented attention in the US over the problem of violence in Mexico. Prior to this trip, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that the demand for drugs in the US and the flow of arms feed the violence. Obama will make his visit April 16 and 17 with confidence of strong bipartisan support in his efforts to build strategies with the Mexican government.

Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 4/11/09

14,539 Guatemalans without documents have been returned to their country by U.S. & Mexican immigration officials so far this year. Of those, 7,187 came from the US in the first three months of the year, compared to 4,687 for the same period in 2008. Mexican officials sent 36,546 undocumented Guatemalans back to their country last year.

El Informador (Guadalajara, Jalisco) 4/11/09

Upon making a vehicle stop in Guadalajara for suspicious behavior, a commander of the city police was killed by gunfire by one of the occupants. The officer was on his official motorcycle accompanied by another police unit when they signaled an older model Ford Topaz to stop. The Ford crashed into a parked car and both men got out. One tried to flee and the other proceeded to gun down the motorcycle officer with at least 10 shots, killing him on the spot. The other police unit returned fire, wounding the aggressor and capturing the other.

Monday 4/13/09

El Universal (Mexico City) 4/12/09

Mexico’s Ambassador to the US, Arturo Sarukhan, declared that 90% of the high-powered firearms used by the drug cartels come from the US. The diplomat considered that the US bar on assault rifles and semiautomatics that expired in 2004 is directly related to the increase of violence and the number of deaths that in 2008 and 2009 escalated to almost 7,000 people.

Cambio de Michoacan (Morelia, Michoacan) 4/12/09

While at the federal level, the discourse over new regulations to permit more efficient measures against organized crime intensifies, in Michoacan’s state congress, the majority of the legislators show little interest in the subject. Until now, the only matter considered necessary for debate is legalizing and commercializing the production of marihuana, since it is considered that if it is eventually legalized in California, surely it will become legal in other US states.

El Diario de Juarez (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 4/12/09

The Mexican Army denied having any part in the abduction of two youths and the death of one of them by supposed soldiers [reported yesterday]. By way of a press release, the Command Center of Joint Operation Chihuahua stated it “denies categorically that military personnel had taken any part in such things.” The investigation of the case will be conducted by local authorities with oversight by the federal Department of Justice.
Due to the investigations of corruption against Federal Police participating in Joint Operation Chihuahua and the wave of reports of abuses, the agency has transferred 120 active agents to other assignments in other areas. They have been replaced by another 120 agents from other areas.

-end of report-

April 13, 2009

Our Leaders Betray Us – Public Health and Social Impact

Our immigration laws should protect not only the individuals of this country from disease, but our resources from unsustainable use. These are modern times and medicine can fix many things now, but diseases still matter, and treating disease and injury has become terribly expensive. In recent decades we have opened our hospitals to anyone who walks in, and the bills wind up being paid by the public—or the hospitals go out of business. If we were infinitely rich we could afford to be infinitely generous, but we are not infinitely rich. Our national medical resources should not be expended on those who have no right to be here.

Health screening goes on for those who come legally to the U.S, especially for those who come to reside here. “Imported” diseases among our population of legal aliens have not presented a demonstrable threat to the health of the people of this country.
Illegal aliens, however, are another matter. They undergo no health screening, so we have no idea what any individual may bring. We can say that as a group, though, they bring diseases we have not seen here in decades. For instance, tuberculosis, leprosy, and dysentery show up now along the border with Mexico. There are pork tapeworm infestations in Texas, and Northern Virginia has seen outbreaks of tropical diseases brought to this country from Africa and Asia. Washington State and California have huge populations of illegal aliens. Those states also present tuberculosis cases far beyond the normal range—that is no coincidence. The medical literature is out there to back this position up for those who are incapable of seeing the common sense version of it, which is this: millions of illegal aliens come from third world countries with third world diseases and health and sanitation practices. Through their ignorance of modern health practices and sanitation, these individuals become disease vectors as they prepare and serve our food, clean our rooms, and care for our children and elderly. Our leaders seem incapable of grasping this simple fact: there are good reasons that illegal aliens should not be allowed to run free in this country by the million. The threat to our health is one of those reasons, yet our leaders betray us by permitting it. Why? We must demand an answer.

Protection of public health has been a goal of immigration laws since the first ones were adopted in the 19th century. It has only been in recent decades, though, that public services have become an issue—and they have become a big one. To be blunt, medical care for illegal aliens is running many hospitals into the ground financially, and their use of fraudulent identification is corrupting many of the security nets that have been put in place to take care of our own.

The major culprit is the blind generosity of our own Congress with our money. The federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) demands that emergency rooms treat anyone who enters claiming to be suffering from an emergency—and the patient gets to define what is an emergency. Naturally, when there is a poor population (we are not speaking of just illegal aliens – yet) with no access to other sources of medical care, the emergency room becomes their clinic of necessity. And since it is free to them, it gets used for anything, big or small. It may be a gunshot wound or it may be a headache, but the hospital must treat the problem or face disciplinary action or fines by the government.

Even if the problem is simple enough to fix with a one-cent aspirin, though, the cost of dealing with that patient is high. Medical staff gets paid the same whether they are treating a hangover or a hernia. Administrative personnel must go through the same reams of paperwork regardless of how simple the medical problem might be. Eventually, the unreimbursed costs add up to the point that they are no longer sustainable, and since most hospitals are for-profit enterprises, they close their doors, unable to keep going. Hospitals in areas with large populations of illegal aliens are in the worst shape, with California having lost 70 hospitals and trauma centers to economic closure between 1990 and 2004. The same thing is going on across the country in metropolitan areas with large poor populations. Texas, Florida, New Jersey; all have seen hospitals shut down. And the quality of services is being impacted by sheer volume of patients nearly everywhere there are large numbers of poor.

The undiscussed secret is this, an elephant in the living room: if we did not have so many illegal aliens here we would not have so many poor people. That is so for two reasons. First, the illegal aliens themselves are poor, often working poor, but poor nevertheless. And second, by their presence, they depress wages and working conditions and outright take jobs that ought to be held by American workers. Illegal aliens keep millions of Americans poor, and thus forced to draw on public support, as well as the fact that the aliens themselves draw on public facilities. They are a drag on our medical services system in ways we cannot afford.

Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty in 1965. So far, we have not won that war, or even made a dent in poverty. The reason is that we keep importing reinforcements for the other side. If we made the uncounted millions of illegal aliens go home by depriving them of jobs and the other benefits of our society we would improve the lives of equal millions of our own people, primarily our own poor. In the practice of medicine, this is called triage. That is, you can’t save everyone, so allocate limited resources to save those whom you can, or in this case, whom you should. Illegal aliens are those whom we can no longer afford to allocate resources to. We never could, of course, but we are just now finding that out the hard way. Human decency demands that if we permit them to be here, even invite them by default, as we have for years, we should treat their emergencies, but the real solution is to make sure they aren’t here at all.

We should demand that our leaders explain to us why they permit this. They not only permit it, but enable and encourage and abet it by refusing to undertake meaningful immigration enforcement efforts that would make the U.S. inhospitable to illegal aliens, thus causing them to go home. Why are our leaders betraying an entire class of Americans, the poor, by allowing millions of illegal aliens to take what rightfully belongs to those who belong here? They owe us an answer, a clear one that means something to the person who can’t find a decent job any more and is thus condemned to poverty.

Kent Lundgren
National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers

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