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March 24th, 2009
10:57 AM ET

Mexican drug cartel violence spills over, alarming U.S.

Editor’s note: Tune in to our special coverage on Wednesday as Anderson reports live from Mexico on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

The New York Times
Randal C. Archibold

Sgt. David Azuelo stepped gingerly over the specks of blood on the floor, took note of the bullet hole through the bedroom skylight, raised an eyebrow at the lack of furniture in the ranch-style house and turned to his squad of detectives investigating one of the latest home invasions in this southern Arizona city.

A 21-year-old man had been pistol-whipped throughout the house, the gun discharging at one point, as the attackers demanded money, the victim reported. His wife had been bathing their 3-month-old son when the intruders arrived.

“At least they didn’t put the gun in the baby’s mouth like we’ve seen before,” Sergeant Azuelo said. That same afternoon this month, his squad was called to the scene of another home invasion, one involving the abduction of a 14-year-old boy.

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Filed under: Global 360° • Mexico
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Alisa

    Drugs are only a part of what is dangerous. Don't forget the guns–AK-47's, semi-automatics...There needs to be just as much gusto on the American side as the Mexican side because the arms dealers are originating here in the U.S. I would suggest putting a temporary ban on high powered guns, just until the violence has deescalated. I know, I know... we have a right to bear arms (especially with the cartel violence & I don't blame a person for wanting one), but there is an out of control arms race to the border that needs to be tamped down so blood shed in minimized. Then start addressing how we can overcome the minds of those young arms or drug dealers that get thousands of dollars pushed in their pockets to do the dirty deed. This goes hand in hand with fixing our economy because those few hundred or few thousand dollars can sure pay the bills, and if they are not on a viable payroll, then they will be on the payroll of the cartel & they know this, that's why these cartel's have spread like wildfire across the U.S.

    Las Cruces, New Mexico

    March 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  2. Sydney

    If we stop providing the Meican drug cartels with guns, money and drug addicts from America then we would not have this problem. Wake up this problem started here in America and has spread like a virus to other countries.

    March 24, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  3. Mike Cardona

    Plain and simple to all of those of you who haved marked this page with "We should rehab the whole country". While there are dangerous drug we can only educate and let our children know the difference. The main income for these Cartels is Marijuana. A plant that is safer then alchool . For all of you critics:Do you not remember when alchool was illegal here in the states and the mob ran it anyway?. It is the exact same thing.There are countries in which marijuana is legal and not any other drugs. We should tax it and let the Government profit so we can start paying the deficit. Everyone stop focusing on the problem and lets start talking about answers.

    March 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  4. Mike Cardona

    Mr. Anderson Cooper
    Sir,
    Just wanted to make a few points on some of the topics you have worked hard to cover these past few weeks. First I would like to discuss the Mexican Cartel Wars. Senator John McCain was asked shortly after he was deafeated by President Barack Obama what he could have done diffrently? He stated "gone after more of the latino vote." I am sure that Mexico and, Legal Hispanic Voters will be watching closely at what The President does. I hope for his Elections 2012's sake that he does more than send A.T.F agents to the border. He needs to display Democracy at it's finest, and let the citizens vote on whether or not to legalize Marijuana only to combat the billion dollar industry that Forbes Magazine Models are fighting for pages on. This would enable the billions of dollars to flow towards the Mexican Goverment and over long term dominate the capital and weapons and,wages in the Mexican Millitary and Government.
    Another thing I wanted to discuss is Timmy G he is walking on thin ice if the Economy stays like it is today and yesterday he will be fine but if any more bonus scanals surface he will wear the faliure on his shoulders.

    March 24, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  5. joe ontiveros

    Have you ever wonder, why the USA Government, never arrest any
    big wigs, and charged them with drug's charges ?
    Corruption, sounds familiar to you.
    Not only Mexico has that problem, the USA has the problem too, all
    you have to do is watch reality shows about: Cops, FBI, and endless
    shows, about how the USA Government is fighting the "Drug's war".
    But you never see them going after: the rich, corrupted executive, the
    one who is making millions of the people, who are addicted to drugs.
    Sad, but true, They created this mess, their greed has no limits.
    Simple as it is: stop the demand for "drugs" in the USA market, and there will be no need for "drugs traffickers".

    March 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  6. william swain

    AC360 -at this point you are our last hope for the truth to be reveal. The
    major news providers have successfully avoided dealing with the truth
    concerning our horrific economy crisis. One prime piece of the puzzle has not been discussed as a pivotal player in impacting our overall
    economy and banking system. In just the last 10 years billions if not trillions of dollars were processed through our banking systems. Now what do you think happen to all of this money? Homeland security monitoring has severly interfered with the movement of drug
    monies through the banking systems and the business world. You, as
    a world class investigator could easily bring this piece of the puzzle
    into the mix in revealing the tremendrous negative activity that has not been included in explaining our economy crisis.

    March 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  7. Jaime Rueda

    America, you want to stop this drug war?
    Admit you Addiction and start going to REHAB.
    America needs Stronger Laws and Penalties to Consumers and US Distributors. STOP THE DEMAND!!!!

    March 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  8. Michael "C" Lorton, VA

    It is a dangerous and violent business--and those who choose to take that path--it is the price they pay for the life they choose.

    March 24, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  9. John Charles Smith

    Anderson: Your comments on the Mexican drug cartel is very interesting. Their activities in Mexico are not only affecting crime in the US but in Canada as well, particularly in the Vancouver area. Unfortunately Vancouver has always been the drug capital of Canada, because it is a major seaport, and has a large number of ethnic groups, especially Asian & South Asian people who seem to be involved in this business at a higher rate than other enthnic groups.
    Hell's Angels & other MC gangs also thrive here.
    The Mexican Govt crackdown on drug cartels has created a shortage of drugs not only in the USA but in Canada too, to the point where local drug gangs are fighting each other for control. This has led to 20 separate shooting & killing incidents so far this year (unheard of in the past) & a couple of innocent people have been killed in cross-fire. This has led to a meeting last week of the Attorney General of British Columbia the Governor of Baja California, Mexico to discuss more stringent ways of dealing with this. The situation also led to a meeting of 5 of the Premiers (Governors) of the western Provinces of Canada asking our Federal Govt to tighten up bail conditions, and to change the Federal laws governing the drug trade, and to add additional jail time where firearms are used in offences (to be served consecutively).
    People in Greater Vancouver are genuinely afraid to leave their homes at night & the situation is affecting the tourist trade as well. Thought you'd like to know this. Thanks

    March 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  10. Dawn

    I heard that mexico is suppose to get 700 million,you all talk about mexico but why cant you talk about the american citizens and futhermore use some of that money to help americans get off these drugs that mexico has brought in to the U.S. for instances how people in ky are getting treated get caught with drugs get a felony charge and locked up and then their lives are ruined because of their addiction.Hardly noone will hire a felonist.Do we have to be a foreign country before we can get help?

    March 24, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  11. Jim

    I say use our Wonderfull technology, Pin point the Drug Cartells, Their Members & take them out. It's either them or us & as they don't like leaving survivors neitrher should we., Put a Bounty on Drug Dealers in the U.S. If We see a Drug deal going down we should be allowed to shot on sight.

    March 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  12. Ron Illinois

    Maybe we should have invaded Mexico instead of Iraq. The Mexican government is corrupt and always has been. Its a third world country with that same mentality.

    Their gangs are invading our country and we do little to stop this. Our President took an oath to protect America from all enemies, that includes our neighbors if necessary.

    Mexico is becoming a large threat to the United States and we should let their government know that if they can't stop their war lords and drug lords that we can. They know who they are and they can't catch them. We have thousands of troops trained to hunt down and dispose of these people once and for all.

    The people that run these Cartels live on large estates with mansions and guards all around. Real hard to find...........................

    March 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  13. trey roberts

    The problem isnt mexico.

    The problem is the drug use in America.

    March 24, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  14. Rick

    The US has its back to the wall on this one. Putting all the Agents and military on the boarder will not solve the violence or stop the flow of drugs and guns. Its going to have to be war with Mexico or legalize the drugs.Start with Marijuana for one. Tax it state and Federal. It will be a hard one to swallow for some Americans. But they will have to bite their bottom lip on this. Or stay in a war they will never win.Costing American tax payers Billions more.

    March 24, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  15. Amy

    For a the past 9-10 years we have traveled by car every summer from the midwest to Guadalajara across the Laredo Texas border crossing ( we have never had a problem) even with other border towns having lots of violence Lardo was always safer...but now with the growing violence we will fly. Which is too bad because we really enjoy the drive.

    March 24, 2009 at 11:20 am |