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March 26th, 2009
10:45 AM ET

The streets of Juarez

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/26/art.charlie.onpatrol.jpg caption="On patrol with 55th battalion out of Mexico City, part of 5,000 new soldiers now patrolling Juarez, Mexico."]

Anderson Cooper
AC360° Anchor

Driving through the streets of Juarez. It was once a bustling city, but now seems largely deserted. Boarded up nightclubs. Empty stores.

The American visitors are mostly gone, scared off by the escalating drug war which has turned Juarez into a battleground. A handful of factions have been fighting for control of lucrative drug routes into the US. There have been gun battles in the streets, bodies left in gutters.

The drug cartels pay off police, kill those they can't corrupt. Now 9,500 Mexican military personnel have flooded into Juarez.

"Our deployment here's open-ended," the captain of the unit says,"no one's told us how long we'll be here or how long this will take."

One of the more shocking aspects of this battle is the number of unknown victims. There are hundreds of people likely working for the cartels – low level runners or informants. Many are often found dead, their identities unknown. There are so many that they take their bodies to mass graves and simply dump them in. There simply isn't enough time to do anything else.

A convoy of soldiers just passed me by. They are in full combat mode, helmets on, kevlar vests, rifles

locked and loaded. They have made a difference. The violence has dropped off dramatically the last couple of days, but the cartels are still here, the war goes on, and the drugs continue to cross.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Mexico
soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Ken Goodman

    A.C.
    Legalizing drugs would bring in billions......billions in legitimate taxes that we are not seeing today...sales taxes at the city,county.state and federal taxes....besides eliminating thousands of bribes and corrupting public officials.We can save billions in our correction institutions.Lets spend billions more on education,not on more security officers.The argument that the gang lords can sell drugs cheaper are absolutely wrong......Every law enforcement agency in the U.S. can pass on substantial savings to the tax payers.Pharmacies,etc. can easily be prepaired to sell legal drugs.Once it is legalized.......you can control the traffic,once you gain the upper hand......

    March 27, 2009 at 3:12 am |
  2. Maximilian

    Anderson Cooper u are a smart man
    u know if drugs are made legal
    the drug use will go up and the prices for drugs will not drop
    That will be the down fall of the United States. There are more drug users and non drug users
    I used to use drugs and sell them but now im clean and work for a living
    Point blank if drugs are made legal i will be stupid to work for 10/hour, when i can make 10,000 a day to sell drugs
    and then claim unemployment(while making 10,000 a day)
    Note
    Im against drugs now, but everyone that wants drugs to be legal are all rich people who dont want to get caught and lose their jobs. But i hate watching the news but i do not miss your show
    Keep it up Mr. Cooper and dont be affaird to take your stories to the front line(thats why the whole world watch your show)

    March 27, 2009 at 3:02 am |
  3. Jaime Salazar, Austin, Texas

    I agree with Carl. America carries a burden, responsibility, and most importantly the resources to fix the problem in Mexico.

    The corruption of government officials in Mexico is up and down the ladder. The lack economic stability and industrial development makes it difficult for anybody to stand up to the cartels. Finally people can lose their lives if they do not comply. With all this, I cannot blame the Mexican citizens for joining or emigrating.

    America can help the Mexican government regain control of its country, which has a degree of self-interest included. Using a forceful but helping hand, the problem can be addressed.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:57 am |
  4. sickandtired

    i have been triying to read all the comments on this matter,, it surprises me that no one has any idea of how big the corruption in mexico is, not even us, who are the ones who smells the gunfire and blood from this war, this is no longer a matter of legalizing the pot or not, as a matter of fact that will just make it worst, why? well because knowing the mexican goverment, they will try to make a lot of money out of it, making the product even more expensive, and keeping the drugdealers on the street, for instance, if we now pay 5 dollars, for marijuana, we will pay 20 dollars for the "legal", for the same or even less amount. making us go back to the sheap dealer. now, the only drug than can be consider to be legal is marijuana, which is not the strongest market for the mexican cartels, for them what really gives the profit is the cocaine, extorsion, killing, , and well, i dont think we can legalize any of this activities can be legalized. you have to live here in chihuahua to understand the culture, and know that this is not gonna change, at least not here in mexico,, we live in a culture, where is more respected to be a "narco" than a professionist. dealers goes to bars and restauranst as if they were celebrities, people on the goverment knows them and even respects them, even the police know who they are, but they are afraid to do anything, cause for them its just not worth bothering for a salary of 800 dollars a month. which its true, but then again who is gonna care, i dont think u.s. is actually gonna end up increasing the cops salaries here in mexico.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:56 am |
  5. Nor Cal

    Anderson,
    Mexican weed sucks. let us grow the good stuff to smoke, here in California. and let the farmers back east grow hemp which does not depleate the soil, can be used for a multitude of products, and has no THC (kinda like the Mexican weed). Federal Deprohibition of the Cannabis plant would help to tackle four of our major problems. Helping the enviornment, fixing healthcare, producing alternative fuel products, and stimulating the economy by the tax revinue produced by Hemp and Medical Marijuana products.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:55 am |
  6. Michael

    Anderson
    I know you have a job to do and report the news but it disturbs me to know that the cartel is so strong, I think that the wall needs to be finished really quickly. I think that there need to be more FBI placed in Texas. I think also the US government needs to join strong forces with the Mexican Governemet to get all the Cartel. Kill them all like we did in Iraq. Kill all the Cartel and be done with all the problems. Its sick that there is so much corruption in Mexico. Its really sad.

    Also the Wall need to be finished quicker as I saw on TV there are still spaces and that is bad.............

    I also think that the guy you interviewed with who wore the Mask needs to be turned over to the US Governement and or the Mexican government so that they can put an end to this sooner than later.

    thanks

    March 27, 2009 at 2:48 am |
  7. Annalyssa

    I have to start by saying your my hero Mr. Copper I watch your show faithfully every day. I live in El Paso, Texas, but I have family who live in Juarez. I remember spending weekends in Juarez, without having to worry, but even then you weren’t recommended to go out at night because of the corruption in the law enforcement. It has been a year since I’ve visited last, and my family that lives there, have alienated themselves in efforts to try to keep themselves safe. The drug war is bad. The U.S. can no longer turn the other cheek, we need to do something. I am so relieved that you are shining a light on this issue, because even some El Pasoans are ignorant to what is going on. These cartels are ruthless; a human life doesn’t have value anymore. I am nineteen years old, but even I understand the severity of the problem. To legalize drugs, I think, would only bring the war further into the U.S. Thank you again.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:44 am |
  8. Jared

    Hello Anderson,

    Plenty of people who use drugs would not be criminals if drugs were legal.

    A large part of criminal violence is drug related. No illegal drugs equals less violent crimes. To eliminate illegal drug based violence we could legalize all drugs.

    In most cases, drug addicts can work, make money and pay taxes, maybe even be rehabilitated. Dead people cannot do anything. More drug addicts would be better than more murders. Opportunity knocks. Let us save lives.

    Thank you!

    March 27, 2009 at 2:41 am |
  9. Erin

    Anderson,

    Your story, while informative, is just the begining.

    I live on the border in Laredo, TX. Everyday we are bombarded with more stories of drugs and senseless killings and kidnappings. I wish I could say the US efforts are helping, however, it has become a joke to locals.

    The US troops stationed on our border is a farce! The men stationed here placed in horrid, over-crowded living conditions, are unarmed and are ordered to shadow border patrol officers. A member of the border patrol said, "They just get in the way. They do nothing and have no authority here. These poor guys come down thinking they are going to do something and end up sitting on their butt staring at the wall. We can't even have them fill out paper work."

    I suppose the US is going for a "safety in numbers" approach, however, this is ridiculous.

    Hopefully your story will show the people in Washington, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

    Best of Luck and thank you for doing this story!

    (please do not add my name on the blog)

    March 27, 2009 at 2:38 am |
  10. Cris

    As long as there drugs out there that are illegal there will be people who use them just to create a challange, to make themselves look like the big man. I think the bigger problem is looking at the reason people do drugs to start with. There has never been as much pressure on people as there is right this moment. Adults do well to coupe with the pressure but can imagine being a kid and being helpless to do anything about the problems?

    March 27, 2009 at 2:38 am |
  11. John

    Good show!

    People will always continue to use drugs for entertainment or temporary escape from reality, legal or not. It is human nature! Are those people hurting anyone else by doing so? (and I am not talking about e.g. driving under the influence as that is irrelevant...sleeping pills and alcohol are legal)

    Let's get realistic and pragmatic.

    Banning alcohol back in the day worked well didn't it?! Many drugs sold by the big pharma companies are not any less powerful, nor less addictive, it is just hard to patent a coca, poppy or marijuana plant.

    Legalize it and tax it. What a perfect way to help balance the budget and pay for education and healthcare. This includes taking addicts off the vicious cycle of crime to get their fix. Treat drug addiction as a treatable disease not a crime. Better and cheaper to society. Just look at the Netherlands, for example.

    The amount of our tax dollars wasted on a system that will never work is shocking.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:32 am |
  12. Nicholas

    Anderson

    We always hear about supply and demand. Demand will never go away...prohibition proved that! I believe the term should be "Risk and Return". The consequences of NARCO activity is great ....death, life encarceration, etc.. Remove the high risk by legalization and the outrageous returns vanish. People do not kill each other for somethng that can be purchased over the counter. All violence surrounds the fact that the risk are so great that the end consumer must pay for the risk taken. We may have slightly increased use initially but a sudden price decrease would rid society of much of the violence. What are the crime stats of legal medical marijuana. The other problem is that society and our politicans do not want to acknoweldge the fact that drug money is deeply embeded in all aspects of are economy. The legalization would have signifcant ripple effects.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:31 am |
  13. William

    -I don't know where i can start, first you have a country that is the number one drug's consumer in the world, and you have a next door country where there's the freedom to be corrupt!! Letal combination.

    -There's no way Mexico could triumph in this war that is been helped by so many police men and chiefs, some months ago, in some underground mexican media were reporting about how much money Cartels used to give to this mexican chiefs of police, and per month this guys are receivin' 450 thousand dollars!!

    -Unfortunetly it is a problem of the both countries, because I've seen some comments about why the US has to regulate their guns sales, well because just simple as this, is affectin' a commercial border and the safety of their own american citizens. I know that in Mexico there's a lot of corruption, and it will be very harsh to uncontrol the power of Cartels but what about american corruption? How is even possible that drugs can be easily transport to the cities in the US??? Aren't supposed are custom agents in the american side of the border?

    -As you see, we share this problem and I just hope we can just finish this terrible and sad chapter in our history as a neighbors.

    And I want to applaude Anderson Cooper for his brilliant report and hope to see more atention to this problem, and to watch too, more information about the problem in the US as well.
    I was watching some reports from Fox News, and I didn't know this reporter, her name is Greta, i guess, and she was lying!, she said that in Monterrey we were with fear, and that's just a lie!
    One thing is that Juarez city and some border cities are experimenting this terrible situations, that doesn't mean that all Mexico is like that.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:31 am |
  14. EphremJohnson

    Ya know it's amazing how we can so called liberate a whole country(Iraq) but we can't control drugs within our own border. It's clear to me that none of this can happen unless some people in some pretty high places are in on it. I don't know who but the fact that they won't do anything about it tell's me that someone's making it happen.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:26 am |
  15. Heather

    I miss my sister city....she is injured and broken!

    March 27, 2009 at 2:24 am |
  16. brenda texas

    Anderson,

    Thank you for covering this very important topic. This has hit close to home as i visit Mexico often and have family in Torreon. One year ago it was a safe city where you could take the family out even late at night. No longer is that the case, there are daily shootouts between police and the drug cartels, people go grocery shopping in fear. This is a 2 way street as i see it. We americans are consuming and they want the business. Although many firearms are going into Mexico, i want to say that their customs inspectors DONT even check vehicles half of the time. They just wave you through. If these firearems are a problem then i say check every single vehicle going into Mexico. As far as the U.S. its the same thing. When i come back to the U.S. they check my citizenship and wave me through. In the last few times ive traveled to Mexico the U.S. border patrol has not so much as asked me to open my trunk!

    I have faith in both administrations and im looking forward to an end to this.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:18 am |
  17. Charles

    I, agree with some of what the mashrall said. But, legalize all drugs is not the way to go. I, think pot should be, but, not all of the hard drugs.
    Yes, pot should be legal to anyone over 21. It helps those with serious medical problems. Been using for 30+ years with no bad effects. Kept my job, done my work with no errors. I, have AIDS and it helps to clam me down, and keep my weight up. Just let us grow 3 plants for personal use, crack down on dealers, and to stop the smuggling across the border. Tobacco is the worst drug I, use and the hardess to quit and alcohol, has killed more than pot.
    Thank You for your time.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:17 am |
  18. Heidi F

    Hey Anderson!
    Way to go getting the cartel insider to do a live interview.....POWERFUL. There are, I'm sure, amny more long timers in our DEA and US Marshall that are corrupt. Afterall, they've had Dick Cheney and The Bush presidents as role models. They set a really bad example for our entire society.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:16 am |
  19. Jackie Anderson

    Another thing build a state of the art fence, spend billions if necessary , make it so if they dig under sensors will pick it up, this is America make it happen.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:13 am |
  20. steve

    All that I have heard is how so many weapons from this country are going into Mexico. No one has asked how many of them have been stolen from law abiding citizens by gang members. There are about 500 Hispanic gangs from the Valley, to East LA down to South LA alone, let a lone what is in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Do you think that they might have something to do with these weapons going across the boarder? I spent 25 years in the military and went through several Anti Terrorism courses; one thing that was pointed out was that the US military has gang members in it. They are members that were selected to remain clean so that they can join the military. Their sole purpose is to take what military tactic’s they have learned and teach them to their fellow gang members to make them more effective. Do you think that they might be helping some military items disappear and ending up across the boarder? How about Mexico can they say that weapons from their police armories are not being sold to the cartel? How about Mexico’s neighbors to the South? We pumped a lot of weapons into those countries in the 80’s do you think they were accounted for? We have Venezuela that is not too friendly to us; you think they might be helping the cartels.
    Yes there is a drug problem and we have helped to egg it on by our consumption and yes there are a few bad apples who would sell guns across the boarder and they should be punished to the upmost. The last item is how the Mexican army is out gunned by Assault Weapons provided from the US. Just as “Saturday Night Special” was catchy phrase in the 60’s for media and the powers to be; so has the Word Assault Weapon. An Assault Weapon is a weapon that is capable of FULL Automatic fire. The outward appearance does not make it capable of Full Automatic fire. But I believe this administration is using what is happening along the boarder to further their anti gun rhetoric.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:09 am |
  21. Jackie Anderson

    Texas's gun laws should be changed, anyone can buy as many weapons as they wish at any time. Change the law and that will slow the smuggling of guns.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:06 am |
  22. Rick in Dallas

    three ways we win if marijuana is legalized:

    1. The cost of trying to stop the drugs from coming into the US is saved and can be used for a good reason elsewhere.

    2. TAX REVENUE. an added revenue source for states and the federal government.

    3. It will create jobs in production, distribution and selling.

    This the same as when alcohol was made legal. The only difference is that his is a weed and not a liquid.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:05 am |
  23. David Holt

    Prohibition does not work !

    Why have we not learned our lesson ? Why does our government think that even though prohibition failed with alcohol it can succeed with other substances that alters a persons mind or mood ?

    When alcohol was illegal Gangters made millions and killed anyone who got in their way ....Just as we have now with a "war on drugs" that allows cartels to make millions while thousands die fighting a war that can not be won.

    The only answer is legalize all drugs , control and tax them then use the money for the only thing that does work ....

    Drug education , prevention and rehabilitation Subsidize our rehabs so the average family can afford the 25,000 -35,000 price tag an effective costs today.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:04 am |
  24. PJ

    I sure wish someone could tell me the difference between legal addicting pharmacy drugs and illegal street drugs. Hummm–I wonder if there is a close bond here between our government and the big pharmacy cartel. Money, money, money, money.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:04 am |
  25. philip

    Reminds me of Miami in the 1980s (watch cocaine cowboys I and II, blows your mind). Something very similar to this was going on in the US not too long ago...

    Myself, I think the military will at least partially resolve the situation, at least quiet it down. It depends how far they want to go.

    The cartels have to be hunted down and eliminated, that is the only way to resolve the problem. The old fashioned way of shooting cartel members on spot. (along the lines of he looters of New Orleans following Katrina, and how it stopped once the national guard stepped in...). Fight the terror with more terror. The collateral damage is going to make amnesty international scream, but its the only way.

    Otherwise they can only hope to contain the problem, not eliminate it.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:04 am |
  26. Victor

    Drugs are illegal, yet easy to find in society. Teen drinking is illegal, yet you see them drunk all the time. Speeding laws, yet people speed all the time. What is the point of these laws when they serve no purpose or do nothing to stop what they make illegal.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  27. Sam Gray

    In response to the guy AC just interviewed saying you will see drug use go up if you legalize it. I started smoking ciggaretts at 13, I smoked for 5 years by the time I was 18 I quit. I was feeling the negative effects from it and there was no more thrill. Plus it just cost too much. I also started drinking at about 16 I drank like a fish at weekend parties in highschool. By the time I turned 21 I was less interested in drinking even burnt out on it. I think the legalization of at least marajuana would see the same effect

    March 27, 2009 at 1:58 am |
  28. Femi Ariya

    When one considers the argument for or against the legalization of the sale of marijuana in the United States, there are considerably ponderous arguments for or against. To be brief, yes marijuana is arguably the most harmless illicit drug available, easily trumping both alcohol and cigarettes from the health perspective. However, even with this and many other positive aspects of the legalization of marijuana being considered, there is still no point in doing so for the sake of diminishing the propensity of the tension at the Mexican border or the economy as a whole. Why? Because primarily, those who are doing this smuggling are not going to be benefactors in the legalization, thus will force them to seek alternative revenue streams to maintain their current profits. This being considered, the tension on the Mexican border could potentially exacerbate to a level beyond our current comprehension. Even if these cartels were the benefactors of pot legalization this would prove detrimental to the economy as potentially more buyers (because of the legalization) would send American dollars outside of the US. Either way you slice it. If pot legalization is being considered for Mexican-American relation/tension or economical reasons then there‘s no reason to do it. However, pot legalization does have potentially good implications in severely diminishing the toll sustained by our jails and police departments pertaining to the war on drugs. My opinion, is that marijuana remain illegal, yet penalties for possession be severely reduced. While penalties for possession with intent to sell be increased to the level of cocaine.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:53 am |
  29. Laieboy86

    That is some Great work you are doing in Mexico! Hopefully someone can cover the US side, meaning Sec of State, and what might come from the US? We probably should of put our focus on Mexico rather than Iraq. What does $700 million that is reported from the US going to do to help battle this epidemic? Unless we redirect our Military in there and do a quick sweep.
    This has to be the biggest news for America other than the Boring Economy Issue every channel is covering. And you are neck deep in it! That is Very Impressive. That cover on the middleman for a Cartel was scary. Are you going to try to get to talk to a Leader of a Cartel?
    Whatever, Just Be Safe! You R CRAZY! And thanks for the News....
    Laieboy86

    March 27, 2009 at 1:51 am |
  30. Keith D

    Amsterdam seems to get along o.k. with legal, or at least decriminalized drugs, don't they?

    March 27, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  31. el don Rodrigo

    Hey Anderson,

    You are doing what needs to be done. However, you need to ask the real question, is it important for the U. S. to carve a wedge in this drug proliferation or does it make it legal for the drug Ceasars. Another words, if we were to say it's what we have to do,who is in charge? The drug Ceasars because they have the harvest or the government because they don't. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm After making the $$$$$$ who is the weener?

    el don Rodrigo

    March 27, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  32. Steve Johnson

    I’d like to comment on some of your discussion in regards to the “Drug War” the US is facing. Thursday night you had Robert Almante (spelling?) speaking against the legalization of drugs. This is exactly why US citizens are so misinformed on the legalization of drugs. All I heard from him was personal opinion and nothing based on facts or statistics. There is also an obvious bias in his statements as legalization would greatly reduce the funding of border and law enforcement agencies which directly affects his paycheck. It’s like asking the oil companies if hydrogen fueled cars are a good idea. Why not do a report on a country that has a social progressive policy like Amsterdam that has legalized drugs for years. When looking at their citizen’s drug use, you see they have one third the users per capita then the US. They don’t have social upheaval or “druggie’s” lying all over the city streets. In fact, the opposite is true. Even in the areas of the city considered high drug use, most drug users have never even heard of crack. It is obvious that the US public has been fed misinformation for decades by politicians and lobbyists who are paid by law enforcement agencies and prison agencies to perpetuate the negative view of marijuana. Over 750,000 US citizens are currently in prison (at an annual approximate cost of over 60,000 per prisoner) for minor marijuana offences. This comes out to 45,000,000,000 to house these individuals per year. While incarcerated these individuals are not working, not participating in the growth of the economy or contributing taxes. Not to mention the social upheaval created to families who are torn apart by marijuana convictions. Private prisons are one of the largest growth industries in the United States! President Obama laughs at the thought of legalizing marijuana to help the economy but look at the numbers. Ten’s of billions of dollars are spent annually to fight the war on marijuana and yet it can’t stem the flow. You have ten’s of billions being spent annually to incarcerate people whose only offence is minor marijuana offences. Lost also is all the money from the legal sale and taxation of marijuana. That money could go towards education and health care instead of paying for some drug dealers’ mansion and sports cars. You are literally talking about 100’s of billions of dollars annually that go to fighting a losing battle instead of to the growth of the nation. In the last few years many studies have come out that prove marijuana is not physically or psychologically addictive and provides many health benefits. A person does more damage to there body having a few beers than smoking a marijuana cigarette. If the citizens of the United States were properly informed and educated on marijuana, I believe the majority would see the benefits of legalization.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:41 am |
  33. Keith D

    Legalize it, and wipe out organized crime related to it. What is it? Pick something. If those cartels don't behave, we will take away all their money!

    March 27, 2009 at 1:38 am |
  34. Ric

    Please! Stop referring to marijuana as a 'narcotic!' It's ridiculous to put this drug into a category with opiods!

    March 27, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  35. Stan

    President Obama, please put back the restriction on weapons, that Bush let expire. God bless you and your family , the Unites States of America and the entire world.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  36. paulo

    Mr. Cooper, If the us army is at the border the drugs will stop, but only if the americans stop the sale of guns, I was a soldier at the border of my country and if anything try to come tru the border we deal with force.One thing it is tru as long the americans and the rest of the world consume it will be difficult to stop without killing them.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:34 am |
  37. mack

    making the drugs legal is not going to stop anything, yeah legalize marijuana and we'll just ruin the next generation coming behind us. Now it may slow down the need for smuggling, may even open avenues for poorer area in other countries to make money but in the long run it will be our downfall. Having small area like in California where its legal, yeah to me that was just the begining, soon other states will pass some sort of bill or law making it "ok".after that we'll see more peop;e branching out to use stroger drugs. They dont call weed a gateway drug for nothing

    March 27, 2009 at 1:32 am |
  38. Arturo

    Mr. Cooper, I noticed that your reports on the border have consciously or otherwise combined two distinct and separate issues: immigration and drug smuggling. I'm concerned that the escalating rhetoric about drug related violence is going to create a hostile environment here in the US for immigrants from Latin America. Doesn't CNN and your editorial staff have some responsibility to clearly separate the issue of violent cartels from the issue of non-violent immigrants fleeing deplorable conditions and crushing poverty? Let's not confuse immigrants for "narco-terrorists".

    March 27, 2009 at 1:32 am |
  39. Stan

    Anderson, your reporting is excellent and very informative. I wish we would wake up in the U.S and stop the Gun Companies at these gun shows from selling the weapons to the drug cartel. The gun Companies need to have more oversite and be able to count for every weapon made. Drug users in America need to wake up and get the hell off the drugs. Our youth out their selling drugs on the corners need to wake up, your risking your life for a drug pusher, that's killing your neighborhood and your brothers and sisters. WE can win the drug war, if we all stand up and take our neighborhoods back and tell our Police Officers, who's selling drugs in your neighborhoods and who's killing people in your neighborhoods. Drugs, hatred and lack of knowledge hurt us all, we are bigger than that!!!

    March 27, 2009 at 1:28 am |
  40. mike Krelle

    I am disappointed that CNN have been caught up in this alleged ‘Narco Terrorist War’ hysteria and journalistic group think. It is just like the alleged WMD that in Iraq.

    This ‘War on Drugs’ with Mexico was started by the likes of Nixon, G. Gordon Liddy, George Mitchel, and Erhlichman when they launched ‘Operation Intercept’ in 1969 and even more unbelievable in 1909, hundred years ago, with the International Opium Commission.

    This 40 or should I say 100 year old war has been a complete failure and now this latest fear mongering is destroying legitimate Mexico business along the entire border and the loss of life is tragic

    This issue has been blown way out of proportion. Sure there has been fighting between cartels after the arrests of some leaders. They are trying to reestablish a new pecking order and control of drug routes.

    This has happened before but this time the I fear that it is being used politically by President Calderon, who is taking a page out of Bush’s ‘War on Terror, to attack the left wing opposition parties in Mexico. Remember that he had to sneak into the Mexican Congress to be inaugurated due to a contested election.

    Also I fear it is being used by the anti-immigration right wing to force a confrontation and militarization of the border and make a super fence. .

    March 27, 2009 at 1:27 am |
  41. brian

    Mexico is a failed state! Why? Mexican military incursions on U.S. soil, Mexican Military assistance to narco smugglers and human smugglers. The government obviously doesn't have control of its own borders or on its own soil. Corruption is rampant throughout the government, military and police and in many cases are complicit in the many crimes such as murder, smuggling (narco and human) and this has been going on for years. Former Mexican President Vicente' Fox did NOTHING to stop it before it got out of hand like it is today.

    Mexico accuses the U.S. of supplying guns to the cartels, but has yet to supply our law enforcement with serial numbers to trace the weapons. Mexico accuses the U.S. of breaking the NAFTA agreement in regards to allowing their broken down trucks or semi qualified drivers drive on our roads, when it was Mexico who broke the terms of the NAFTA agreement. The Mexican government was supposed to increase the wages in that country and never did and people over there are still working for pennies on the dollar.

    All this is why we need the border fence and a double fence and though its not a fix all, it is a must to keep our people safe from the dangerous criminal cartels and smugglers from coming over here. Mexico is a major threat to our national security!

    March 27, 2009 at 1:25 am |
  42. Carlos Garcia

    Let's not forget there are children and adults suffering as a result of the ongoing violence. I travel to Juarez regularly to continue to feed the children and build homes for people living in card board houses. Let's fight drugs and corruption but let's not forget to love and help the innocent victims. As I travel Juarez I feel safe and I'm able to get my business done.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  43. Eric in LA

    Why doesn't Anderson bring up the topic of drug legalization in interviews? He could ask the cartel insider that question when he discusses US demand for drugs. Why aren't the reporters touching this topic?

    March 27, 2009 at 1:16 am |
  44. MEB

    To solve threats to Americans; we need to stop imports and exports with Mexico and take Mexico off the list of countries to visit. Accept this country should barr Americans from living, going and being there. Border patrols should consist of Americans born in the United States and not Naturalized Americans.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:16 am |
  45. daijada

    watching this report you can tell mexico is still run like a banana republic. The president of mexico should be out there talking about the crisis not a mayor of the region. WTF? Btw this wall wont change a thing.
    We are a addicted nation and we will get our fix.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:14 am |
  46. jeremy

    i beleive there will be severe retaliation made by the us on the cartel very quickly due to the killing of u.s. marshall bustamante you don't mess wit one of the u.s. own and get away with it no matter how big your guns are even if the guy was crooked...

    March 27, 2009 at 1:13 am |
  47. patricia

    Hey Anderson, you do I job all the time....but, I believe this could, in it's own way, be high priority of issues our country has to deal with......I work in a drug rehab center & it still continues to stimie re the availabilty of drugs in US rite.....those who really want to quit are scared to death to return their ild neighborhoods, friends etc. They want to go to HWH's etc where can feel a bit safer.....but must say even though these people do not want to go back to illegal drug use or even ETOH, that have put their lives in ruin: many, but not all, do demand immediate gratification for any problem they mite face, that many of us live w/on a daily basis........But so many addicts have a problem w/immediate gratification.....but this problem spreads much further in our country, ie Wall Street greed, shopaholics, gamblers et al......this a sickness in the US that can't be cured by any president etc.. the only hope I can think of is establishing good role models, people volunteering to help who are in recovery, (many already do) but somehow we need to pass the message on to these people, give them support etc after they leave rehab.....how to deal w/the facts how to deal with w/life in full reality w/o using drugs, etoh...need more out-pt programs to continue the support they receive in rehab etc. The US has huge appetite for drugs & I can;t imagine ending the drug trade w/o long-term out-pt treatment programs to prevent relapse, then the next problem is to stop it before it starts......in some ways philosophicaly I can see a point in legalization......but, alcohol is legal & causes many problems in our country.......But a huge thing that is missing w/alcohol being legal is the illegal drug trade, violence, death, cartel wars, gang trade, dealers, greed etc cannot thrive w/alcohol being legal & do believe that is something worth thinking about....yes, it's a difficult thing to think about, but how much worse can we let it get then it is rite now.......Anderson, hug e fan of yours for years, you are doing a great job....it;s scary there....plse stay safe!!!!!1

    March 27, 2009 at 1:08 am |
  48. Stan

    Thank you Secertary of State Hilliary Clinton for addresing the problem the U,S. has with the need for drugs. Americans created the problem as well as the supplyers themselves. Mrs. Clinton, will we ever get to the bottom of who's benefitting from the sales of the drugs that enter the U.S? Is it possible to follow the money and see where it leads to, or who? Also can we stop the U.S from selling weapons to the drug cartel. How is it that we, allow U.S. weapons companys to sell weapons, that are for the soul purpose of killing Law Enforcement Officers and Agents fighting the drug problem. Hilliary, with you actually telling it like it is, we will win the war aganist drugs, because your a fighter and will get to the bottom of the ones making all the money.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:01 am |
  49. Boo

    The U.S. won't become too involved with the situation due to the fact it will lose several commodities in our social and economic systems.
    1. The loss of illegal immigrants would cause our already economic frailty to erupt into $10 heads of cabbage, $15 bags of apples, etc.
    2. The court systems of our nation rely on the drug trade to pay for the "WAR ON DRUGS"
    3. Mexico is either the first or second largest importer of oil to this country and this is the biggest issue.
    The U.S. doesn't won't to get involved. It needs for things to stay the way they are right now – a distraction. It provides some alleviation of more pressing issues we as a country face. This also provides an opportunity for President Obama to show that he cares for his people and wants to do what is best for them. I say just close the border and repeal NAFTA and let Calderon handle his own problems. Noone is coming to our rescue.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:01 am |
  50. Elliott Wilson

    Why don't you get expert advice on the illegal drug crisis from people like the former judge, Jim Gray of Orange County, California. We can head off another deadly and economically hurtful, second-time-around prohibition era by decriminalizing the use of drugs and treating the problem medically and educationally.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:01 am |
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