Jim Dolan blogs from the Mexican border

March 23, 2009 10:00:11 PM PDT
This is not what America needs. As the military finishes the job in Iraq and prepares to expand operations in Afghanistan, a third front is opening up that may cause a more immediate threat to Americans.

Photographer Joe Tesauro and I are reporting this week from America's border with Mexico, where drug cartels are waging a war with each other that is leaving in its wake thousands of innocent victims.

There have been Seven thousand murders in fourteen months in mexico, many of them police who refused to cooperate with the cartels.

So why do we care?

Two reasons beyond the concern over the human misery that routinely goes hand in hand with illicit drug traffic.

First, Mexico's number one industry is tourism and most of the tourists are American. The state department alert warning students to stay away from the border towns has worked, and you can see that in a piece shown on Eyewitness News at 11 on Monday night. Those who do come down are sometimes in danger of getting caught in the crossfire.

Second, because the violence is spilling over the border into the United States. Drug cartels are crossing the border to kidnap and kill dealers who owe them money, and guess what: they don't always get the right house.

The Obama administration is in the early stages of addressing this latest war front with more personnel and later this week we'll get a closer look at the whole battle plan. Joe and I will be here to bring that to you.

One last thought. You may wonder just how much money the cartels are fighting over. Juaquin Guzman is one of Mexico's biggest and most violent drug lords. He is now listed on the Forbes magazine list of the world's billionaires.

The stakes are high in this war, just as they are in Iraq and Afghanistan. As in those wars, failure is not an option. Mexico is too close and too important.

You can learn more about the Battle at the Border, and see my stories after they air, in a special section on 7online.com by clicking here.

Adios.


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