Jim Dolan blogs from the Mexican border

March 25, 2009 8:56:35 AM PDT
No matter where Joe and I go, no matter how long we stay, there are always stories left untold. You go to a place with a mission, you accomplish that, but along the way you have seen people whose stories you wish you could share.

Joe likes to say we'll get to that next time, but next time there will be a different mission and you still don't get to tell the story.

So this week, the mission has been to talk about the drug cartel inspired violence in Mexico and the way it is starting to spill over in to the united states and cause problems for the economy in Mexico. These are important stories, and I'm glad we are telling them, but here's the story I wish I'd have had time to tell.

The border with Mexico is a line. But people from the same families live on either side of the line. Some got papers, others did not. Some got in trouble, others stayed on the straight and narrow. But the drug cartel activity in Mexico (which of course wouldn't exist without the insatiable lust for illegal drugs in The United States) is keeping those families apart.

I met Monica Morales today, in a Chula Vista parking lot. Chula Vista is a town packed with Mexican Americans who fled because of the violence in their old home towns. Ms. Morales has not seen her family in four years. She started to cry as she told me about the reasons they can't get over here, and why she is afraid to go visit them.

She used to go to a doctor she liked there, but the doctor was kidnapped and murdered. That is what showed her that the cartels target people with money, people who drive nice cars or own businesses. Ms. Morales and her husband are successful, so she can't visit her family and they can't visit her. And they are just one family. There are tens of thousands of them, kept apart by the need to keep the border with Mexico locked down to prevent drugs and human traffic from coming across.

Tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will visit Mexico and she will talk about the great cooperation between law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border and the need to defeat the cartels.

The cartels need to be defeated, no doubt. They are vicious, bloodthirsty gangs of outlaws who don't care about what nation's laws they are breaking or who they are killing. (When they break in to homes to steal money or drugs, they find the youngest child and put a gun in his mouth until the parents tell them where the money is. These are not good people.)

But There will always be someone profiting off of America's lust for illegal drugs. It finances murder around the globe, terrorism in South Asia, and it keeps families apart right here in North America.

Drug consumers don't meet the families whose lives must be lived apart, nor the families of the murder victims. They don't meet the child who had a gun barrel jammed in his mouth. Its an innocent line of cocaine in the Village, its the business end of a gun in the mouth of a three year old in Tijuanna.

As the Obama administration attacks this as a law enforcement challenge, no one will try to re-unite the Morales family. But they are among those paying the steepest price for a war that is financed by America's insatiable need for cocaine and heroin and, yes, marijuanna. Someone should think about them.

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.