Although much of the violence is against people involved in the drug trade, law enforcement authorities said such crime should not be viewed as a “self-cleaning oven,” as one investigator put it, because of the danger it poses to the innocent. It has also put a strain on local departments.Will's first column ended with a comment implying that the victims of Mexican gangs deserved their victimhood, which seemed like a misguided afterthought that didn't deserve a whole lot of attention at the time. Having read this, I've rethought the matter, and come to the following conclusion: Anyone who thinks that the self-cleaning oven scenario is an acceptable approach to Mexico has been imbibing what the gangs are selling. That is insane. Criminal gangs don't simply traffic drugs and shoot at their enemies, especially with Calderón cracking down. They extort. They rob banks. They kidnap. The victims of those crimes are not the disposable crumbs at the bottom of the oven, but the businesses, shoppers, and ordinary citizens upon whose safety a thriving civilized society depends. They are you and me, speaking Spanish.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Dispatch from Tuscon
The New York Times goes where George Will just came back from, detailing the rising crime levels in Tucson, Arizona. Tucson is an anomaly in that crime is on the rise, whereas violence in most of the big cities near the border is dropping, despite the increased activity of Mexican gangs. At one point, the author writes: