The National Catholic Review

A Tijuana priest missing for over a week has become the latest casualty of the growing violence in Mexico. Fides reports that Father Salvador Ruiz Enciso, 51, disappeared from his parish in the city of Tijuana, northern Mexico, near the border with the United States. DNA from a body found May 23, burned beyond recognition was matched to Father Ruiz. The Archbishop of Tijuana, Archbishop Rafael Romo Munoz said: "We condemn the brutal manner in which he was killed and we have confidence in the authorities that those responsible will be brought to justice."

Comments

JANICE JOHNSON | 6/2/2011 - 4:16pm
David and John,

I've lived in San Diego, on the border of Mexico for 37 years.  Until the past few years, it was safe to travel and spend time in Tijuana and other communities in Baja.  The insurgencies that John writes about are mainly in the south, eg. Chiapas, Oaxaca,etc.  There has been crime in Tijuana as in most major cities but, never to the extent as it is now with the drug cartels' war.  Mexican-Americans that I know are deathly afraid to visit friends and relatives in Tijuana and fear for their loved ones' lives.    I was in Oaxaca at time the Iraq war started and saw a number of demonstrations against the war.  They were all peaceful. At no time did we feel in any danger.  I've travelled to other places in Mexico and felt equally at ease.   One has to use common sense as to when and where to travel in Mexico because of the possibilitiy of violent confrontations.   I'm not aware if there are any indigenous peoples involved in the drug cartels or if there have been any insurgencies involving indigenous peoples in Baja.
Does anyone have information on this?

My work location for Child Protective Services was the South Region of SD County.  Many of the social workers I supervised were Mexican-Americans and our clientele was mainly Hispanic.  As in other county regions, the primary cause of neglect of children was parental drug use.  That drugs are smuggled from Mexico and are readily available for use is extremely detrimental to children and families.  It is a billion dollar industry that is of such great value that drug cartels are warring over control of it.  Tijuana, the second largest city in Mexico is the center of the violence and mayhem.  I don't know of anyone around here who doesn't blame the increasing violence in TJ on the drug cartels' war. 
Anonymous | 6/1/2011 - 5:18pm
There's more going on than just narcotic dollars flowing south from the USA along with "illegal" guns (and for the latter point, most of the guns involved in these crimes are fully automatic which means they're not coming from American gun shops inasmuch as your local gun shop doesn't even sell fully automatics but I digress.)

Mexico has a very long history that's largely alien to our way of reading our own history. For starters, whereas Americans look back to 1776 for the beginning or maybe 1650, the Mexicans look back to pre-Colombian times. They still have tribes of indians who don't speak Spanish. They have something like a half dozen insurgencies and guerilla groups running swathes of territory down south. Their military is comparitively huge.

I was watching Univision in 1994 when the talking head just got done with a story on the daily soccer match. She paused, then introduced a quick story about a shipment of 200 German made Leopard II main battle tanks that had just been off loaded in Vera Cruz that morning.... and then segued into other topics. It was a strong hint from the PRI to the rebels in Chiapas that the coming government re-action would be brutal and it was. And it was also largely ignored by world media. Gee, who was US President again in 1994? Hmmmmm.

Then there's the post-Mexican independence history of civil warfare, bandidos, and rebel armies ruling by the sword (or gun). Any time you have that many wars and rumors of wars, that many internal refugees and orphans, you are going to have a volatile mix.

Narco-trafficking is a bane to be sure, but even without Drug dollars and foreign guns, Mexican culture and society has enough of its own internal problems to account for the mayhem and terror. It's not about us.
Stanley Kopacz | 6/1/2011 - 10:18am
It's a shame that so many people must die trying to keep people from obtaining marijuana.  I suppose there's some opposition to legalization from the alcohol industry who wouldn't want a competing intoxicant.  They wouldn't have to worry about me.  I've never smoked it and never will, legal or not.  I don't smoke anything and have always considered marijuana to be hippy garbage.  Alcoholic beverages are traditional, a varied sensual experience and, in moderation, promotive of health.
Anonymous | 5/31/2011 - 7:52pm
I listened again to the O'Grady interview on March 1st.  She said since 2006, 35000 Mexicans have been killed and 900 uniformed agents of the government. That is the price Mexicans have paid for US drug habits.  

There is so much money in this that the Drug Cartels believe there are large sections of Mexico they control and not the government.  About half the cash realized is for marijuana. Probably over $10 billion a year goes to the cartel.  They have their own submarines.
Anonymous | 5/31/2011 - 7:36pm
David,

Here ia an article on the Mexican drug cartel problem.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703580904575132153106546066.html


It is by Mary Anastasia O'Grady who writes on Latin America.  This article is tame compared to the interview I heard her give on the John Batchelor show.  If I remember right about 9,000 uniformed Mexicans (military and police) have been killed in this battle which is over drugs headed to the US.  So drug usage in the US has a lot of dead people as the price for those who light up.


The obvious cure would be to make the drugs legal in the US but that invites all sorts of other problems.  Convincing Americans that drug usage is bad seems to be a losing proposition.


I will check the number killed in Mexico enforcing the laws.  Those who complain about Mexico might think a little more when this is the price they are paying for our drug usage. 
JANICE JOHNSON | 5/31/2011 - 7:35pm
David,
I think that you hit the nail on the head.  The seeminly insatiable need for illegal drugs by many Americans and the Americans who sell guns to the gangs and smuggle them into Mexico are a great part of the problem  I agree that it is an indictment our culture and our political inability to do anything about it. The volence will only increase.B
JANICE JOHNSON | 5/31/2011 - 7:24pm
Living on the border with Tijuana we read and hear a good deal about the brutality and violence in that city, but from what Mexican-American friends who have relatives and friends living in Tijuana say we;re only learning about a fraction of what is going on there.  A few days ago, a friend heard about Fr. Ruiz being missing and then about his brutal murder on a Catholic Spanish-speaking radio station located in Tijuana.  The priest's murder has not yet been reported in our local paper.  I hope that the Archbishop is correct in thinking the murderers will be brought to justice, but I am sceptical given the corruption in law enforcement and the judiciary.    The violence in Tijuana spills over to the southern region of San Diego County where some peoplelive in terror that they will be misidentified as part of the drug gangs war and killed.  I once worked as a social worker in that area and know many of the good people who live there in fear.