Pretty Long Reach

I hail from Columbus, Ohio. It is more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from the US-Mexico border.

Things are pretty hairy down ol’ Mexico way. The government declared war on the drug cartels three years ago. So far there isn’t much progress, even though any gains by law enforcement usually sets off a turf war between the gangs as they try to seize lucrative smuggling routes from suddenly weakened rivals. If the big boys ever get organized instead of simply looking to grab what they can, then I really don’t think the Mexican government has a prayer of winning. Or even surviving.

The conflict has disrupted the status quo in a huge way. Smaller criminal gangs have been pushed out, their traditional territories and criminal specialty either being shut down by law enforcement, or through seizure by larger gangs looking to survive in the increasingly deadly environment. A lot of the small fry have taken to going north in order to survive.

Kidnapping for ransom has always been a big business in Mexico. Since that is the trade most of them know, it makes sense that they will try to set up shop when they get in to the US.

A kidnapping occurred on a busy public street a few weeks ago. The criminals used two cars to block off their target’s vehicle. Shots were fired. A woman and child were abducted. It all went down less than five minutes from my front door.

Seems like SOP for a kidnapping in Mexico, but this is Ohio. When the criminals called to make their ransom demands, the local police were on the case. The SWAT team moved in, the victims were recovered unharmed, and the suspects were arrested without any deaths or injuries.

Kudos to the cops. They moved quickly, showed professionalism, and saved the day. But something tells me that there are going to be a lot more cases like this.

(Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)

4 thoughts on “Pretty Long Reach”

  1. The article only gives bare bones information, but a few things here.

    They say “shots” (plural) were fired, but only one shot (singular) hit the vehicle. I wonder from what positions were the shots fired. It is hard enough to hit a statinonary target from a stationary position much less throwing in the variables of moving vehicles in there. I wonder what types of weapons as well.

    I would imagine martial arts facilities that have self defense courses in the Columbus area will be getting some business from this although no art will help you against 8 guys. It could buy you some precious time though, while bystanders call 911.

    Not sure you will have too much of this kind of thing in the States as many will simply start shooting back. I don’t know the laws about owning firearms in Mexico, but there won’t be as many soft targets here in the States, I guarantee.

    I wonder if they researched this target or knew them to find out if the guy had money. It would seem a big chance if they didn’t.

    Lastly, the only way it could have ended better would have been if the SWAT team could have shot and killed the perps.

  2. Actually, if you get far enough south in Mexico, the violence is all north of you. I’m going to do some reconnaissance in Puerto Vallarta next month. A lot of Californians take their sailboats down there in the fall and spend the winter with no difficulty at all. Tourism is down and the Mexican authorities keep making things more accommodating every year. I would never drive, though. Only by boat or air.

  3. I take second place to no one, in my zeal for victory in Afghanistan, but the Administration’s laissez-faire attitude toward Mexico just baffles me. Maybe they are working behind the scenes, but the stability and good government of Mexico should be one of our foremost concerns.

Comments are closed.