TIJUANA, Mexico - Massive, running gunbattles broke out between suspected drug traffickers on the streets of this violent border city Saturday, killing 13 people and wounding nine, law enforcement officials said.
Dead bodies scattered along the road marked one of the deadliest shootouts in Mexico's three-year-old drug warfare.
All of the dead were believed to be drug traffickers, possibly rival members of the same cartel who were trying to settle scores, said Rommel Moreno, the attorney general of Baja California state, where Tijuana is located.
Two of the dead were believed to be senior hit men for the Arellano Felix cartel and were identified by the large gold rings on their fingers. The rings carried the icon of Saint Death, a ghoulish figure that gangsters believe protects them, police said.
"Today shows we are facing a terrible war never seen before on the (U.S.-Mexico) border," Moreno said during a news conference.
We can't have this on our southern borders. The people who live there shouldn't have to put up with the corruption in the Mexican government, nor should they have to live under the yoke of our policies in the so-called "war on Drugs" that is really nothing more than a campaign slogan from a bygone era.
This administration doesn't say anything at all about these kinds of issues, preferring to pander to wingnuts and yank funding on shitty ideas. The next President should seek to legalize small amounts of marijuana and the American people should seek to grow the fuck up if that happens. As in, just grow the fuck up and accept the fact that you can't float to heaven on a cloud of blue smoke, dumbass.
And then we've got to figure out a way to cut demand for harder drugs in this country, by offering people treatment instead of prison for non-violent offenders. If we can make progress in these areas, some normalcy can return to the border area. Well, about as much normalcy as can be expected, perhaps.
UPDATE I - PALE RIDER 10:30PM
This is the other part of the post that I meant to put up--sorry, just been busy.
If we ever want to treat the hundreds of thousands of Veterans, from all eras, who have signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, then we have to accept the fact that marijuana is an effective means of helping them cope. I am not going to get off on this whole hemp/legalization thing--that's not the point. A good number of people are wrapped up in something personal with this, and I ain't going there. We're not hippies, we're realists. I am not advocating handing out bags on the street. I am saying that a program of counseling, tracking, helping and medicating these people would alleviate a lot of other issues, like spousal abuse, alcoholism, hard drug use, and suicide. Keep it out of the hands of kids, keep it out of the hands of people who can't use it responsibly, and free up the cops by decriminalizing personal use.
Decriminalize it, use it for medicinal purposes, and, again, we as a nation have to grow the fuck up and start looking NOW at ways to deal with a tsunami of Veterans who are going to need anything and everything to help them with PTSD.
UPDATE II - PALE RIDER 12:00AM
And just so no one thinks this isn't an issue, it is. What you see in this story is directly related to the comments on this thread, the Mexican drug lords running roughshod over the people, the corruption on both sides of the border. All of it ties together. And it's fucking nuts...it really is:
(AP) Timothy Garon's face and arms are hauntingly skeletal, but the fluid building up in his abdomen makes the 56-year-old musician look eight months pregnant.
His liver, ravaged by hepatitis C, is failing. Without a new one, his doctors tell him, he will be dead in days.
But Garon's been refused a spot on the transplant list, largely because he has used marijuana, even though it was legally approved for medical reasons.
"I'm not angry, I'm not mad, I'm just confused," said Garon, lying in his hospital bed a few minutes after a doctor told him the hospital transplant committee's decision Thursday.
With the scarcity of donated organs, transplant committees like the one at the University of Washington Medical Center use tough standards, including whether the candidate has other serious health problems or is likely to drink or do drugs.
And with cases like Garon's, they also have to consider _ as a dozen states now have medical marijuana laws _ if using dope with a doctor's blessing should be held against a dying patient in need of a transplant.