One of the tragedies of the times in which we live is the ineluctable fact that so many words in our vocabulary have been been stripped of their meaning, either through overuse or misapplication. Although the term “terrorism” has been bandied about with little regard for its actual definition in the years since the September 11th massacres-even being employed by censorious bureaucrats who want to change Americans’ eating habits-I don’t exaggerate when I state that Los Zetas, a narco-criminal organization founded by former Mexican special forces troops-is engaged in a campaign of terror unparalleled in the history of modern Mexico.
Two days ago, that criminal-terrorist enterprise took the life of ICE special agent Jamie Zapata, as this article in the Houston Chronicle recounts, as well as the life of one of his colleagues. Rather than just another instance of the seemingly random violence and barbarity that’s come to characterize internecine drug wars inside of Mexico, this targeted killing seems to have been a calculated murder, something Greta Van Susteren deftly explored on yesterday’s edition of On The Record.
Unfortunately, the officials responsible for setting our border policy don’t seem to recognize the gravity of the situation. While American consular officials, DEA agents, Border Patrol agents, and now ICE special agents are ruthlessly hunted down and murdered by Mexican criminals, often with the indifference or actual connivance of corrupt Mexican officials-a problem that has persisted for over two decades-our federal government has become even more feckless in its dealings with the primary cause of this epidemic of targeted killings, i.e. the Mexican government. We’ve continued to pour money into Mexican government coffers through the Merida Initiative, while refusing to apply any pressure to control entry points along its side of the border. In fact, we’ve looked the other way as Mexico actively helps illegal aliens-including drug smugglers and human traffickers-enter the United States with impunity. Far from confronting our unhelpful “ally,” we now have an administration that has brought all the resources at its disposal to bear against a state that’s trying to repulse the slow bore invasion of its soil by foreign criminals.
There are still some people who are willing to speak frankly about the dysfunctional relationship we have with Mexico, but these voices need to be amplified within the corridors of power in Washington D.C. We need to stop punishing American citizens who simply want to defend their lives and property, and start tackling the elephant in the room, which is Mexico’s consistent inability to address the endemic corruption and rampant criminality within its borders.