Yesterday I was out running errands and listening to NPR. The show was featuring a Business Week writer who had done a feature story on Mexican drug cartels. When he mentioned that over 5,600 remains have been found along the south Texas oil pipelines that got my attention and I did a little digging for you. Here's what I learned from reading several different sources on this problem....still another problem that I knew absolutely nothing about. And yes, still more sad and frightening stories from our neighbors to the south.
There are thousands of miles of oil pipelines snaking their way from south Texas oil fields north to the state's heartland. These many "pipeline highways" run across private ranch land. So one day last week a rancher was riding back to the house and saw her German Shepherds playing with what she thought was a soccer ball. When she approached closer she was aghast to see her dogs were playing with a human head...what was left of a red headed woman who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
This was not the first time this rancher has found human remains. Sadly, over the last few years she has seen over a thousand of them. You see, Mexican drug cartels are using these pipelines as both killing zones as well as transit routes to bring their drugs and human offal into the United States.
These many pipeline routes are ideal for the cartels. The federal government mandates that these ranches must keep a 30 foot wide path along the pipeline vegetation free so that pipeline maintainers can easily access the area should they have a line break. It also makes it easier to monitor the lines by aerial coverage. So the feds mandate that the ranchers mow and clean out the area.
The drug cartels and Mexican invaders love it. They have a clear path to move through the area quickly and they have now claimed these pipeline highways as their own. Anyone who ventures into the area is a dead man. The Border Patrol says they don't have the manpower to cover all the private land....they are undermanned and overworked, these days changing diaper and warming baby bottles.
But the Border Patrol does respond to the findings of dead bodies along these routes. These days they find one a day and over the last few years have found over 5,600 bodies. The BP speculates that there are far more murders than even these frightening numbers, more than all American deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. The BP and the ranchers say that perhaps thousands more are killed
and never found as they are eaten by wildlife or buried before they are discovered.
The government of Mexico does not care..the longer a drug smuggler stays in the U.S. that's time he's not killing innocents in Mexico. And certainly the President of Mexico is pleased to send hundreds of thousands of the most poor, or the most violent swarming into the United States. And Mexico continues to be one of the biggest recipients of U.S. foreign aid so Mexico sees no incentive to do anything about the problem.
We could stop this folks. We could halt all foreign aid to Mexico until they begin minding their own border. And we could deploy 50,000 of our military along that 1600 mile border with Mexico with orders to fire at will at any illegal breeching our border. The invasion would stop within a month.
Sadly, we won't....and the Highway of Death is getting deadlier every minute.
Sad. Damned Sad.