Friday, November 05, 2010

The Mexican Taliban

I came across this information while looking into a case of a recent drug bust in the Atlanta area that involved this Mexican drug gang, La Familia Michoacana. I find it intriguing that there is virtually no difference between this group and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
La Familia cartel is sometimes described as quasi-religious since its current leaders, Moreno González and Méndez Vargas, refer to their assassinations and beheadings as "divine justice"[11] and that they may have direct or indirect ties with devotees of the New Jerusalem religious movement, which is noted for its concern for justice issues.[12]

La Familia’s boss and spiritual leader Nazario Moreno González, (a.k.a.: El Más Loco or The Craziest One) has published his own 'bible',[11][13] and a copy seized by Mexican federal agents reveals an ideology that mixes evangelical-style self help with insurgent peasant slogans. Moreno González seems to base most of his doctrine on the work by a Christian writer John Eldredge. The Mexican justice department stated in a report that Gonzalez Moreno has made Eldredge's book Salvaje de Corazón (Wild at Heart) required reading for La Familia gang members and has paid rural teachers and National Development Education (CONAFE) to circulate Eldredge's writings throughout the Michoacán countryside.[14][15] An idea central to Eldredge's message is that every man must have "a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue and an adventure to live." Eldredge quotes from Isaiah 63, which describes God wearing blood-stained clothes, spattered as though he had been treading a wine press. Then he writes: "Talk about Braveheart. This is one fierce, wild, and passionate guy. I have never heard Mister Rogers talk like that. Come to think of it, I never heard anyone in church talk like that, either. But this is the God of heaven and Earth."

La Familia cartel emphasize religion and family values during recruitment and has placed banners in areas of operations claiming that it does not tolerate substance abuse or exploitation of women and children. According to Mexico Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna, it recruits members from drug rehabilitation clinics by helping addicts recover and then forcing them into service for the drug cartel or be killed.[16] Advancement within the organisation depends as much on regular attendance at prayer meetings as on target practice.[6] The cartel gives loans to farmers, businesses, schools and churches,[17] and it advertises its benevolence in local newspapers in order to gain social support.[15]

On July 16, 2009, a man by the name of Servando Gómez Martínez (La Tuta) identified himself as the 'chief of operations' of the cartel. In his TV message, Gómez stated, "La Familia was created to look after the interests of our people and our family. We are a necessary evil," and when asked what La Familia really wanted, Gómez replied, "The only thing we want is peace and tranquility." President Felipe Calderón's government refuses to strike a deal with the cartel and rejected their calls for dialogue.[18][19]

On April 20, 2009, about 400 Federal Police agents raided a christening party for a baby born to a cartel member.[20][21] Among the 44 detained was Rafael Cedeño Hernández (El Cede), the gang’s second in command and in charge of indoctrinating the new recruits in the cartel's religious values, morals and ethics.

So we label this group as a drug cartel and gang and use the full force of law enforcement to interrupt and disrupt their operations but cannot bring ourselves to say the same things about groups like the Taliban. Granted, there are no Taliban enclaves, as far as I know, in this country, but I have to wonder even if there were would law enforcement pursue them with the same zeal that they do the drug lords from south of our border or would they still tippy-toe around out of fear offending the religion of peace.

Discuss amongst yourselves, and in the meantime, try to figure out how the liberal left would handle this. So many ironies for them to wrestle with. How can they defend the Hispanics and legalization of drugs while condemning the Christian aspects without drawing parallels to Muslims?

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