Monday, June 04, 2012

Apparent drug murder in Arizona sparks fears of cross-border violence

Up until now, the violence associated with Mexico's four-years-long drug war has stayed firmly on the Mexico side of the border, with little exception. Over the weekend, five bodies were found in a burned-out car south of Phoenix. Arizona officials worry this may be a turning point. There are new stores almost daily now about violence among drug cartels in Mexico, but over the weekend some of that violence spilled over the border into the United States. Police in rural Arizona found a charred SUV with five bodies inside along a stretch of desert road commonly used as a smuggling route. Authorities haven't charged anyone for the crime, but all signs are pointing to the cartels. Ioan Grillo, a journalist in Mexico City covering drugs and crime for Reuters, said very little is known about the deceased who were found in the vehicle as well. "They suspect it could be a drug-related murder. But so far they haven't identified the victims. They say they're so badly burned, they can't even say who they are, or even what race they are," Grillo said. "Very little evidence has been found so far. Grillo, also the author of "El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency," said this corridor is used extensively by the Sinaloa Cartel to bring drugs into the United States. It's also used widely for human smuggling, he said. American officials are concerned this may be the first sign that the violence in Mexico that has killed some 50,000 people in the last four years is spreading to the United States...more

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