Another Media Narrative Myth Debunked | The Truth About Mexico

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Another Media Narrative Myth Debunked

A post by "Chris Brown" | http://expatriateruminations.com/Blog/

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You’ve probably noticed in recent months the proliferation of the media narrative that Mexican organized crime violence has spread across the border into the USA. Uninformed and/or demagogic politicians, as seems to be the style these days, have initiated and proliferated a narrative which lap dog media outlets report uncritically as fact, and whose reports the politicians then utilize to support their erroneous contentions. It’s the standard politician/media circle jerk, if I might utilize such an analogy.

Now comes The Arizona Republic to inform us that the narrative is complete BS, and that “Violence is not up on Arizona border”. Nor is it up in Texas border cities.

A few excerpts.

NOGALES, Ariz. – Assistant Police Chief Roy Bermudez shakes his head and smiles when he hears politicians and pundits declaring that Mexican cartel violence is overrunning his Arizona border town.

“We have not, thank God, witnessed any spillover violence from Mexico,” Bermudez says emphatically. “You can look at the crime stats. I think Nogales, Arizona, is one of the safest places to live in all of America.”

——

FBI Uniform Crime Reports and statistics provided by police agencies, in fact, show that the crime rates in Nogales, Douglas, Yuma and other Arizona border towns have remained essentially flat for the past decade, even as drug-related violence has spiraled out of control on the other side of the international line. Statewide, rates of violent crime also are down.

While smugglers have become more aggressive in their encounters with authorities, as evidenced by the shooting of a Pinal County deputy on Friday, allegedly by illegal-immigrant drug runners, they do not routinely target residents of border towns.

In 2000, there were 23 rapes, robberies and murders in Nogales, Ariz. Last year, despite nearly a decade of population growth, there were 19 such crimes. Aggravated assaults dropped by one-third. No one has been murdered in two years.

——

In 2000, there were 23 rapes, robberies and murders in Nogales, Ariz. Last year, despite nearly a decade of population growth, there were 19 such crimes. Aggravated assaults dropped by one-third. No one has been murdered in two years.

——

Cochise County’s crime rate has been “flat” for at least 10 years, the sheriff added. Even in 2000, when record numbers of undocumented immigrants were detained in the area, just 4 percent of the area’s violent crimes were committed by illegal aliens.

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said his town suffers from home invasions and kidnappings involving marijuana smugglers who are undoubtedly tied to Mexican organizations. However, he added, most of those committing the rip-offs are American citizens.

“I think the border-influenced violence is getting worse,” Villasenor said. “But is it a spillover of Mexican cartel members? No, I don’t buy that.”

——

While the nation’s illegal-immigrant population doubled from 1994 to 2004, according to federal records, the violent-crime rate declined 35 percent.

More recently, Arizona’s violent-crime rate dropped from 512 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2005 to 447 incidents in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available.

——

Aguilar said that Juarez, Mexico, is widely regarded as the “deadliest city in the world” because of an estimated 5,000 murders in recent years. Yet right across the border, El Paso, Texas, is listed among the safest towns in America.

A review of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports suggests that Arizona’s border towns share El Paso’s good fortune. Douglas and Nogales are about the same size as Florence but have significantly lower violent-crime rates. Likewise, Yuma has a population greater than Avondale’s but a lower rate of violent offenses.

In Nogales, Ariz., residents seem bemused and annoyed by their town’s perilous reputation. Yes, they sometimes hear the gunfire across the border. No, they don’t feel safe visiting the sister city across the line. But with cops and federal agents everywhere, they see no danger on their streets.

“There’s no violence here,” said Francisco Hernandez, 31, who works in a sign shop and lives on a ranch along the border. “It doesn’t drain over, like people are saying.”

Leo Federico, 61, a retired teacher, said he has been amazed to hear members of Congress call for National Guard troops in the area.

“That’s politics,” he said, shrugging. “It’s all about votes. . . . We have plenty of law enforcement.”

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