Are There Mexican Heroes?

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

This week, five Mexican federal police were slaughtered when their vehicle came under attack from cartel members of the La Familia MIchoacana. Four of the federal police were killed in a fight scene near the town of Maravatio in Michoacan state, and one died in hospital from his wounds. It is unknown how many of the cartel members were killed. Since a number of high profile killings in Michoacan state by the La Familia Michoacana, the Mexican government sent in thousands of soldiers and federal police to fight the drug cartel. The result has been pretty bloody, but the Mexican government is claiming that it has largely curbed the power of the La Familia Michoacana.

Sadly, most Americans will not have heard about this story because the U.S. news media has by and large ignored the story and others like it. What so many Americans also do not realize is that thousands of Mexican federal police and military put their lives on the line everyday to take down the drug cartels, to stop the tons of drugs that ultimately end up in the United States, and secure the protection of civilians (and that includes Americans living in Mexico) as well as their own families. The names of the police officers were not publicized to protect their identities and their families.

These five men, like so many other Mexican federal police and military, risk their lives to fight the cartels and stop illicit drugs from going to the United States that kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. These five men are certainly heroes to their families and to Mexicans in general for fighting the greatest scourge their country faces. Americans should also consider these five men, and all Mexican federal police and military, as heroes too because for all cartel members and drug runners they take down saves the lives of Americans.

And Mexico has paid a very dear price for fighting the cartels. An estimated 60,000 to 120,000 Mexicans have been slaughtered in the Drug War, and 4,020 federal, state and municipal police officers have lost their lives in the line of duty fighting the drug cartels. As Americans read about what is happening thousands of miles away in the Middle East with ISIS, we hardly hear about the Drug War right next to our border, and those anonymous men and women in the Mexican federal police and military fighting it to protect us as well as their fellow citizens in Mexico.

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