Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Amuse-Bouche for the Nativists

We've heard so much over the last few months about the great criminal invasion from South of the Border, haven't we? And from such fonts of knowledge as Steve King, Russell Pearce, J.D. Hayworth, Sarah Palin, who pass on their "facts" to the xenophobic hoi polloi of the Right, where it goes viral and infects the whole body politic. Even breathless tinfoil hat conspiracies are carried by "respectable media outlets", and by the time they are discredited, the damage has already been done.

So imagine the hilarity that ensued this morning as NPR reported on the life of the biggest Mexican drug cartel arrest ever:
A Texas-born fugitive known as "the Barbie" who allegedly led a violent smuggling network grinned as he was paraded in handcuffs before reporters on Tuesday — the third suspected drug lord to fall in Mexico in the past 10 months in a coup for President Felipe Calderon's war on cartels.

Edgar Valdez Villarreal, who got his improbable nickname from his fair complexion, is wanted in the United States for allegedly smuggling tons of cocaine. In Mexico, he is blamed for a brutal turf war that has included bodies hung from bridges, decapitations and shootouts as he and a rival fought for control of the divided Beltran Leyva cartel.
Ah, Texas. Mexicans everywhere can thank Texas for unleashing upon them the source of one of the worst criminal killing sprees of recent memory. I wonder what they must think of the nice boy from Laredo who was a football star while growing up in the U.S A.?
Valdez has a unique biography for a reputed Mexican drug lord. He was born in Laredo, Texas, and worked his way up through the ranks of the Sinaloan cartel before becoming the chief enforcer in the Beltran Leyva cartel, prosecutors say.

Valdez was "one of the rare U.S.-born-and-bred members" of the drug cartels who "had a foot in both worlds," Beaubien said.

"He was a football star [at high school] in Laredo," the reporter said, adding that it ended up "being one of his strengths for the cartels [because] he knew both sides of the border, he was fluent both in Spanish and English at a time when the cartels were expanding even more into the United States."
Nobody beats the U.S.A. when it comes to serial killers, do you hear us? We're Number ONE!! (Insert Gadsden flag wave here.)