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The "Z" is NOT for Zorro

The gruesome violence will not stop with the tolling of the New Year's bells, nor will it stop at the U.S. border. Many have written about the nexus of crime and terrorism; the fact is that drug crime and terrorism, mixed in with a healthy dose of youth gangs lies in front of us. Ask local law enforcement officials, but don't necessarily look for it to be reported in your local newspaper. You won't find much either about the increase in home invasions.

Earlier this month, the former girlfriend of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the Sinaloa cartel showed up dead, and with a "Z" carved on her body as a reminder from Los Zetas. This is no warning. It is, regrettably, a sign of things to come. It is reality.

In El Paso where the Sun Bowl between Oregon State University and Pittsburgh will be held on December 31, the normal excursions of fans across the border to Juarez are being discouraged in direct response to the 1500 drug related murders that have occurred in Juarez in 2008. Some border towns are beginning to report a drop off in retail sales from people seeking bargains.

To make matters worse, a movie, billed as a "reality horror movie" titled "Drug Wars" is opening this weekend. Not surprising to me, the other day the sheriff of Hudspeth County near El Paso remarked that his men were outgunned and that the drug gangs had high-tech tools like satellite communications and imagery.

The habits and behaviors of "normal" Americans are changing because of the drug cartel violence. People continue to die because of drug cartel violence. People are reconnecting their home intrusion detection systems because of fear. By definition, this is terrorism, and a threat to our ways of life. And yet, they show a movie. Sure, the movie is intended to show the gruesome aspects of the drug wars. I can't help but think that some people will watch the movie and see it as glorifying that way of life.

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