August 8, 2008

A Kidnapping and Execution Highlight the 'Mexicanization' of Texas


That Mexico's violence and dysfunction is increasingly becoming part of America's social fabric was highlighted by two recent events in Texas -- a kidnapping in Austin, and an execution in the state's death chamber.

Kidnappings-for-profit are common in Mexico and Latin America. Now, they're becoming more popular in Texas, too -- as was underscored by the recent kidnapping in Austin of two Hispanic men by at least two other Hispanic men. It's unclear when authorities first took note of the upsurge in Latin-style kidnappings in Texas. But presumably, the trend started a few years ago after "Anglo" Texans fell into a category that politically correct journalists call the "majority minority."

Regarding Austin's recent kidnapping, FBI agent Charlie Rasner observed: "These things happen more frequently towards the border instead of this far North, but we have seen more recently, there's no doubt about it."

Rasner said he's "not sure why the numbers are on the rise." But a commander with the Austin Police Department, Julie O'Brien, said the kidnappers in Austin had one motive:
"The goal was to bleed the family of every penny they could get, and then either set the victims free or kill them."

That, of course, is the way its done in Mexico and other dysfunctional parts of Latin America.

So, were the kidnappers and their victims here illegally or born here to parents who'd immigrated illegally? It's hard to know. Local media tend to feel immigration status is irrelevant in many stories about Austin -- an open-borders sanctuary city.

In the state's death chamber, meanwhile, Mexico-born Jose Ernesto Medellin, 33, was recently put to death by lethal injection. He'd arrived in America as a toddler. But when he was 18, he and five fellow gang members raped, beat, and strangled to death Elizabeth Pena, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 14. Later, Medellin boasted to his buddies about the rapes and killings.

Mexico, as it usually does in such cases, mobilized its resources to stop the execution. Its diplomats and lawyer complained that Texas law enforcement authorities had failed to inform Medellin of his right to seek help from the Mexican Consulate. Outraged over their countryman's mistreatment, Mexican officials took the case to the The International Court of Justice in The Hague, and to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But ultimately, Texas got its way. Moments before being put to death, Medellin said: "I'm sorry my actions caused you pain. I hope this brings you the closure that you seek. Never harbor hate."

For the World Court, this is not a happy day. It had ordered Texas not to executive any of five Mexican-born men on death row, including Medellin, while their cases were being reviewed. But a spokesman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, observed that the court -- a branch of the United Nations -- "has no standing in Texas."

The "Mexicanization" of Texas has upset ordinary Texans of "Anglo" background as well as native Texans of Mexican heritage.

One lesson can be drawn from all this. There would be no need for a border fence if Mexico spent as much time defending the rights of its convicted killers as it did in preventing (rather than encouraging) an ongoing exodus of high school dropouts and others in its lowest social classes from immigrating illegally to America.

This was originally published at The American Thinker. Go there to see reader comments and an update for this post.

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