Hang the bastards, they deserve it!


A man holds up a white cross during a protest against violence in Monterrey Sunday. President Felipe Calderon declared three days of mourning after armed men torched a casino on Thursday, killing at least 52 people, in Monterrey, a wealthy city that increasingly has fallen prey to the ravages of drug cartels. Carlos Jasso/Reuters

Disgusting, revolting and inhuman – what punishment is suited to this kind of crime?  The fire in the casino in Mexico is such an offending event – it hits at the core of what it is to be human – how can one person do such things to another?  There have been lots of occurrences not just this week, but every week, where more people die and greater harm is done to a community than the fire at the Casino Royale; however, most are caused by natural phenomenon or the results of accidental circumstances.  Unlike the fire in Monterrey that was intentional, on purpose and a willful act by men fully aware of their acts and it potential consequences.

Today, five of the casino’s attackers are in custody and probably fearful for their lives, poor boys and they should be, the average citizens – not other gang members – of the town are very, very angry.  The captives are desperate to apologize and say they did not mean to hurt anyone, they only intended to scare the owner – who is absent, he is thought to have fled to the U. S. to save his life.  According to the gangsters they warned the people to leave – who can blame them if those stubborn 52 people refused to leave when they were told. However they did reveal the location of the gang’s crematorium where the same bottles of gasoline were used to incinerate at least 6 people.

The government has started another investigation – this time into corruption; it is an extension of the army raids on other casinos, but different.  They are determined to shut down illegal casinos and better regulate the existing ones – I am still confused by this, I missed the role the casino or its patrons played in the disaster.  I am only partly being disingenuous, of course the casino did play a role – it unlicensed and illegal and therefore susceptible to extortion – and the fire was a direct result of the extortion.  And that is the focus of the new investigations – into the extortion that existed due to the illegal casinos in operation.  The investigation got a break from the surveillance cameras  in Casino Royale – film of a someone accepting “large amounts of cash.”  It was really a break for the investigation – the film is so good the investigators can make a positive identification of the man-on-the-take.  He is the brother of the mayor – wow, maybe the story is like the gang wars of Chicago during the depression – extortion always seems to come at two levels – the criminal and the political.  For a fee, the gangsters promise to protect the business owner from other gangsters and politicians and police officials promise to protect you from the politicians and the police.

Until innocent people die it is just a racket, a complex scam where people demand to be paid for protection from themselves – that is they won’t hurt you if you pay them not to hurt you.  But once it gets outside the boundaries of the racket and draws in neither he who pays – the business owner isn’t truly innocent either because his basic business is illegal – nor he who receives the pay – it becomes a heinous, inhuman crime and deserves whatever the extremes of punishment the law allows.  Without regard for whether they are sorry and only meant to scare people.

Here is just a little perspective on the overall problem.

Nationwide, more than 35,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against drug gangs in late 2006, according to the government. Others put the death toll near 40,000. ABC News, 8-31-11

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