So why isn't Mexico arresting these caravan criminals – and the operation's fraudulent organizers?
Mexico's ambassador found some common ground with the Trump administration, by stating the cold hard facts about the Central American migrant caravan traversing his country – plainly agreeing that yes, the caravan had a lot of known criminals within it.
It's a breath of fresh air compared with the press coverage, which repetitively promotes the narrative that the whole thing is nothing but a collection of mothers and toddlers fleeing gangs.
Common ground is a good thing, because it means that the U.S. and Mexico are probably no longer talking past each other as to what is going on. But it also raises questions as to what Mexico is going to do about it. Crime, after all, is also illegal in Mexico.
Here's what the Examiner reported:
Mexico's ambassador to Washington has said that "there are people that have criminal backgrounds" in the migrant caravan, lending weight to President Trump's assertion that it presents a threat to the United States.
Geronimo Gutierrez told the Washington Examiner that while there were criminal elements in the caravan, he could not put a number on how many there might be. A Department of Homeland Security official reportedly said on Monday the department estimates that there are more than 500 criminals traveling in the caravan heading toward the U.S.
Here's the video of the polished professional diplomat, with his nice Ricardo Montalbán accent:
Now, the Mexican envoy, Geronimo Gutierrez, did express some skepticism about the number of criminals contained therein, but it's a small detail. News reports out say that the U.S. is paying undercover operatives to monitor the caravan (which is its job), and that is probably where the 500 number came from. Mexican law enforcement practice does not permit the usage of undercover operatives, which is one reason why they have such a hard time taking down cartels. They probably wouldn't know the exact number based on cameras alone. The reporters asking the questions possibly didn't know that.
But the Mexicans are obviously no idiots in recognizing just who makes up the caravan – and plainly know it's not the media legend of mothers and toddlers fleeing gangs.
Actually, they can see that the caravan is the gang. The tiny number of moms and kids within it are of use to the gang primarily for their camera value. The vast majority of caravaners are jobless military-aged young men.
That's the real implication of his statement. What's more, the caravan is proving to be costly to Mexico, bringing some ten thousand aliens into the country and leaving Mexico's city and state governments to pay for their upkeep. There's also a second problem in that Mexican citizens are being forced to absorb the petty crime, garbage, and disorder these migrants are bringing. There's also a broader economic cost: the new barriers at the border as well as the uncertainty about whether it will be open or not amounts is costly to Mexico's economy to and amounts to economic warfare, courtesy of the caravan. The new intelligence about migrants planning to storm the border is sure to create new barriers and delays for legitimate trade that flows between the U.S. and Mexico – and Mexicans are going to suffer. The caravan is exacting costs from Mexico, indeed. The caravan has also humiliated Mexico, busting down that country's border in full view of the cameras and showing the world that its border controls are a paper tiger. That's not good for Mexico's image, let alone its claims to rule of law.
Shouldn't someone be held accountable? Should not these caravan organizers – with their Pueblo Sin Fronteras address right there in Playas de Tijuana – face a few charges? Have they broken absolutely no laws, given the disruption they have claimed? Or, for the Mexican government, is making a statement to gringo up north about the importance of open borders more important? One wonders why the caravan organizers aren't facing any legal implications for the costs and problems they have brought into the country. Mexico apparently doesn't have either the legal mechanisms or, more likely, the will, to create consequences, and as a result, the migrant caravans are going to continue to flow there.
Here's another thing: the migrants themselves say they were told by the caravan organizers that entry to the U.S. would be instant and legal, and going as a group would be a great way to avoid coyote expenses and get in. That's fraud. Not only was border entry going to be hard, but they'd have to wait for six months at a port of entry or else take their chances at a dangerous desert crossing, in areas controlled by cartels. As for safety in numbers, no, there's no safety in numbers – already at least one of the moms with toddlers has seen her kid kidnapped, probably by some criminal in the gang, possibly to be used on the hip of some military-aged male in the group as an entry ticket to cross into the U.S. as a family unit.
President Trump, by tightening the border, has put indirect pressure on Mexico to do something about this problem if it wants normal trade and commerce with the U.S. to continue. That probably explains the realism seen from Mexico and its diplomat. What's needed now is for Mexico to start responding to that pressure if it doesn't want to see its country become a highway to be tramped through by leftist activist groups, who, if they are not stopped, will be using the country for their own purposes again and again.
Image credit: Nicholas Ballasy, screen grab from YouTube.