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NPT Capitol: Shapleigh: 10,000 have moved from Juarez to El Paso as Drug War pushes into U.S.

So far, 10,000 Mexican nationals have moved from Juarez to El Paso in order to escape the drug war, which is increasingly reaching up into America, said state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh this morning.

Shapleigh was speaking to the committee on Transportation and Homeland Security, a committee he sits on in the Texas Senate.

Shapleigh spoke about the resignation of the Juarez police chief earlier this month, after cartels threatened to kill one police officer every 48 hours. After his resignation, cartels put posters up along Juarez’s main highways declaring they would now kill the mayor within 48 hours. Shapleigh, citing press reports, said the mayor of Juarez has since moved to El Paso.

According to Shapleigh, in addition to the 10,000 Juarez residents living in El Paso, 140,000 Americans live in Juarez and 4,000 El Pasoans commute from north to South everyday.

Shapleigh called the situation “serious” and would require an “appropriate and measured response” from the state of Texas as the drug violence was beginning to reach right “up the transportation corridors” (I-10, I-35) to places like Phoenix and Atlanta. As such Shapleigh said the committee needed daily updates on the situation in Mexico. Shapleigh offered to prepare such a brief, providing clips from Mexican national dailies for his fellow committee members.

While Chairman John Carona did not ostensibly take Shapleigh up on the offer, or admit the graveness of the situation, he praised Shapleigh as the Senate’s “expert on these issues.”

Shapleigh’s remarks were the last thing discussed by the committee before it adjourned.

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 25, 2009 at 10:19 am