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Mr. Speaker, I bring you news from the front. This week, in one of our neighboring country's schools, an elementary school, there was a raging gun battle for over 2 hours between the bad guys, the Army, and of course the police were involved in all of this. I'm not talking about a battle that took place in Iraq or Afghanistan. I'm talking about a battle that took place just south of our border in Mexico--the border, the second front that we should be concentrating on as a Nation and be concerned about what's taking place there. In Reynosa, Mexico, right across the Rio Grande River from McAllen, Texas, is where this gun battle took place.
The Gulf Drug Cartel, in control of Reynosa, was trying to move drugs into the United States, and they got involved with the Federal police and soldiers. This battle kept going on because both sides kept getting reinforcements. At least five of the gang members were killed and five peace officers, or Federal police, were killed. It is reported that teachers were shoving kids on the floor, blocking the windows with desks and tables, trying to keep down because of the ricochets that were taking place in the school.
One third grader said this: ``We were all crying. We were so afraid,'' said this 9-year-old. She continued: ``They could have killed every one of us.''
The gun battle took place on both sides of the school. Then it moved into a shopping area and other parts of Reynosa.
The principal of the school had this comment. She said, ``The bad men think they're lords of the streets.'' Mr. Speaker, maybe they are.
This is gang warfare in Mexico. Just last year, there were 6,000 people killed in Mexico, most of them attributed to the gang fights to try to control the drugs that are coming into the United States. Six thousand people? What does that mean? Well, there have been 5,000 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, less than the total number killed just last year in Mexico. It's reported that one American a week is killed in Mexico, maybe more than one a week. The drug cartels murder police officers; they kill elected officials; they chop the heads off of police chiefs; and some now have said that Mexico may be a failed state because of the drug cartels and the violence that is taking place there.
I don't know if it's a failed state or not, but it's a serious epidemic, and what is taking place that the drug cartels are in the center of this border war has to do with four commodities--with four commodities, Mr. Speaker. Two of those commodities go north, and two of those commodities go south. The drug cartels, of course, are running drugs and people into the United States. The two of those that are going south are the drug cartels that are helping to control, of course, the money and illegal guns going back into Mexico, most of those controlled by the drug cartels. We know that many of the drug cartels are working with the human smugglers, the coyotes, to have them bring drugs and people into the United States at the same time.
So the drug cartels are the enemy of America. They're working in Mexico. If anyone thinks that they're going to stay south of the Rio Grande River, they've not been very attune to what has taken place. Much of Mexico, especially on the border, has been corrupted by the drug cartels. It is extremely violent. I've been down to the Texas-Mexico border about 15 times, and every time I go, the situation is worse on both sides. Yet go