The congressman who tried silencing federal law enforcement sources from exposing terrorist camps in Ciudad Juárez is contradicting the U.S. government’s assessment of the famously crime-infested Mexican city by proclaiming that it’s “far safer” than it was years ago.
It appears to be a frantic effort on the part of Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who represents El Paso Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, to counter reports of Islamic terrorists operating in the area and joining forces with the sophisticated drug cartels that have long controlled the region. Judicial Watch broke that story last fall after receiving detailed information from high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources that Islamic terrorist groups were operating in Juárez and planning to attack the U.S. with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices. Last month JW reported that ISIS has a camp just eight miles from El Paso in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Juárez.
A few days after JW’s first report, federal law enforcement sources in El Paso said that O’Rourke called their office to prohibit contact with JW in the aftermath of the story about Islamic terrorists operating in Juárez. The congressman telephoned the area offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) in an effort to identify—and evidently intimidate—sources that may have been used by JW. Congressman O’Rourke’s office emphatically denied making any phone calls to any El Paso federal law enforcement offices.
But his delusional portrayal of Juárez indicates that perhaps he’s trying to cover up the inconvenient reality of a notoriously violent region adjacent to his district. At the very least it seems bizarre that a U.S. lawmaker is so intent on promoting the allegedly low crime rates of a foreign region long renowned for beheadings, gunfights, kidnappings and drug trafficking. In a local news report this week, O’Rourke assured that Juárez is far safer than it was a few years ago and that “it’s even safer, some are surprised to learn, than some other American cities.” The congressman went on to say that in the last 14 months there have been zero reported kidnappings in Juárez and that murders are at a “far lower level” than they have been in four or five years. O’Rourke also assured that extortion and petty crimes are also going down in Juárez.
The lawmaker came forward to defend Juárez because yet another Hollywood movie is set to portray it as the crime-infested, lawless city that it is. The film is scheduled to be released this summer and features an escalation in the Mexican war on drugs when a “ruthless drug cartel” uses robots to enforce operations. In the movie, the cartel becomes a threat to the United States. O’Rourke blasts the movie as a “deep disservice” to the region that will “sensationalize Juárez’s recent, unfortunate past.” It will also hurt Juárez’s ability to put a “really difficult past behind it,” the congressman says in the news article.
Hardcore crime is hardly a thing of the past in Juárez, according to the U.S. government, so it appears that O’Rourke might be getting his information from the notoriously corrupt Mexican authorities. The State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s 2015 Mexico report warns that “violence remains high in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua City” and that Juárez is a major drug trafficking corridor. “A significant majority of homicides in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua City can be considered drug-related,” the State Department bulletin says. Last year 434 people were murdered in Juárez, according to the State Department which seems to question a decline in extortion by writing that “the actual number is likely to remain severely underreported.”
JW further investigated this by contacting a senior U.S. law enforcement official with direct knowledge of Juárez crime. The area remains a cesspool of brutal violence that goes largely unreported, JW’s source confirmed. Mexican officials are blatantly corrupt and often work in cahoots with drug cartels, JW’s source said. Justice and integrity are nonexistent among Juárez officials and murders are never solved, according to the veteran senior law enforcement official.