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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.

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With over a dozen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, force protection analysis, and writing a variety of professional products for the US Air Force, state government in California, and the general public, Ms. Longmire has the expertise to create a superior product for you or your agency to further your understanding of Mexico’s drug war. Longmire Consulting is dedicated to being on the cusp of the latest developments in Mexico in order to bring you the best possible analysis of threats posed by the drug violence south of the border.

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March 24, 2010

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fascinating. thanks for posting about this.

Folk traditions known as "brujeria" or witchcraft and "curanderismo" or faith-healing are centuries old beliefs present in Mexican culture. These beliefs coexist comfortably with Catholicism and are more prevelant at lower educational and socioeconomic levels. For example, a cult figure known as "Malverde", who originated in Sinaloa, has reached psuedo-sainthood status and is accepted as the patron saint of drug traffickers in northwest Mexico.
It is quite natural then that occult phenomenon as described in the article are present in this cultural setting. This would be especially true at the municipal and state police force levels and with cartel members due to their generally poor educational level.

Gerardo Carillo is right. Although there's no doubt some innovation in current practice, this stuff has deep roots in the culture. (John Gregory Bourke comments somewhere about an earlier variant.)

We are also a culture that produces combatants who claim that "my God was bigger than his"; & this is probably not entirely unrelated to our propensity for spurious 'forensic theology,' & in particular the parochialism & sensationalism of a lot of our discussion of Mexican folk religion. Someone somewhere is presumably examining US perceptions of the Mexican side of this conflict with an anthropologist's cool eye.

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