Friday, July 1, 2011

Attention! You've been conscripted into the (terrorist) Army!

I had a posting a little while ago about Death on Rural Roads: Mexico.  In addition to discussing the mass killings there was also this little note:

The Zetas were in the process of forcing them to work as drug runners or assassins, but something went wrong and all of them were killed.

Well I came across some speculation concern about this item at one of the “feeder” sources I use.

Sylvia Longmire, Homeland Security Today, 01 May 2011

Los Zetas in recent years have ruthlessly worked to establish themselves as major narco-players, expanding their ranks in the process, authorities are scratching their heads over why the group has resorted to forced recruitment at gunpoint. Moreover, authorities are concerned about what this apparent trend may mean with regard to how the Mexican and US governments have traditionally viewed Mexico’s narco-traffickers.  

Globally, there are clear examples of organizations connected to terrorism or insurgencies that have engaged in forced recruitment of civilians. For example:
·         In February 2011, the Islamist extremist group, Al Shabaab, reportedly was involved in forcibly recruiting youths in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia to join the jihadist movement.
·         In August 2010, Human Rights Watch reported that the Lord’s Resistance Army - a rebel group in Uganda - was engaged in a massive forced recruitment campaign in which nearly 700 adults and children were brutally abducted during an 18 month period.
·         In April 2009, a Colombian governor publicly expressed his concern that illegal armed groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – an identified terrorist group - was forcibly recruiting children and teenagers in and around the cities of Cesar, Valledupar, San Martin, Aguachica, San Alberto and Curumani.
·         In June 2006, the Tamil Tigers, or LTTE – a notorious terrorist group in Sri Lanka - engaged in a lengthy forced recruitment drive.
·         And, there’s considerable evidence that the two long-established Peruvian terrorist organizations, Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, forcibly recruited adults and children into their ranks in the 1980s.

In addition, militaries and police forces in volatile regions of the world also have engaged in forced recruitment activities. In October 2010, Ethiopian refugees in Kenya said they were forced to join a new government security force, and that if they didn’t, their families would face retaliation.
Thousands of civilians from Myanmar fled to Thailand in June 2009 because of forced recruiting by the Myanmar military. And, in March 2006, armed groups in eastern Chad forcibly recruited Sudanese refugees.  Ms. Longmire has a blog here, which was my pointer.

This is of course is of great concern to the United States.  It is also a marker as to who semi-legitimate organizations operate, and hopefully a wakeup call as to what to expect if we let our law-and-order situation get out of hand.
Sylvia Longmire

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