Report: Troops sought for border
Gov. Rick Perry said he wants 1,000 troops to help guard the Texas-Mexico border, and for the U.S. to fund strong security measures to fight the drug cartels that have spread violence and fear in Mexico, including neighboring Juárez, the El Paso Times reported Wednesday.
"We’re [also] asking the [Texas] Legislature for $135 million for border security — to go after transnational gangs, for technology and aviation assets, and for 1,000 troops," Perry said at a news conference Tuesday.
"I don’t care if they are military, National Guard or customs agents," the Times reported Perry as saying. "We’re very concerned that the federal government is not funding border security adequately. We must be ready for any contingency."
In his own news conference later, Democratic State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh said he agreed with some of Perry’s proposals but not with using the military to guard the border, according to the report.
"No one in El Paso supports militarization of the border," he said. "I support 1,000 new effectively trained Border Patrol or customs agents, but not the use of the military."
The Times cited a Mexican National Commission of Human Rights report that organized crime had killed more than 10,000 people in Mexico since 2007.
In Juárez, drug violence was to blame for taking nearly 1,900 lives since 2008, the paper noted.
And the violence continues. There were eight homicides Monday in Juárez, according to the Times.