Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and two members of his Foreign Relations Committee heard a clear message yesterday in El Paso: Sending U.S. soldiers to the Mexico-U.S. border is unnecessary, reports the El Paso Times. Speaking almost with one voice, police officers, politicians, and border experts told a Senate hearing that a military buildup would be of no help as the U.S. tries to assist Mexico in its war against the drug cartels. The drug war has claimed more than 6,000 lives in Mexico since January 2008. Blood has been spilled in just about every major Mexican city, leading to worries that violence could expand to the United States. In recent weeks, law enforcement officials in Denver and Tucson have said drug violence with roots in Mexico had touched their communities.
Speculations about spillover violence persists, and is at times exaggerated in some instances to benefit other agendas,” District Attorney Jaime Esparza said. U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), who hosted the committee members and sat with them during the hearing, said he asked Texas Gov. Rick Perry why he called for 1,000 soldiers on the border. “He told me he didn’t know. He just wanted to have the request out there,” Reyes said.