Just in time for our blog post today about the role of the FBI in the Phoenix kidnapping crisis comes a major announcement that the FBI will focus more on the problem as part of a strategy to combat cartel violence.
In a statement made today during his trip in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Holder singles out the FBI for more work on kidnappings:
My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion.
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As our post today showed, the FBI traditionally handles kidnappings -- except when they involve a crossover with immigration issues. Immigrants and other Valley residents would benefit, obviously, if the FBI can help knock down the rate of these crimes. Phoenix police say they investigated 370 kidnappings last year in the city.
A long fact sheet on efforts by federal agencies to tackle cartel-related violence was released along with Holder's statement.
One key thing is missing in all of this, though: A solution to illegal immigration problems that helped the cartels grow in power.