Chicago Violence Erupts Over Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial weekend killings

Is Chicago once again becoming America’s most violent city?  With the escalation of attacks on individuals over the first two days of the Memorial Day weekend, it appears that it is a possibility.

The Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel is entrenched in the inner city of Chicago.  Is the violence that has erupted over the Memorial Day weekend connected to the criminal organization?  No one is sure.

As of Sunday, May 26, seventeen individuals have been shot over the holiday weekend, and six of them have died.

The most recent victim was a man shot on the Near North Side just before 3 a.m. Sunday. Chicago police say the 42-year-old victim was shot in the head in the 1000-block of North Branch Street.

Other victims were a man who was shot in the head in an apparent drive-by at the 7300-block of South Dorchester.  Leetema Daniels, 17, who was shot in the head Friday night in the 400-block of North Central Avenue.  Another 18-year old man was seriously wounded in the same shooting.

Quintana Love, 27, was shot in the neck and died Saturday afternoon at a hospital.

In Humboldt Park, a 22-year-old man was found lying in the sidewalk outside his family’s home in the 1100 block of North Lawndale Avenue about 11:45 p.m. Friday, said Officer Amina Greer, a police spokeswoman.

Just before 2 a.m. Saturday, Gregory Dion, 29, was killed in his home in the 1400 block of East 52nd Street, authorities said.

Chicago declared Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán its first “Public Enemy No. 1” since Al Capone. “While Chicago is 1,500 miles from Mexico, the Sinaloa drug cartel is so deeply embedded in the city that local and federal law enforcement are forced to operate as if they are on the border,” Jack Riley, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago office, told CNN.

All told, Mexican cartels reside in 1,200 American communities as of 2011, up from 230 in 2008, according to the Associated Press.

Mexican cartels have come to dominate the U.S. market by aggressively bumping up the purity of their meth while dropping the price per gram.

Although it is uncertain if the violence this weekend is directly related to the drug cartels, the style of the killings indicates a definite possibility.

The Associated Press and others have reported that cartel cells are operating in Atlanta, Ga., Louisville, Ky., Columbus, Ohio, and rural North Carolina.

The only states that have reported no influx by the Mexican cartels are Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

But the center of it all appears to be Chicago.  Internal problems are escalating while our government continues to focus on political posturing.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

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