Guest Posts

The Arrest by Sherry Short

March 21, 2015

Nothing could have prepared me for the day that I got arrested.  It was a bleak January morning in 2008 and I was at my rented house with my mom and two of my sons.  I was not surprised by my arrest since I knew it was going to happen although just didn’t know what day.  The knock on my door filled me with apprehension as I answered it.  The moment I laid eyes on the man standing in my doorway, I knew exactly what he had come for.  He was accompanied by a couple of police officers and that’s when the exhaustion and relief hit me all at once.  I was glad the waiting was finally over while consumed with a fear of the unknown.

The very worst part of that day was not the arrest itself, nor the shame in what I had become. Watching my family, witnessing me get arrested was one of the worst gut-wrenching feelings that I would ever experience and probably never forget.  The detective was kind enough to let me tell my then four year old son a lie that he was taking em to the police station to help them out in catching a criminal.  It wasn’t entirely a lie, he just wasn’t aware that the criminal was his own mother.  The detective didn’t even handcuff me until we were outside by the police car out of sight by my young son.  To this day, I will never forget the sorrow, regret and shame that I felt on that day.

One of my older sons was there also who was well over the age to understand.  I hated that, at 17 years old, he was watching his mom slowly turn into a monster right before his very eyes.  Falling from grace in your children’s eyes, in my opinion, is much worse than falling from grace in your mother or father’s eyes.  What a way to get to know your mom’s true colors.  The darkness and depression on that day was overwhelming and my future was bleak to say the least.

Without going through all the legalities of the charges just yet, in a nutshell, I was arrested for embezzling at my bookkeeping job for a home products company.  I thought I had sealed my fate and was headed for several years in prison. At the age of 37, I had lived long enough to understand that I was facing a very difficult future.  What hurt me the most was that I stood the chance of not being there to raise my youngest son.  That was very important to me because in my mind at the time, he was the last chance I had a being a good mom.  I had literally fucked up with all my other kids.  I always wanted to be a good mother, but let other things get in the way, including my crazy mind.

I wanted a change so bad at that time in my life.  I had been pretending to the world that my life was fine and that I was financially capable of handling everything on my own.  I had become exhausted with the pretenses and with the dependency on the extra paychecks that I was illegally writing to myself.  That’s why I was relieved that it was over.

Despite my overwhelming sorrow and self-loathing, I mustered up the courage to change my attitude almost from day one.  I had decided on my ride in the police car that I was going to do my very best from that day forward.  I knew I needed help mentally and emotionally and had made a decision to do my part.  What’s that saying in the Bible about sweeping out demons?  Something along the lines of when you clean one out, several more come back in.  Little did I know that I would be in for experiencing the most challenges that I ever had experienced in my life by deciding to become a criminal.

Anthony Tinsman


Title / Topic: Understanding Mexican Drug Cartels Increasing Violence

By: Anthony Tinsman (042676-063, FCC PO BOX 3000, Forrest City, AR., 72336)

The streets in Mexico City still smolder since this weekends escalation of Cartel violence. The flair up terrorized 1.5 million people crammed in the metropolitan city of Guadalajara, and the resort town of Puerto Vallarta. The new Jalisco cartel has risen unchecked after government officials captured drug bosses and weakened or destroyed rival organizations, including Joaquin Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel last year. He is more commonly known as “El Chopo”.

Events have drawn a shadow over President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has lead the Mexican government in demonstrating a modern, emerging economy. In this mission cartels such as the Knights Templar, Gulf Cartel, and the Zetas have been dismantled. “They have been destroyed… but hat leads to he birth of other very powerful organizations, which fill the vacuum.” Said Raul Benitez, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Friday was shattered by the clap of high explosives and small arms fire resulting in a downed marine helicopter, and 11 banks, gas stations and vehicles set ablaze across the state. Cartel members fought police with assault riffles and grenade launchers effectively blocking roads in three neighboring states. Amazingly, this apparently chaotic assault was coordinated, only 7 people died in this weekends most intense violence.

An instrumental victory for the fledgling Jalisco cartel.

The history of Cartel violence has drawn analysis from scholars and authors who have tasked themselves with explaining the psychology behind organizations like Jalisco. This month a new book “Blood + Death: The secret history of Sante Muerte and the Mexican Drug Cartels” delivers insight into the cult-like beliefs that allow cartel leaders to manipulate and control members. “When researching the material I was shocked by the grotesque murders committed in the name of Sante Muerte,” says author John Lee Brooks, “and the murder rate is escalating, accompanied by atrocities that belong in a gore-porn horror movie, not real life.”

These beliefs have evolved alongside cartels in Mexico and South America. The influence of Sante Muerte reportedly has tentacles into the U.S., propelling an extremist attitude to criminal organizations related to Mexican drug cartels. Atrocities abound under this influence.

On September 26, 2014, 43 students went missing in the South American town of Ayotzinapa. They were arrested by the Iguala police forces and thought to be handed over to the Guerrerros Unidos drug cartel. “Guerrero is a state with a lot of social organizations. It’s a left-wing university -the young students there are organized, and have a political consciousness,” Said Samuel Weber, co-organizer of a German rally against illegal arms sales to the state. “They are all activists and they have experience of repression. It’s a form of social control -then try to put these obstacles in the way of all social movements.” The obstacle appears to be censorship by bullet.

The students students were almost certainly executed by the Guerreros Unidos cartel.

The massacre in Guerrero remains unsolved. Although federal investigators recovered human ash sunk into a local river, only the DNA of one of the students, taken from a single tooth, could be identified. Local authorities were reluctant to get involved with the investigation. None of which bodes well for the current temperature in Mexico City, which is set for HOT this weekend as government forces attempt to dive back Jalisco gunmen.

Government officials have a tough fight ahead of them. The ideological component of drug cartels makes organizational structures resilient. Cartel leaders will come and go expulsing the same beliefs. Judging new evidence of drug cartel’s cultish dedication to Sante Muerte, the carnage in coming days may be a rallying cry for recruiting new members. Unfortunately this may be one of the motivations for the violence by Cartel leaders intent on keeping control of established drug pipelines into America.


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