O'Reilly claimed Mexican president has troops helping drug traffickers, falsely asserted central Mexican state of Jalisco is "on the border"May 8, 2006 11:21 AM EDT ››› ROB MORLINO
During the May 3 edition of the nationally syndicated Radio Factor, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed that Mexican President Vicente Fox has "got his troops on the northern border helping the drug traffickers bring the loads across." Although Mexican officials announced that drug smugglers were using military uniforms and vehicles when they crossed into the United States on January 23 and had a confrontation with Texas law-enforcement officers, an investigation by the FBI found no evidence that the men were connected to the Mexican military, according to the Associated Press. Later in the program, during a discussion with a caller about the motivation of some Mexican citizens to seek employment in the United States, O'Reilly claimed that Jalisco is "on the border, and anybody in a border town wants to get the hell out of the border town because they don't want to have to deal with [drug cartels]." In fact, Jalisco is a state in central Mexico, not a town, and it is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean. (See map.) Jalisco's capital is the city of Guadalajara.
O'Reilly's caller recounted owning a Mexican restaurant and hiring workers who were from Jalisco, which he said is "a small town or, uh, part of Mexico." The caller then speculated that workers come to the United States to "make an honest living," having left Mexico in order to avoid being "put down by these drug cartels." O'Reilly replied, "you open a Mexican restaurant or any kind of restaurant in Jalisco or Nueva [sic] Laredo, and guess who's knocking on your door? It's some guy saying, 'Hey, I want $400 a week for protection, and if you don't give it to me, I'm blowing your store up.' "
O'Reilly concluded, "Let's get smart, here."
From the May 3 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Now, the pinheads in the United States who can't understand this, they don't want a wall or a militarization of our border, even though Mexico militarizes its border. We can't. How does that work? [Mexican President Vicente] Fox says it's an insult to us if you put a wall or militarize, but he's got his troops on the northern border helping the drug traffickers bring the loads across. That's what they do. And he's got his troops on the southern border keeping the Guatemalans, El Salvadorans, um, the Nicaraguans, the Panamanians, and everybody else out of his country unless they pay, unless they pay. Now, if you pay down in the southern border, you can come across. If you bribe them.
CALLER: All righty. Uh, I uh, just closed down a Mexican restaurant. I used to own one, and I just closed down the other month, uh, at the end of last month 'cause our lease ran up. And, uh, the guys that worked for me were from Jalisco, which is a small town or, uh, part of Mexico. And they were, were from a farm town, you know, which is not corrupt at all. Great guys, showed up to work every day, you know, honest. Uh, the reason why they, we don't want to get out of there and come here is because they can make an honest living whereas down there, they're, they're, they're, you know, put down by these drug cartels.
O'REILLY: Yeah. I mean, look, anybody -- Jalisco's on the border, and anybody in a border town wants to get the hell out of the border town because they don't want to have to deal with these guys. You open a Me -- you open a Mexican restaurant or any kind of restaurant in Jalisco or Nueva [sic] Laredo, and guess who's knocking on your door? It's some guy saying, "Hey, I want $400 a week for protection, and if you don't give it to me, I'm blowing your store up." All right. That's what we're looking at. Let's get smart, here.