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September 02, 2010

Mexico: What to Believe?

As someone who lived in pre-drug war El Paso between 1958 to 1963, I have great difficulty adjusting to the virtual tsunami of information about drug trafficking, murder, and corruption that has been emanating from Juarez since I began following the drug war in earnest in 1995. Not only have the numbers of alleged drug-related killings increased dramatically, so has the savage and brazen manner in which they are being carried out; to say nothing of the fact that pitched battles between government forces and narcotrafficantes are being fought deep in the interior.

Even given their dramatic progression from levels reported as recently as 1995, there is general agreement that after newly elected President Felipe Calderon dutifully attempted to accommodate a Bush-Cheney call for a crack down on drug smuggling in 2006, things have become even worse: more savagery, more killings, and more disturbing evidence the Mexican government is losing control.

Even against that background, President Calderon is still claiming progress in Mexico's version of the drug war, based on the most recent arrest of another notorious drug lord. How long can such blindness persist without provoking a catastrophic failure of government South of the Border? More to the point: how might such a failure affect us?

And isn't this very reminiscent of our "successes" against the cocaine cartels and Pablo Escobar in the Eighties, to say nothing of claims made on behalf of body counts and the "light at the end of the tunnel" in an earlier war?

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at September 2, 2010 06:01 PM