Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mexico's Drug War

A somewhat lengthy piece about Mexico's drug war from Ioan Grillo at the Telegraph:
Anyone with half an eye on the news knows that Mexico is in the midst of a drugs war, with rival cartels battling for control of a $30 billion trade with the United States. The country so deep in blood it is getting harder to shock the locals. Even the kidnapping and killing of nine policemen, or a pile of craniums in a town plaza, isn't big news.

Only the most sensational atrocities now grab media attention: a grenade attack on revellers celebrating independence day; the sewing of a murder victim's face onto a football; an old silver mine filled with 56 decaying corpses, some of the victims thrown in alive.

In the five years of President Felipe Calderon's administration, the government admitted earlier this month, the drug war has claimed 47,500 lives including those of 3,000 public servants – policemen, soldiers, judges, mayors, and dozens of federal officials.

Such a murder rate compares to the most lethal insurgent forces in the world – and is certainly more deadly than Hamas, ETA, or the Irish Republican Army in its entire three decades of armed struggle.

The nature of the attacks is even more intimidating. Mexican gangsters regularly shower police stations with bullets and rocket-propelled grenades; they carry out mass kidnappings of officers and leave their mutilated bodies on public display; they even kidnapped one mayor, tied him up, and stoned him to death on a main street.
(Full story here).

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