Mexican Chaos Heating Up
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If 2000 soldiers of the Mexican Army can't return Juarez to law and order, that region must be understood as lost to federal control, at least for the time being. And one definition for "failed state" is the inability to enforce the law and preserve order over territory.

There is an ongoing struggle for turf among the drug cartels, and the warfare continues because the efforts of the central government to rein it in are too little, too late. (Presidente Fox left his successor the mother of all banana peels by ignoring the growing power of the drug cartels.) Presidente Calderon has sent 20,000 troops throughout the country, and any sign of success remains too subtle to detect.

Stratfor's analysis is that Mexico City has "limited options for responding to the attacks in Mexico City and for containing the violence in Sinaloa state."

More than a month after Mexican President Felipe Calder??n dispatched more than 2,000 soldiers to the troubled border city, execution-style murders remain commonplace — and usually unsolved — as heavily armed drug cartels battle for control of lucrative drug-smuggling routes into the United States. [...]

At least 10 federal police officers have been killed in the past three weeks, and pitched shootouts have raged from the Pacific Coast to central Zacatecas, where three died in clashes Wednesday morning, including a young girl believed to have caught a stray bullet, authorities said.

It has been a particularly violent year in Ciudad Juarez. Once the undisputed turf of the Juarez Cartel, the city of 1.3 million people has become the scene of an epic turf battle, as elements of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel try to muscle their way in.

Nearly 300 have died in the violence so far this year, some of their bodies dumped in mass graves. [2,000 soldiers can't stop the bloodshed in Juarez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 8, 2008]

To showcase their power, cartels have recently engaged in high profile assassinations of two top cops in the nation's capital city: 2 top Mexican police officials killed in 2 days.
The commander of Mexico City's investigative police force was shot and killed Friday morning as he left his home, authorities said.

The death of Esteban Robles Espinosa comes a day after Mexico's federal police chief was shot dead in a northwestern Mexico City neighborhood.

Robles headed Mexico City's anti-kidnapping unit until 2003, according to the city's judicial police. He was also on the internal affairs commission, the department said. [...]

The federal police chief, Edgar Eusebio Millan Gomez, was fatally shot around dawn Thursday in a street in Colonia Guerrero in Mexico City, the country's public safety department said.

Gov Bill Richardson had a case of bad timing when he visited Mexico Wednesday and praised the improved safety along the border region after a period of worsening violence: N.M. Gov. Richardson calls US-Mexico Border more secure.
Richardson said he would ask U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza to reevaluate a travel alert, issued by the U.S. State Department in April, that warned U.S. citizens of rising violence in northern Mexico but stopped short of suggesting that Americans avoid traveling in the region.
Yes, let's vacation in beautiful scenic Mexico!

Unfortunately, all this carnage has led some less-than-astute minds (like President Bush) to support the Merida Initiative — aka "Sending welfare to a crack house" — an equipment giveaway to Mexico on the backs of the taxpayers costing $1.4 billion. Of course, Mexico is a wealthy nation, consistently ranking among the top 15 countries in GDP, and could easily afford to purchase their crime-fighting technology. Presidente Calderon could write out a check for items he needs, just as the Saudis do for military hardware.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs had a hearing about the Merida Initiative on Thursday. Here are the members of the Committee, in case you want to suggest better ways to spend our money—like enforcing America's borders, for example.

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