The historic level of drug violence not only threatens Mexican judges and politicians, who once were immune, but also American tourists and U.S. investors, as the cartels move into vacation corridors such as Acapulco-Zihuatanejo on the Pacific Coast, and Morelia-Uruapan in the central state of Michoacan.
A Dallas businessman recently pulled out of a $40 million project near the Zihuatanejo resort.
"We didn't think this was the right moment," said Carol Davenport, a real estate agent from Arlington, Texas, now working in Mexico, who represented the businessman. "The dire situation didn't exactly inspire investor confidence," she added, referring to a rash of killings in the area.
The scale of the lawlessness, its geographical reach, and the apparent inability of the government to keep it in check threaten Mexico's political stability, some analysts warn.
Inability to enforce the law and preserve order over territory is the definition of a failed state. A major negative milestone occurred in June 2005 when el Presidente Fox sent the Army into Nuevo Laredo to quell the drug cartel war, and the violence only got worse. After a few weeks, the Mexican Army simply gave up and left.
Yet there is little if any response from Washington to the danger from Mexico's worsening drug cartel anarchy spreading north. If anything, Mexican thugs recently got a full speed ahead message from the Bush Justice Department by the shocking prosecution of two Border Patrol agents, in which a drug smuggler got immunity and is suing us taxpayers for $5 million.
Another disturbing symptom is that Mexican drug cartels have further extended their reach into American national forest lands. Forget about safe hiking.
But Washington remains brain dead about encroaching anarchy. Do our elected representatives believe America is immune from becoming a failed state? They shouldn't.