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Guest Thinkers

Mexico at War

The Mexican government has been using the army to fight the nation's drug cartels for about four years. It isn't working. Some critics say the army is part of the problem.

Horrific news reports have become commonplace in Mexico. Some 29,000 people have died in drug wars within the past four years, and this year the number of killings doubled to about 12,000. An astonishing 98 percent of the crimes committed in Mexico remain unpunished. It has been four years since President Felipe Calderón came to office promising to defeat the cartels, multibillion-dollar organizations that supply the United States, the world’s largest drug market, with cocaine, crystal meth, heroin and marijuana. Calderón mobilized 45,000 soldiers and federal police officers for his campaign. There was no one else he could trust, including local police forces and governors. The army is his only reliable tool.


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