Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed more than 30,000 people, including more than 9,000 this year. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Ciudad Juarez
Wednesday, December 1

In Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, a town official said that residents have begun to return to the town nearly a month after being forced to flee by groups of marauding gunmen thought to belong to the Zetas Organization. Army operations are ongoing in the area. The area has been hard hit by fighting between the Zetas Organization and their former employers, the Gulf Cartel.

Friday, December 3

In Morelos, authorities arrested a 14-year old boy accused of beheading and mutilated his victims while operating as a cartel assassin. Edgar Jimenez, aka "El Ponchis," was taken into custody as he attempted to fly to Tijuana, with the eventual goal of fleeing to San Diego, where it has been said he is originally from. He stands accused of operating as part of a unit of assassins which included his 19-year old sister. It has also been alleged that he cut off the heads of his victims and mutilated their genitals.

Saturday, December 4

In Ciudad Juarez, at least 16 people were murdered across the city. In one incident, four municipal police officers were shot and killed after being ambushed by cartel gunmen using automatic weapons and traveling in at least three vehicles. This brings the number of police killed in the city this year to 136, 61 of whom were members of the municipal police.

In another incident, six people were gunned down when armed men stormed an auto-repair shop.

Sunday, December 5

In Ciudad Juarez, four people were killed when armed men simultaneously attacked two drug rehabilitation centers, marking the latest in a series of bloody attacks on rehab facilities in the city.

In Tamaulipas, soldiers freed 16 hostages after shooting dead two gunmen near Ciudad Victoria.

Monday, December 6

In Ciudad Juarez, six people were killed in the city. Among the dead was Erika Elizabeth Silva Rivera, 31, a state investigator assigned to work sex crimes. A female partner of hers was wounded in the attack. In another incident, a bound man was shot dead and his body set aflame.

Tuesday, December 7

In Ciudad Juarez, five people were killed in the city. One incident was a triple homicide at a body shop. This brings the number of murders in the city to 2,932 for the year. About 7,300 people have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez since January 2008.

Total Body Count for the Week: 102

Total Body Count for the Year: 9,507

Read the previous Mexico Drug War Update here.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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The real State Department assesment of Mexico's drug war

Is anyone working on a story about the leaked State Department cables.  Of course, that politicians say the drug war is unwinnable behind closed doors is not a surprise.  Now that they are "outed", it highlights the actual lack of progress and worsening of the situation. 

Is it any tougher for the US federal gov't to say the war in Mexico is going well after Wikileaks? 

Here is a story on this topic from the Chicago Tribune.,0,7034316.story 


Not really any surprise at all

I'm becoming a big fan of Wikileaks.It's just really hard to find stuff there's so much on there.Might have to sign on to Pcat.It would be nice to see some exposure of the ties between the CIA and Karzai's brother.I'll bet there's some stuff there that'd open some eyes.We all know there's no way for this drug war to go but worse.It's deteriorated steadily for over 40 years that I've been involved but this mess in Mexico is just unreal.Remember when they were spraying paraquat,knowing that it was poison and that smoking it was very harmful.I guess if you're sending snipers to assassinate people without charge,trusting that information you're getting isn't from a rival trafficker or someone trying to climb the ladder.Blowing up labs with the peasants that work them,what do you care about the people back home that're smoking the stuff?Now we find out(as if we didn't already know)that the government is doing all this with the firm knowledge that it's all for nothing.Trillions of dollars down the toilet.It just makes sense that with the economy in a shambles that all these billions be used in a more productive way.30,000 dead and counting.There can be nothing that justifies this and what is the body count at home?How many deaths can be directly related to drug war violence in the US and even Canada is posting some pretty deadly body counts.Just like alcohol prohibition,the turf wars are getting worse as time goes on.

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