We’ve all heard about Mexico’s war on drugs, a fight between rival drug cartels and government forces. Ciudad Juarez remains Mexico’s murder capital and across the border in El Paso it’s also very dangerous. “It’s a war in which the president can’t claim victory, can’t pull out and which only gets worse” says Ioan Grillo from Time Magazine. He also says “Mexico’s drug war could become its Iraq”. So is it really this bad?
Since 2006 there have been more than 14’000 drug related deaths in Mexico. Three weeks ago 21 students were killed at a party, The Economist says January has been the bloodiest month on record. Human rights groups say the army has only stoked the violence.
This blogger says the spike in murders is down to the soldiers only attacking certain cartels, missing out the powerful Sinaloa cartel. Meanwhile the U.S. continues to help strengthen Mexico’s military muscle. So far the U.S. has pledged $1.6 billion worth of equipment and training to Mexico’s army and police force.
Jess Hunter-Bowman blogs on the failure of this policy, saying it’s done little to affect the drug production and consumption that fuels the violence. But she does praise the US’s move to increase funding for domestic drug prevention and treatment, saying this is a step towards a more sensible policy.
On top of the murders and kidnappings caused by the drug war the economy is also suffering. This blogger says thousands of shops have been forced out of Juarez. But how much of this is affecting the rest of Mexico?
A Mexican blogger says ” a lot of that news coverage can often give a bit of a twisted, one dimensional and tunnel vision view of Mexico to people who wouldn’t know better .”
In April last year WHYS went to Mexico City to cover this story but Swine Flu hit so we didn’t look into the violence and drugs war. Almost a year on and the violence goes on.
Should the Mexican government continue to fight the war on drugs and the cartels? or should the focus be on tackling its causes like unemployement, lack of education and corruption? How is this affecting day to day life in Mexico? or is the violence just restricted to Northern Mexico?