The director of Nuevo Leon's State Investigations Agency was assassinated on Tuesday - two shots to the head by a lone gunman who ambushed him at an art gallery. Nuevo Leon is a Mexican state bordering Texas.
Think about that for a moment: For Texans, this would be the unspeakable equivalent of a criminal gang killing Colonel Tommy Davis over at the Texas Department of Public Safety, or perhaps the head of his narcotics division James Brubaker. OMG. :-0
The same night, the Houston Chronicle reports this morning, "Masked gunmen burst into a nightclub early Wednesday (in Michoacan) and flung five human heads onto the dance floor in what was easily one of the most shocking incidents of drug violence in Mexico this year."
That last incident comes on the heels of multiple decapitations of police in Acapulco in August and the assassination of numerous officers along the border.
All hell appears breaking loose in the Mexican end of the drug war.
Now that the power vacuum in the Mexican presidency has nearly ended, with Felipe Calderon's victory affirmed by the courts, the power vacuum in the streets becomes even more painfully obvious. Mexican police are underpaid and in key areas largely bought off. Reported the Chronicle:
''The only way to stop the violence in Michoacan would be to replace the entire police force at all levels," said a state intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. ''You can't imagine what a huge problem we have here."The smugglers have figured out the same Border Economics 101 the Chamber of Commerce types described in my blog post the other day: Mexico enjoys a near-term strategic advantage, or a disadvantage, depending on how you look at it, because of its position as a transportation hub to meet US demand for all kinds of goods, including drugs.
"Poor Mexico," lamented dictator Porfirio Diaz, "So far from God, so close to the United States."