Monday, January 07, 2008

Are Mexican Cartel Wars Headed for a Final Showdown?

These recent stories about the war on drugs in Mexico caught my eye and may interest Grits readers:

Drug Cartels Aim to Disrupt Elections, Intimidate Pols
Reported the Washington Post (1/4/08):
Drug cartels are trying to influence the outcomes of major elections in Mexico by kidnapping and threatening candidates, according to Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora.

The remarks by Medina Mora, released by his office Friday, underscored the Mexican government's growing willingness in recent months to acknowledge the threat drug cartels pose to the nation's fragile democracy. The problem is most severe, Medina Mora said, in the border states of Baja California and Tamaulipas, and in Michoacan, the home state of Mexican President Felipe Calder¿n.

"We have evidence, complaints from candidates who were kidnapped or intimidated, or who received threats intended to influence the results of an election and the behavior of candidates," Medina Mora told the Spanish newspaper El Pais, according to a transcript of the interview.

The Changing Face of the Drug Trade
See an analysis of black market imports and exports in and out of Arizona related to the drug trade.

Cartels retaliate against Mexican police, officials
Direct intimidation of police and public officials continues to rise, with three beheadings near the Tijuana border on New Years Day, seven officers recently murdered in Zacatecas, five more drug-related killings in Mexico City, the killing of a prominent anti-cartel politician in Rio Bravo, and four more drug-related killings in Rio Bravo just today.

Press Report Predicts 'Final Showdown' between Sinaloa, Gulf Cartels
The Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels in Rio Bravo "are armed and ready for a final showdown. It's a battle four years in the making for control of the Rio Grande Valley smuggling routes."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The self-fulfilling prophecy rears its' head at last.

Part of the rationale behind the militarization of US police forces was in part chimerical expected 'showdowns' between (supposedly poorly equipped and trained) US police forces and narco gangs packing state-of-the-art weaponry. Didn't happen.

But the 'evolutionary pressures' involved in cracking down on the dealers in Mexico has led to the gangs acquiring their own military weaponry to fight each other and the government as well...and in the hands of those trained for its' use (like the Zetas) that military hardware is proving very useful for the cartels.

Those who for years p***ed and moaned that the DrugWar wasn't being fought like a 'real' war have had their wet dreams granted by Presidente Calderon bowing to their wishes...and the uptick in violence is the logical result.

The expectation was the narcos would roll over like little dogs and wet themselves when the bigger one came on the scene. It doesn't appear as if the narcos got the memo, however...