Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blogging border violence

After the body count from the Mexican cartel wars has ramped up over the last five years, there's finally beginning to be more consistent reporting on the subject available in the US, including in the blogosphere. Here are a few sources I've begun following recently to stay abreast of the topic:
And for the Spanish speakers among you (or those who don't mind fumbling around with Google's "translate" function), here are a few notable Spanish-language sources:
Combing through the blogs this morning, I ran across a story from March I'd missed at the time: An active-duty US soldier who'd signed on as an assassin for Los Zetas was shot by an undercover agent in Laredo. His cousin, who served in Afghanistan and was discharged from the Army on March 13, was among those arrested with him. This is yet another example of the real "spillover" violence on the Texas-Mexico border: US criminals crossing the river southward to commit murders and other crimes working as soldiers for competing drug cartels (warning: graphic images). By contrast, Texas border regions are among the safest in the state, particularly compared to the state's larger cities, and despite politicized misrepresentations, have not yet seen substantial violence "spillover" northward.

Grits can't follow these topics as closely as I would like, so I'm glad the bloggers above are covering the beat. With the Calderon military strategy an abject failure and the Mexican presidential elections looming this summer (a race made more or less interesting, depending on one's perspective, by a new ban on campaign attack ads), we're possibly at a pivotal moment in this epic tragedy.

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