U.S. military advisers in Mexico are training forces there in counterinsurgency tactics.
Drug violence in Mexico claims 20 over the weekend, including a singer who sang about narco-trafficers.
PRI gubernatorial candidate assassinated in Tamaulipas, ambushed by gunmen in a convoy of seven trucks. 4 others were also killed.
The drug cartels in Mexico have reached the level where they now constitute, for all practical purposes, an insurgency that uses terrorism against the population and state institutions in a bid to usurp the rule of law and to permanently institute the impunity with which they already operate within their areas of influence.
Rising drug violence, especially when it involves a lot of collateral damage, is highly discouraging to the electoral process. Not only do people stay away from the polls on election day, but they lose all faith in the candidates’ ability to protect them or do anything to curb the violence where they live. It erodes the fundamental nature of democracy when a populace loses all faith in the system. Not that Americans are all that fond of our own politicians, and voter turnout during major elections usually hovers around 40-50 percent. But still, we don’t fear for our lives when we go to the polls, and I think most Americans still believe their representatives have at least some concern for their constituents.
Keep this in mind when you see news stories of Mexican candidates for office being assassinated over the next week. It’s not just a case of drug-related violence as usual. This is a basic erosion of democratic norms by powerful organized crime groups, and the ultimate effect on Mexico’s government and society will be dire indeed.
An Arizona sheriff recently said parts of Arizona, the smuggling routes in the deserts,are now under control of the cartels, not law enforcement.