Who is behind the 25,000 deaths in Mexico?

Charles Bowden and Molly Molloy

With at least 25,000 people slaughtered in Mexico since President Felipe Calderón hurled the Mexican Army into the anti-cartel battle, three questions remain unanswered: Who is being killed, who is doing the killing and why are people being killed?

Because it’s not only narcos who are being killed. Too often it is just ordinary Mexicans “who magically morph into drug cartel members before their blood dries on the streets”

The Army can be every bit as savage towards civilians as the cartels.

Here is the US policy in a nutshell: we pay Mexicans to kill Mexicans, and this slaughter has no effect on drug shipments or prices.

This war gets personal. A friend calls late at night from Juárez and says if he is murdered before morning, be sure to tell his wife. It never occurs to him to call the police, nor does it occur to you.

No one asks or answers this question: How does such an escalation benefit the drug smuggling business which has not been diminished at all during the past three years of hyper-violence in Mexico?

Such madness really seems to benefit no one. Lots more money can be made by all when things are peaceful. So why the ultra violence, which can only be bad for business.

The government has only investigated a tiny number of the 25,000 murders. Why is this? Are they overwhelmed? Compromised? Something else? Bowden, who has covered Juarez for fifteen years, seems to hint at something, but I’m not sure what. Maybe he’s not sure either.

Maybe the sad truth is, the government of Mexico is hollowing out and can no longer fulfill its basic function of protecting citizens.