In 2008, more than 1,600 people were killed in Juárez in drug-related violence, often assassinations carried out in daylight. Some 6,000 people died in drug-related violence across Mexico last year. More than 100 people have been killed so far this year in Juárez, including at least six policemen kidnapped from their police post, their heads showing up a few days later dropped off at the police station.Recently, the city's police chief was forced to step down after criminal gangs threatened to kill at least one officer every 48 hours unless Chief Roberto Orduña left his post. To prove their point, gunmen left signs on the slain bodies of a police officer and a jail guard. Days later, gunmen in two cars fired high-powered weapons at a convoy carrying Gov. José Reyes Baeza, killing a body guard and injuring two agents.
The answer has been for the Mexican Army to deploy about 2,500 soldiers in Juárez last spring. Another 5,000 soldiers were deployed last month to take charge of the police department. There have been mixed reports about how well this is working.
Much of the bloodshed is being orchestrated by Joaquin 'Shorty' Guzman, one of the world's most wanted men, who leads a cartel from the Pacific-coast state of Sinaloa. Guzman has already turned his homeland into his own personal fiefdom.Last year, Caracas Venezuela was the most violent city in the world; perhaps Juarez is vying for that honor in 2009. What do you think? Even at this terrible pace, can Juarez reach the incredible murder rate of Caracas, 130 per 100,000?
Blamed for the deaths of 600 people already this year, the drugs baron has become enraged by the Mexican government's attempts to curtail his operations.
In one recent shoot-out, he exacted revenge by killing seven federal agents and beheading them. Armed with AK-47 assault rifles - known in Mexico as cuernos de chivo (goat's horns) due to their curved magazines - they also pumped more than 100 rounds into two police officers who had the temerity to stop one of their men.
Do you think it's possible that most of the guns used in these drug wars are coming from the United States, as has been reported? It seems to me they'd require larger shipments than could be smuggled across the border from the States a few at a time. What do you think?
In the big picture, isn't it the demand for drugs in the U.S. that's driving all of this? Isn't the failed "war on drugs" responsible then for all of this violence? Do you think the Obama Administration will be able to do something about that? Should Obama take this seriously given all the other problems, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy, etc.?
I'm not sure who's doing the warning here, but this statement comes from the UK's Daily Mail.
Barack Obama has been warned that Mexico's drugs lords now pose as big a threat to U.S. national security as Islamic insurgents. The U.S. is now planning to deploy the military to the border to try to contain the bloodshed.
What's your opinion?