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Analysis: The Organised Crime and the Illegal Drugs Trafficking in Mexico

The drugs trade has spread corruption and violence across Mexico. Can the police ever catch up with them?

Last year Mexican officials angrily rebuffed a Pentagon study arguing that the country was in danger of becoming a failed state. That description still seems absurd in most of the country, the world’s 11th-largest by population and 14th-biggest by size of economy. Most of the violence remains confined to a handful of states, mainly close to the United States border. But since the Pentagon’s report the frequency of gang-related homicides has more than doubled. The second quarter of this year saw more than 4,000 such murders: twice as many as at the beginning of last year, and some eight times more than at the beginning of 2007 (see chart 1). The gangs’ tactics now include detonating car-bombs in public places.

The conflict has become a test of endurance for both the government and the narcos. Mr Calderón has staked his presidency on the outcome. In 2007 a third of Mexicans thought the death toll was an acceptable price to pay for beating the cartels, whereas now only a quarter do. “Unless there is a big change in the level of violence, the current strategy cannot survive more than another six months,” says Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign minister. READ MORE HERE.