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Mexico Meltdown Watch
Despite Mexico's attempt to control the Texan border town of Nuevo Laredo by sending in the army, the violence there has worsened. The Gulf and Juarez cartels continue to battle over drug routes into the United States. The closing of the American consulate after months of murders and kidnappings was a severe vote of no confidence, but even the Mexicans couldn't squawk much. Residents refer to their community as the "City of Lead" because of the heavy-duty firepower now being used in the "Baghdad-like Fighting".
The US State Department had warned its citizens earlier this year not to travel to the violence-stricken city, known for its crime and kidnappings. [US shuts Mexican border consulate BBC News, July 30 2005]
El Presidente Fox sent in the army June 13 to get the city back under control. However, when the thinned-out civilian police force was restored July 26 "the returning officers face a city even more violent than the one they knew." [ Nuevo Lareodo cops back on the job - The Dallas Morning News-Alfredo Corchaado and Tracy Eaton July 27 2005]
The numbers indicate that six weeks of martial law courtesy of the Mexican army actually allowed the murders to increase.
By June 12, Nuevo Laredo (population 311,000) had its 65th murder of the year, for an average of one victim every 60 hours. Since then, 38 more people have been killed, an average of one victim every 28 hours, according to Reforma . The vast majority of those killings, about 75 percent, are tied to the bloody drug-trafficking battle here.
In effect, the Mexican government has lost control of Nuevo Laredo. Their last card, the army, failed: by definition, the situation is out of control. The powerful cartels are free to do whatever they wish.
Despite Mexico's impending collapse from a merely corrupt nation into a fully Colombianized narco-state, President Bush continues to insist on a shotgun marriage between the United States and Mexico as part of the "North American Security Perimeter" - where increasingly the issue is, Security for whom - and against what?