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Mexico: Somber End to a Violent Year

El Mensajero, Commentary, Mara A. Meja, Translated by Elena Shore Posted: Dec 30, 2008

Editor's Note: The Mexican government's insistence that it is winning the war on drugs is about as convincing as Miss Sinaloa explaining that she was carrying so much cash because she was about to go shopping, writes Mara A. Meja, editor of El Mensajero newspaper in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO On Dec. 31, the Mexican government will most likely celebrate the end of 2008, which was a terrible year in terms of security. Drug trafficking-related violence, and the way organized crime is eliminating its enemies, has become increasingly shocking.

The recent decapitation of eight soldiers by drug traffickers in Guerrero made it clear that in this absurd and bloody war, no one is safe.

The most recent edition of Forbes magazine, whose cover is dedicated to Mexico precisely because of the increase in violence and the complicated economic landscape predicted for our neighbor to the south presents troubling statistics that make you think the situation, far from improving next year, could get even worse.

The American publication suggests that the drop in the price of oil, the recession in the United States and drug trafficking-related violence have left Mexico on the brink of collapse.

Besides the poor economic indicators, the violence itself is out of control. Despite assurances that the Felipe Caldern government has everything under control and that their fight against crime will remain strong, the criminals seem to be winning the battle. According to Forbes, 4,300 drug trafficking-related deaths were recorded this year as of November a sharp increase from the 2,500 registered deaths in 2007. It is urgent for Mexican authorities to find an effective way to deal with drug trafficking. With drug-related murders seen to be nearly doubling, they can hardly argue that they are winning the war against the enemy.

These kinds of triumphant declarations sound about as convincing as the statements made by Miss Sinaloa, Laura Elena Ziga, who was arrested days ago in Guadalajara for possession of high-caliber weapons and several million dollars. She tried to justify the unfortunate bust by saying that she was getting ready to go shopping.

Related Articles:

As Mexico Reels from Violence, Views on Crime and Punishment Harden

Editorial: Violence Pushes Mexico Toward Militarization

Violence, Rights Violations Soar in Tijuana

Violence in Mexico Forces Families to Emigrate

Latin American Media See Mexico as New Drug King

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