Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To live and die in Laredo

I'm absolutely fascinated by these teenage hitmen and what it says about the evolution of the war on drugs. The power of the Mexican cartels is destabilizing the Mexican government, but also making inroads in the United States.

The article

In the minds of many Americans, the Rio Grande divides Mexico, a corrupt land where drug cartels often seem to have the upper hand, from the United States, a nation of law and order, where the authorities try to keep criminal gangs in check.

But the reality on the border is much more complex. The Mexican drug cartels recruit young men from both countries and operate their smuggling and murder-for-hire rings on both sides of the divide, though under slightly different rules of engagement....

The Mexican government has been trying to crack down on the drug cartels, an effort that has left more than 10,000 Mexicans dead in the last 18 months. Some deaths are the result of shootouts between the cartels and the authorities... But the assassinations of drug dealers[,]police officers and army personnel who get in the way — the kind of work [the teenage hit men] did — also accounts for thousands of bodies. |War Without Borders: Mexican Cartels Lure American Teens as Killers - NYT|

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