I haven’t mentioned drug war deaths in Mexico for a few weeks. It’s sad that this has become so… usual, that I find myself skipping over article after article with drug war death counts in a search to share something more… interesting.
Yet people keep dying.
In Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, armed men opened fire and tossed grenades into a crowded nightclub early Saturday morning, killing six and wounding at least 37 people.
Also on Saturday, eight people died in a police shoot-out in the prosperous northern city of Monterrey. The city, which lies at the intersection of major drug smuggling routes, is the site of an ongoing turf war between the Gulf Cartel and its former allies, Los Zetas. Suspected drug hitmen kidnapped and killed a senior police chief there Sunday night, according to Reuters.
A drive-by shooting killed two women and six men on the outskirts of Mexico City Sunday. One of the women was found naked on a nearby street after she was shot in the head. A seventh man was severely wounded.
Eleven people were killed in separate incidents over the weekend in the deadly border city of Ciudad Juarez, just across from El Paso, Texas. Five more people were shot and killed on the highway between Juarez and Chihuahua City, the capital of Chihuahua state.
So what are we doing about it?
KERLIKOWSKE: In the Bush administration the MÃ©rida Initiative focused â€” and rightly so â€” on reducing violence as much as they could and improving law enforcement and the technology and equipment.
This administration is moving beyond that initiative and saying it canâ€™t be just about law enforcement and the quality of intelligence. It also has to be about building civil society, building trust and cooperation of Mexican citizens towards law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
And as Arturo Sarukhan, the ambassador to the U.S. will tell you, â€œDonâ€™t think of Mexico as just a transit country. Weâ€™re also a consumer country.â€ Theyâ€™re dealing with their own drug problems, also. And so we helped Mexico open up their first drug court in Monterrey. I think theyâ€™re going to open their second drug court in Tijuana. So I think that trying to use the same balanced approach the next couple of years will make sense.