Ten years after Mexican troops were unleashed against drug cartels, the country will mark the anniversary without fanfare on Sunday, with murders rising again and the military eager to return to barracks.
President Enrique Pena Nieto, who inherited the drug war when he took office in December 2012, has promised his countrymen and women a â€œMexico in peace.â€
So, after 10 years, how is that progressing?
â€œThe war has become much more complex. The level of death has escalated,â€ Raul Benitez Manaut, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told AFP.
Even Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos agrees that troops do not belong in a law enforcement role.
â€œWe didnâ€™t ask to be here. We donâ€™t like it. We didnâ€™t study how to chase criminals,â€ Cienfuegos said on Thursday.
He said he would be the first to raise â€œnot one, but two handsâ€ in favor of returning troops to barracks.
â€œOur function is something else and itâ€™s been made into something unnatural. We are doing things that donâ€™t correspond to our training because thereâ€™s no one else to do them,â€ the minister said.
The only way to win the drug war is to end it.