January 5, 2010

Arturo Beltran Leyva made a pact with municipal, state, and federal authorities in Morelos to eliminate common criminals (such as muggers, carjackers, thieves, kidnappers, and rapists) in exchange for letting his organization traffic drugs without interference.  The idea was to keep Morelos safe and to continue attracting both national and international tourists. Morelos, has become an important enclave in the transportation of drugs.

From Stratfor. This kind of thing points to how instituionalized organized crime is in Mexico. While cities like Juarez and Tijuana, contested turf between rival cartels, are seeing incredible violence as well as police and military attention, other border crossings like Nogales and Mexicali (plazas in the middle of Sinaloa territory) have very little violence AND very little attention from Calderon’s “drug war”. Are we to believe cartels aren’t active in these places? It’s easy to say that these places aren’t ‘urgent problems’ and that other areas require the majority of resources, but Mexicali and Nogales haven’t been problems for decades really. It’s also a sign that the drug trade itself isn’t really the problem for Mexico, it’s the violence associated with it.

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