Obama’s Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, announced a few weeks ago that the federal government would begin to shift its strategy in the War on Drugs, to a focus on prevention, treatment and the public health aspects of domestic drug use and addiction. A lot of people applauded the policy shift as a step in the right direction. It reflects the thinking that the best way to fight drugs isn’t a frontal assault on supply, but instead a campaign to reduce demand. This sort of tactic is important, because it’s less about stopping the drug trade itself and more about trying to root out its causes…

Article here.

On Monday, just after the conclusion of a wedding ceremony, a group of armed men burst into a Juarez church and ordered everyone down on the floor. Moving quickly, they collected the groom, his brother and their uncle and led them out. When another man tried to intervene, they shot him dead. The three relatives were then thrown into a truck and disappeared. On Wednesday, state police found their bodies in the bed of an abandoned pickup in the eastern sector of the city. They had been tortured for many hours before they were killed. It was a particularly horrifying example of the fact that violence in Juarez can strike anytime, anywhere.

Article here.

Yesterday in Mexico City, national security minister Genero Garcia Luna remarked at the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit that the war against the cartels will in all probability take years before anything is accomplished. Citing other prominent examples of long-lasting wars on organized crime in places like Italy, Colombia and Chicago in the 1920s, Garcia Luna explained that expectations for a quick finish should be tempered against these historical examples that lasted “six years on average.”

Article here.

Just a few weeks after the AP declared that the Sinaloa cartel had won the drug war in Juarez, the city saw one of its bloodiest days in recent memory. On Wednesday, 20 murders were recorded in a 24-hour span. The first murders of the day set the tone for the brutality to follow, as gunmen burst into a bar in the early morning and dragged eight people out into a nearby lot, lined them up against the wall, and executed them…

Article here.