Reports that two Mexican drug cartels have joined forces and have a combined fighting force of 100,000 foot soldiers has some local officials concerned that the drug war south of the border could spill into our communities.
The idea of such an alliance reminds me of the gang truce between rival hispanic street gangs that led to the rise of La Eme in the 1990s.
In any event, Mexican President Felipe Calderon defended his country’s efforts agsinst Narco-Terrorists in Mexico City this afternoon. Here’s Bloomberg’s take:
March 12 (Bloomberg) — Mexican President Felipe Calderon delivered his strongest defense yet of his government’s fight against drug cartels, alleging some U.S. officials are corrupt and accusing the media of lying.
“To say that Mexico doesn’t have authority over all of its national territory is absolutely false and absurd,” Calderon said today in Mexico City.
Mexico hasn’t lost any territory to traffickers, Calderon said. He criticized the media for mounting a campaign of “lies” against Mexico. His comments come two days after Dennis Blair, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said Mexico isn’t in charge of parts of the country.
Calderon, 46, came to power in 2006 promising a crackdown on the cartels. He has sent tens of thousands of soldiers to areas where smugglers battle over routes into the U.S. Retaliating for arrests and record drug seizures, gangs beheaded rival smugglers, assassinated police officials and executed entire families.
The drug war is reducing annual gross domestic product by 1 percentage point, according to the government. Narcotics-related deaths more than doubled last year as Calderon‘s crackdown disrupted drug operations and increased competition for the best supply routes to the U.S.