“[Mexico’s] drug-related death toll in 2010 hit a new high of 15,273, compared to an estimated 2,800 in 2007, according to numbers released in January.
Government officials continue to insist that the drug war is working and that the high body count reflects the government taking the fight directly to the cartels.”
Mexican lawmakers have admitted that “71 percent of municipal governments in Mexico were under the influence of criminal organizations.”
To attain this level of success, cartels need military weaponry, which they obtain on the international black market. (Such war materiel is unavailable on the American retail market.)
Cartels now have uniforms and insignia. Howard Campbell, a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas El Paso, claims: “They are using them out in the open to identify themselves in places where the gangs have nearly total control. Increasingly, the gangs are becoming the government, and they are taking their new roles very seriously.”
Part of the reason for cartels’ success is that Mexicans consider the “real” police corrupt, so they are no longer surprised to see uniformed men commit heinous acts.
If Calderon controls only 29% of municipalities, and his police are just as corrupt as the cartels, how long before Calderon’s organization is considered just another gang?