Thursday, June 2, 2011

Photo of the Day: Zetas Takes Monterrey

The Mexican drug war is an ongoing campaign of attrition. The drug cartels have corrupted untold public officials and law-enforcement personnel and hamstrung local news media. In 2010 alone, 15,273 people were killed in drug violence (a 60 percent uptick from the previous year).

This Z scratched into a hill alongside the highway to the Mexican city of Monterrey stakes out territory of the Zetas drug cartel. (Photo: Tomas Bravo/Reuters)

The manufacturing city of Monterrey has become a troubling, emblematic casualty of the narco-conflict. With a population of 4 million and annual per capita income double the Mexican average, the city had been a model for developing economies. But the Zetas drug cartel has needed only four years to drag Monterrey into a bloody swirl of drug murders and endemic lawlessness.
Mexico is a major U.S. trade partner and the world’s seventh-largest exporter of oil. United States consumers are the primary market for Mexico’s illegal drug traffic.

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