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).
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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