The Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2012

…During the first nine months of 2011, some 12,903 people were killed in drug-related violence—11% more than the killings during the same period in 2010, according to a database released by the Attorney General's Office….

…Mr. Calderón, upon taking office in December 2006, sent in tens of thousands of troops across several states where traffickers were battling it out in broad daylight, hoping to at least push the traffickers back into the shadows where they had operated for decades with relative impunity.

The offensive has had some notable successes, including killing or capturing dozens of cartel leaders.  But it may have inadvertently added fuel to the fire by causing fresh power struggles within the cartels to replace the leaders.…

…Experts say Mexico has also moved too slowly in trying to clean up its dysfunctional law enforcement institutions, from corrupt local police forces to a judicial system that is broadly incapable of securing justice.

"The government is having some success in breaking up the cartels and moving this gradually from a national security crisis to a public security crisis,"

said Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

"But that requires a broad public security strategy that we haven't seen yet: Not just arresting capos but building local police and prosecutors that can lock up the bad guys."…


Read the full article here.