The Washington Post
Violence in Mexico has escalated dramatically in recent years. In 2009 alone, at least 6,500 people were killed in apparent drug-related incidents, and more than 2,000 have already died in such violence this year. The recent killings of three people linked to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez (just across the border from El Paso) have left many wondering whether the situation is hopeless.
In Mexico last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton lamented the "cycle of violence and crime that has impacted communities on both sides of the border" and pledged continued U.S. engagement. With Washington's support, the Mexican government has been pursuing an aggressive multiyear campaign to confront criminal groups tied to the drug trade. To understand those efforts' chances of success, let's look beyond common misperceptions about Mexico's plight.