Why Mexico's Murder Rate is Soaring

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From The Economist Explains:

"LAST month 12,000 people marched in protest through Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-biggest city, after authorities revealed that three missing film students had been dissolved in acid. The month before, a bottler for Coca-Cola shut down its operations in the state of Guerrero because of the rampant violence there. Meanwhile the morgue in the northern border town of Tijuana, where the murder rate has nearly tripled in two years, is so full of bodies that residents complain about the smell. As repellent as they are, these tales are just a taste. Some 25,340 Mexicans, says the government, were murdered last year, well above the previous peak of 2011. The toll for 2018 is on track to pass 30,000. Why is Mexico’s murder rate rocketing?

Mexico has the misfortune to lie directly between South America’s coca fields and the United States, the world’s biggest drug market. The drugs trade created criminal gangs who fight over turf and kill those who try to stop them doing business. Guns, easily bought in the United States, flow back into Mexico. Weak law enforcement lets gangsters kill with virtual impunity. Some scholars think the rise of democracy at the end of the last century broke up truces between criminals and the ruling party, spurring more conflict and violence. As gangs wreaked havoc, Felipe Calderón, president from 2006 till 2012, sent the army to defeat them, unleashing an unprecedented wave of violence. Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office in 2012, vowed to halve the murder rate—and it did drop during the first few years of his tenure."  Continue reading