Below the U.S. border, a war is raging. Last year, more than 6,200 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico, many in border cities such as Ciudad Juarez. Despite the efforts of the Mexican army, violence isn't letting up: From January to March of this year, drug violence reportedly caused 1,960 deaths.
Drug cartels have staked out territories and trafficking routes, moving heroin, crystal meth, cocaine and other drugs north to the U.S. on a grand scale. United States retailers, meanwhile, have reportedly provided many of the weapons and bullets that are flowing into Mexican cartels. GlobalPost has covered the criminal, social and commercial implications of the evolving war:
- Meet the drug lords
Four key kingpins stand out for their power and notoriety.
- Clash of the cartels
As Mexico suffers from an onslaught of massacres, decapitations and execution-style hits, six major drug cartels have carved up the country into fiefdoms.
- Analysis: Is Mexico a failing state?
In the midst of a violent drug war, GlobalPost looks at the reaction to U.S. government reports that say the two failing states most worrying to the U.S. defense department are Pakistan and Mexico.
How Mexico’s drug trade works
The real-world impact of Mexico’s drug war
- Bringing Laredo's missing home
Amid the escalating drug war, dozens of Americans have gone missing along the border. This report looks at South Texas, home of the largest cluster of U.S. residents with relatives who have gone missing in Mexico.
- A tale of two Laredos
The tale of two brothers who were caught up in the drug war. Their story offers a glimpse into how the American government's actions in Mexico can also lead to casualties.
- To live or die in Mexico
A spike in murders and kidnappings prompts calls to bring back the death penalty in Mexico.
- The danger of singing about drugs
Mexican crooners sing about drug cartels, and sometimes find themselves the victims of violence.
Perspectives on Mexico’s drug war
- Violence threatens Mexico's soul
Journalist Mort Rosenblum weighs in on Mexico’s drug war, writing that "the nature of crime is different now, on a far grander scale, with alarming implications."
- The American-Mexican drug war
Veteran journalist Ruben Navarrette Jr. writes about the U.S. role in Mexico's violence, saying that "the United States is a major actor in this drama from the opening scene to what will someday — perhaps many years from now — be the final curtain. And like it or not, Americans have an enormous investment in the outcome of Calderon's battle against the cartels."
- Mexico's staggering drug wars
GlobalPost Senior Editor for Latin America John Dinges writes it’s time “to wake up and smell the gunpowder” in this analysis of Mexico’s drug war, which includes his description of a weekend in Juarez, the site of much of the violence.
Now, take the GlobalPost Mexico quiz.