More arrests in Mexico's war on drug cartels
In the U.S., President Calderón's efforts look successful. But Mexicans say the crackdowns are increasing violence.
Two years into Mexico's new antidrug effort, increasingly frequent police crackdowns only seem to be escalating the violence, forcing gangs to use more sophisticated weapons and more spectacular attacks.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The problem was highlighted Wednesday when Mexican police arrested two men carrying high-powered explosives, according to the Australian news outlet News.com.au citing a report in the Mexican newspaper El Universal.
The men, who had six tubes of C4 military explosives, were seized by the army near the western city of Morelia, where assailants threw grenades into a packed crowd on September 15, El Universal daily reported on its website.
The newspaper said they were members of a drug gang called "The Family" [La Familia]. It is one of two groups named by the attorney general this week as suspects in the grenade attack, which marked an escalation in Mexico's drug war.
Yesterday's arrest follows one of the most violent – and as yet unsolved – crimes in Mexico's drug war: a grenade attack two weeks ago in which "assailants threw two grenades into a huge crowd of Independence Day revelers, killing seven and injuring more than 100 in a brazen attack that escalates the war between Mexico's army and drug gangs," APreported.
La Familia, a violent drug gang based in Michoacán that the authorities have suggested might be responsible, has gone to extraordinary lengths to distance itself from the unprecedented attack on innocents, which has long been considered ungentlemanly behavior among cartel killers....
But with no note by the killers to go on, the authorities consider the brazen attack to be a sign that all bets in the drug war may be off.
In response, Calderón announced bills giving the government more power to seize drug assets and a new reward program for tipsters. He also proposed an easier process for getting search warrants and more investigative powers for police. In at least five speeches following the Morelia attacks, he urged Mexicans to stand strong.