Drug violence in Mexico presents threat at US backdoor
At least 35 people were killed in 24 hours in the worst spate of bloodshed yet this year.
Mexico suffered one of its worst days of drug violence this year Tuesday, highlighting that, even as the Obama administration turns its sights to Afghanistan and Pakistan, a major policy challenge is burning right on the border.Skip to next paragraph
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Agence France-Presse reports that at least 35 people were killed in 24 hours of drug-related violence in Mexico, "one of the bloodiest days so far this year."
Tuesday, 21 people were killed in a shootout between Mexico's army and gunmen in the northern state of Chihuahua, a military spokesman said.
The standoff began when suspected drug gang members kidnapped nine people in Villa Ahumada, 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of the violence-stricken border city of Ciudad Juarez.
The Los Angeles Times explains that "the region has been at the center of the war between Juarez-based traffickers and rivals from the northwestern state of Sinaloa. In May, dozens of attackers stormed Villa Ahumada, killing the police chief, two officers and three civilians. They also reportedly hauled off 10 other people."
That violence may be a world away from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. But increasingly, it is beginning to look more and more like the brutal bloodshed of those countries, as Johann Hari, a correspondent for the London Independent, writes in The Huffington Post.
Where in the world are you most likely to be beheaded?... Where are hand grenades being tossed into crowds to intimidate the public into shutting up? Which country was just named by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff as the most likely after Pakistan to suffer a "rapid and sudden collapse"?
Most of us would guess Iraq. The answer is Mexico. The death toll in Tijuana today is higher than in Baghdad.