In Mexico, an American couple and a third person were killed over the weekend just across the U.S. border in Ciudad Juarez, a city consumed by drug violence. All three of the dead were connected to the U.S. Consulate there, underscoring the risks of living and working in that city. But, as Tom Ackerman of Al Jazeera English reports, the violence is widespread.
During the last year, more than 6,000 people have been murdered as a result of Mexico's escalating drug violence. The death toll now exceeds that of the war in Afghanistan.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have acknowledged a shared responsibility for the explosion of violence and flush of kidnappings. Drug violence is particularly acute on U.S.-Mexican border cities like Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez.
In the winter of 2009, Worldfocus correspondent John Larson, along with producers Bryan Myers, Megan Thompson and Ivette Feliciano, traveled to Tijuana to report on the drug-related murders, kidnappings and corruption. The team tried to give a human face to the statistics and break down the popular "narco" subculture that celebrates this widespread violence.
"Mexico's Drug War" is a collection of signature videos, extensive interviews, an online radio show, blogger perspectives and web original videos including an account of one victim's kidnapping.
Mexico’s Drug War
During a recent upswing in drug violence in Mexican border towns, many critics of the drug war called for a change in U.S. policy toward marijuana use. Meanwhile, New Jersey just became the 14th U.S. state to allow marijuana for medical use. View our maps to compare current U.S. marijuana policy to laws in Europe and the rest of the world.
On February 13, around 1,300 Mexicans took to the streets of Ciudad Juárez to protest the continued presence of the armed forces in the northern border city. Civil rights groups say the deployment of 6,000 combat troops has worsened the drug-related crime wave and have organized a "March of Anger" to voice their opposition. Read how bloggers are reacting.
Many Mexicans blame America for drug woes south of the border, alleging that Americans are using the drugs and supplying the guns for cartels. Endemic corruption in the Mexican judicial system has paralyzed the government's ability to tackle the problem. For more on Mexico's drug war, Daljit Dhaliwal speaks with Maureen Meyer.
Our broadcast this evening starts in Ciudad Juarez, one of the most dangerous places in the world just a couple miles across the U.S. border from Texas. The drug war there kills an average of 8 people per day and has residents living in fear. Thursday night, President Felipe Calderon was in the city, and Mariana Sanchez of AJE reports from Mexico's murder capital.
President Obama visited Mexico early in his term, and the U.S. has been active in funding the Mexican authorities in their war on drugs. Recently, violent conflict with drug cartels has been on the upswing. And today, 23 people died in a fight between rival gangs in a Mexican prison. Many experts believe that the American appetite for illicit drugs is fueling the drug wars.
In our weekly radio show, Martin Savidge explores the causes behind Guatemala's chronic malnutrition and escalating narco war. He hosts a panel of guests to discuss the remnants of war and genocide and land rights. Anita Isaacs, Stephen C. “Carlisle” Johnson and Samuel Lowenberg join the conversation. LISTEN NOW!
Last week, the Mexican government announced that it will no longer jail users of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Other countries in the region have taken similar steps. John Walsh of the Washington Office on Latin America discusses the trend.
Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama praised what he described as Mexico's "courageous effort" to combat drug trafficking and violence. Andres Martinez of the New America Foundation discusses the drug war and the U.S. role in Mexico.
At the North American summit in Mexico, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to continue efforts to reduce U.S. demand for drugs, and to stem the illegal flow of guns across the southern border. But Worldfocus blogger Peter Eisner argues that the promises are just words, and nothing will change.