Body counts in Tijuana and beyond


This past weekend in Tijuana I picked up a copy of the magazine Proceso, which is Mexico’s equivalent of Newsweek or Time. Here are a few of their top headlines:

“What broke out in Morelia.” (How the grenade attack that claimed the lives of eight people in Mexico’s interior during an Independence Day celebration is presumably linked to drug groups) 

“The state of Mexico, dominated by the Zetas and The Family.” (about the interior state, also called Mexico, being taken over by drug groups) 

“Veracruz: the mayors are being extorted by the Zetas.” (focusing on another state where mayors are being corrupted by a drug group)

“Drug trafficking is now a national structure.” (enough said)

Things got worse this week with Tijuana waking up Monday to  16 dumped bodies (and more on Tuesday), most of them showing signs of mutilation commonly linked to drug traffickers.

The drug trade has plenty of victims and accomplices north of the border, but we often forget how the demand for drugs has ravaged Mexico. I tend to see drug-related violence as a parallel universe that doesn’t usually affect the typical visitor, but for those of us who have weaved in and out of its fringes ( in my case, as a reporter based out of Tijuana until 2008), it’s a startling affirmation of responsibility shared. For more musings on this topic, see this post.

For Mexican president Felipe Calderon’s latest response to the developments, go here to a CNN story; For more background on the government crackdown on drug cartels, go to this Los Angeles Times story. 


photo: A graffiti-painted wall provides a colorful background for a Mexican soldier standing guard in Tijuana Tecate. Mexico has increasingly used the military to combat drug traffickers. –photo by Anna Cearley.

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