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Mexico’s Dark War

Tens of thousands of people have been killed since 2006 when then-President Calderon started an all-out push to subdue Mexico’s powerful organized crime groups. Frequent news reports of horrific violence led to the perception of Mexico as a country full of danger.

Although clashes between Mexico’s security forces and criminals resulted in many casualties, most of the dead fell in an all-out turf war amongst the criminal gangs competing for drug smuggling corridors. For a while, most ordinary citizens could pretend that this war had nothing to do with them. However, when the cartels expanded their operations into oil theft, kidnappings and extortion, a feeling of civilian unease descended upon the country.  

Since coming to power in late 2012, the Peña Nieto government has tried to focus attention on Mexico’s economic achievements, but the brutal murder of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero, on September 26, 2014 put the issue of violence and impunity firmly back on the forefront. The massacre led to widespread revulsion and mass demonstrations by fed-up citizens. This reaction forced the government into announcing a broad but widely criticized plan of police and anti-corruption reforms.


Mexico Finds Many Corpses, but Not Lost 43 The New York Times

Midnight in Mexico by Alfredo Corchado The Guardian review

Mexico's Drug War Council on Foreign Relations

Justice in Mexico Organization working to improve citizen security, strengthen the rule of law, and protect human rights in Mexico.

Mexico's Disappeared; The Enduring Cost of a Crisis Ignored Human Rights Watch, 176-page report

WOLA - Washington Office on Latin America Headline stories of drug violence and immigration.

Michoacán: La Tierra Caliente VICE

The Mexican Drug War: A Nation Descends into Violence Spiegel Online International

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