Nearly 30,000 people have been brutally murdered since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels in 2007. This number is greater than the loss of military life in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
So far President Calderon has deployed more than 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police officers to Mexico’s 18 states where the drug cartels are known to operate. The thrust of the cartel violence often pits low-income peasants against one another in order to give drug lords access to the best smuggling routes into America.
Many leaders in Mexico accuse the U.S. of doing nothing to stop America’s growing drug addiction and experts have pointed to the fact that 80 percent of the world’s drug consumption is inside the land of the free and home of the brave.
Mexican authorities also contend that once the drugs are sold throughout America, the money and weapons flow south -continuing the perpetual cycle of drug cartel violence- leaving a Mexican citizenry to pick up the pieces with little to no end in sight.
As a result of the escalating violence, the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros (a city that borders Brownsville, Texas) issued a warning to U.S. citizens living in Tamaulipas. The warning came after a week of intensified warring between cartels that continues to become more brazen in the metropolitan area along the U.S./Mexico border.
The Consular office told U.S. citizens that there were some changes in personnel security policies issued by the U.S. government in Matamoros and Americans are urged to follow the new state guidelines.
U.S. government officials said that due to the constant violence reported in Matamoros and the consular district, the security office of the Consulate General has restricted personal travel outside of residential areas between midnight and 6:00 am for all U.S. personnel and their families.
In addition to recommending Americans travel only during the day, Consulate officials told Americans to have alternate escape routes planned and that they should be prepared to take evasive action at any time while traveling in Mexico.
“U.S. citizens in the consular district of Matamoros should consider adopting such restrictions by themselves to travel and in any case must remain alert and aware of your surroundings at all times,” the Consular said.
Over the weekend another drug cartel kingpin was killed along with 20 others in a gun battle that raged for hours, while the death is a notch in President Calderon’s drug-war belt, it is little comfort to those who reside in Mexico.
It’s been the case in the past few years that once a major cartel leader is killed more violence ensues as rival gangs fight for routes and cartel hierarchy scrambles to gain control of their organization.
Many in Mexico hoped America’s new President, Barrack Obama, would provide change in the way the U.S. dealt with its drug addiction, but unfortunately it’s been business as usual on both sides of the drug-war border.