The Wall Street Journal covers a single day in Mexico’s drug war, a day on which 25 people died in separate incidents. The summary paragraphs tell a story of failure:
Since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006, declaring war on traffickers, roughly 43,000 people have been killed in drug-related homicides here, according to government figures and newspaper estimates. The pace of killings is escalating. More than half the dead, 22,000, were killed in the past 18 months, a rate of one every 35 minutes….
Mexico’s murder rate has more than doubled, to 22 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2010, in just four years, a period that parallels the drug war. Before that, it had been falling steadily. In the U.S. the murder rate is about 5 per 100,000.
This policy is not working. President Calderon, I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. Read the advice of President Fox’s foreign minister or this discussion by Cato’s Ted Galen Carpenter. American policymakers should also recognize that this crisis threatens us – and that we can help to end it.