A shootout in a border city that leaves five alleged drug traffickers sprawled dead on the street and seven police wounded. A police chief and his bodyguards gunned down outside his house in another border city. Four bridges into the United States shut down by protesters who want the military out of their towns and who officials say are backed by narcotraffickers.
Mexico, a country with a nearly 2,000-mile border with the United States, is undergoing a horrifying wave of violence that some are likening to a civil war. Drug traffickers battle fiercely with each other and Mexican authorities. The homicide rate reached a record level in 2008 and indications are that the carnage could be exceeded this year.
It's great to see CNN using such strong (and honest!) language. Of course, I've been harping on this issue for some time, writing posts such as "Rampant Drug Violence As A Good Sign? Seriously?" and "Mexico: The Canary In The Coal Mine?". But, regardless of how many times I've already said it, I still feel compelled to say it again: To end the violence, end the drug war. Legalize. Regulate. Tax. Now, now, now.
I don't care what the conventional wisdom is. If we don't change the status quo, the situation in Mexico may soon get far worse. And we really don't want a failed state sharing a nearly 2,000-mile border with us. It's difficult to overstate how bad that would be.