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FROM THIS EPISODE

New official statistics reveal the cost of Mexico's drug wars: Five thousand have been killed this year, one thousand during last month alone.  What's the risk of brutal violence crossing the border? Also, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been taken into federal custody, and five Blackwater security guards have been charged in an American court with manslaughter during an infamous incident last year in Iraq. We hear what the investigation reveals.


Banner image: The corpse of an unidentified woman was found gaged and tied on a street in Juarez, Mexico, on November 28, 2008, and it is assumed that her death is the result of a drug cartel dispute. Photo: J Guadalupe Perez/AFP/Getty Images

Hard Line

Ken Ellingwood

Producers:
Gary Scott
Karen Radziner
Sonya Geis

Reporter's Notebook Blackwater Indictment: Accountability or Whitewash? 8 MIN, 8 SEC

Charges filed yesterday against five Blackwater security guards reveal details of an incident in Iraq last year that provoked international outrage. Seventeen unsuspecting civilians were killed and 20 were wounded. The guards are charged with voluntary manslaughter, based on testimony from one of their comrades.  The six used automatic rifles and grenade launchers to fire on cars, houses, a traffic officer and a girls' school. James Risen is reporting the story for the New York Times.

Guests:
James Risen, Investigative Reporter, New York Times

State of War

James Risen

Main Topic Mexico's Drug War: Mi Guerra Es Su Guerra 35 MIN, 2 SEC

The Mexican government has released some astonishing figures. Five thousand people have been killed this year in that country's drug wars, twice the number of last year.  Almost 1000 died in November alone, a monthly record.  The violence is increasingly brutal, especially in the state of Chihuahua near the United States border, and there's growing concern that it will cross over. President Felipe Calderón has deployed the army, but corruption at every level of government has stymied all efforts to gain control. How long will the Mexican public tolerate a climate of fear? Does the US, which provides market for illegal drugs, have to do more? 

Guests:
Arian Campo-Flores, Miami Bureau Chief, Newsweek
Ricardo Blazquez, Executive Director, University of Texas' Center for Inter-American and Border Studies
Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
Jorge Chabat, Professor of International Studies, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics

Making News Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Taken into Federal Custody 6 MIN

Governor Ron Blogojevich was arrested this morning on federal corruption charges, including that he tried to sell his power to appoint Barack Obama's successor to the US Senate. US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said that, despite the charges against him, the Illinois Democratic still has the power to appoint Obama's successor.  Joel Weisman hosts the public television program, Chicago Week in Review.

Guests:
Joel Weisman, WTTW's 'Chicago Week in Review' (@wttw)

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