US to Fund Colombia-Style Counter-Narcotics Program in Mexico

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Contract shootings, mass executions—even videotaped beheadings—are the latest tactics of Mexico's drug cartels. The formerly safe northern city of Monterrey has been terrorized by rival gangsters with backgrounds in the military and law-enforcement. The violence is spreading north into Texas and Arizona, which has US officials calling it a "national security issue." President Bush has been working with Mexico's President Felipe Calderón on what is informally called "Plan Mexico," a reference to "Plan Colombia" of the 1990's. Mexicans resist the comparison and fear that US dollars could lead to a repeat of past interventions from north of the border. Can Mexico control corruption? Can the US control demand? Can the so-called "war on drugs" succeed against a $25 billion industry?




Warren Olney