Mexico's present crisis with drug-related violence is rooted in persistent aspects of Mexican government and society that long preceded the emergence of the cartels as a serious national security threat. Until the underlying issues feeding the drug cartels' expansion are addressed as part of a more comprehensive strategy, we are unlikely to see meaningful progress in this war.

The Neglected Roots of Mexico's Drug War

At 11:30 on the evening of Jan. 31, 2010, Jesús Enríquez and a group of close friends, all stand-out student-athletes at both the high-school and college level, were celebrating Jesús' 17th birthday when four trucks packed with two-dozen heavily armed gunmen roared onto their block in Ciudad Juarez, closing off the street and blocking escape. 

The assassins descended from their vehicles and opened fire on the house, slaughtering 15 people and leaving another 14 injured in a matter of seconds. The majority of those killed were under the age of 20. The presence at the time of more than 10,000 soldiers and federal policemen in Ciudad Juarez proved insufficient to avert the mass killing, just one of many that have seized news headlines worldwide. ...

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