Has Mexico Descended Into Civil War?

Has Mexico Descended Into Civil War?

MEXICO CITY -- "We are at war," read the headline of a recent El Universal editorial, following the death of yet another federal policeman.

More than 4,000 people have been killed in Mexico since the fight against organized crime was launched in December 2006 by President Felipe Calderón. This year, 178 policemen have been killed. Mexican officials maintain that the cartels are retaliating, on the defensive as the crackdown on organized crime ruptures their way of life.

Calderón has almost always been cautious in describing the situation, opting for the word "fight," instead of "war" until a recent meeting with reporters. Prior to that recent editorial, El Universal, Mexico's leading daily newspaper, also appears to have played it safe with its use of "war."
But "civil war" might most accurately describe the state of Mexico's current conflict. After all, some 30,000 Mexican soldiers and federal police are engaged in a bloody struggle against some of their own countrymen.

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