A Mexican Federal Police officer pauses during a ceremony to honor officers recently
killed in Mexico City. (AP)

Wave of Police Officers Killed in Mexico’s Ongoing Drug War

August 14, 2008 03:48 PM
by Cara McDonough
Six police officers are the latest casualties in Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s war on drugs. More than 500 officers have died since he began his offensive two years ago.

30-Second Summary

Police offices aren’t the only casualties in the national backlash against Calderon’s war on drugs. Civilians are targets, as well. The Washington Post reports that the “savage conflict between rival cartels and the federal government that has taken more than 7,000 lives in the past 2 1/2 years.”

But because part of Calderon’s plan involves an increased police presence, they are often targets.

Of the 500 officers killed, including dozens of commanders and soldiers, local police have been hit the hardest, reports the Los Angeles Times. The victims in the latest spate of violence include two top commanders in Michoacan, a senior investigator in Chihuahua and a deputy chief in Quintana Roo.

The situation has prompted some officers to quit or flee to the United States.

The reactive killing sprees have prompted some to say that Calderon’s methods—which focus on an amped-up military presence across the country, including at the airport and on highways—won’t work in the long run, Newsweek reported in April.

Others, like Juarez resident Bernardo Washington, say the intimidating message sent by soldiers lining the streets will work, little by little. “No one’s selling drugs in the streets anymore,” he said. “They’re scared of the power of the state.”

Headline Links: Killings continue in Mexico

Background: Calderon’s drug war

Key Player: President Felipe Calderon


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