Violent Mexican Drug War Casts Shadow Over Spring Break

The hordes of fun-seeking co-eds who made their way to Cancun for spring break this year were largely unaware of the drug-related kidnappings, beheadings and general violence that has plagued Mexico since the country's narco war came to the fore in 2008. It's too much to handle—even with a wicked tequila buzz.

The rivalry between the Calderón government and the fractious armies of drug cartels threatens to make Mexico look a lot less like Girls Gone Wild. In 2008, over 6,200 drug-related killings were attributed to the drug war. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas believes Mexico’s two largest drug cartels have a corps of 100,000 foot soldiers ready to take on government anti-drug forces.


Ciudad Juárez, a stone's throw from El Paso has become a no-go zone with drug lords battling los federales. Gangs have begun to fly ultralights across the border and into drug drops, thereby trafficking to Americans the roughly $30 billion in methamphetamines, marijuana and heroin they blow through every year. This spring, for the first time, gangs signaled that they would not hesitate to target American students enjoying the whitesand beaches hopping nightlife.

Former CIA Director George Tenet was concerned enough to email his son at the University of Pennsylvania to discourage him from going to Cancun this year. Colleges and universities have followed suit warning students to pick other countries.

The violence has become so intense in Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon that Texas Governor Perry has initiated Operation Border Star, a transboundary operation to respond quickly to any violence that may spill over from south of the Rio Grande.

The easiest solution to Mexico's drug war might be lessening the demand for the drugs that are fueling the violence in the first place through anti-drug campaigns north of the border. But given the success of such campaigns in the past, perhaps that's a facile approach. The likeliest arbiter in the Mexican dispute could be the recession. A hit of meth can go for $80. What recession-pinched free basing college student can afford that?

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
  • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
  • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less