|The Naked City||Feb 21 2010|
Last week in Mexico, critics of President Felipe Calderón’s administration ratcheted up claims that Calderón is playing favorites in his high-profile war on drugs. Arrest records going back to 2003 show that the Sinaloa Cartel, which is responsible for 45% of drug trafficking in Mexico, has suffered only a handful of arrests—none involving high-ranking members. Even as a group of investigative reporters pointed out last week that this indicated possible collusion between Calderón and the Sinaloa Cartel, two more Sinaloa members were arrested, but again they were little more than errand boys—sacrificial lambs, according to skeptics.
|The Naked City||Dec 17 2009|
Yesterday in Mexico, drug lord Marcos Arturo Beltrán Leyva was shot dead by navy personnel during a raid on a luxury apartment complex near Cuernavaca. Known as “The Boss of Bosses,” Beltrán Leyva had always been on the radar of president Felipe Calderón, who even approved a $2.4 million bounty. And back in August, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a federal indictment against the drug lord for smuggling billions of dollars worth of cocaine across the U.S./Mexico border. After this slow ratcheting up of pressure, Calderón finally made the move to apprehend Beltrán Leyva after the severed heads of five police officers and a prosecutor were found in streetside garbage Wednesday morning by sanitation workers in the state of Durango. President Calderón is touting the Beltrán Leyva killing as a success in his much-publicized drug war, which many observers had seen as little more than a highly destructive standoff. But even in the afterglow of yesterday’s events, government officials admit that unless the U.S. demand for cocaine diminishes, Beltrán Leyva simply represents the latest in a long line of drug lords.