Mexican officials have begun a sweeping review of the military’s two-year occupation of the dangerous border city of Ciudad Juarez, concluding that the U.S.-backed deployment of thousands of soldiers against drug traffickers has failed to control the violence and crime, the Washington Post reports. The multi-agency review represents a “serious reassessment” of President Felipe Calderón’s anti-narcotics strategy and reflects growing alarm that Juarez, across from El Paso, has descended into lawlessness.
The war on Mexico’s powerful drug cartels has been the defining policy of Calderón’s administration, involving unprecedented cooperation with U.S. political and law enforcement authorities. Failure in a high-profile battleground like Ciudad Juarez would represent a major defeat for Calderón and for U.S. officials determined to curb the multibillion dollar flow of drugs across the border. “There is an almost unanimous consensus in the city that the strategy hasn’t worked,” said Hugo Almada, a sociology professor at the Autonomous University of Juarez.