Mexican President Vicente Fox’s spokesman acknowledges that his anti-crime operation strategy hasn’t produced the “results we expected, or wanted” and vowed to intensify the campaign, the Dallas Morning News reports. The comments by aide Ruben Aguilar were the first official confirmation that violence has worsened since Operation Safe Mexico began June 13. They buttress concerns expressed by both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials of a sense of increased lawlessness. They point to escalating violence not just along the U.S.-Mexico border but also in the states of Guerrero and Jalisco.
Law enforcement officials in Laredo, Tx., remain on high alert. “We thought that by having the Mexican military presence we would see violence in Nuevo Laredo subside,” said Webb County Sheriff Rick Flores. “But the homicides have increased. Cops in Nuevo Laredo are dying. One of my deputies was met with fire [along the banks of the Rio Grande]. So this validates what we have been saying all along: The situation is serious and worsening. It’s a time bomb, and if we don’t address it now, it will come back to bite us in the rear because this stuff is spreading to our side, too.” The U.S. State Department, which has already issued three warnings to Americans venturing into Nuevo Laredo, is deciding whether to reopen its consulate in Nuevo Laredo. Last Friday, U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza ordered the office shut, blaming increased violence. This year, more than 800 people have been killed nationwide in a bloody drug war in which high-powered weapons, grenades and bazookas are used.