The 2,000 killings this year in a nationwide war between rival drug cartels in Mexico are symptomatic of the unraveling of the rule of law that has plagued the country for years, reports the Washington Post. But in the past year, the number of spectacularly gruesome killings and the intensity of civil unrest have spiked to such alarming levels that even Mexicans who were once hardened by years of violence are shocked.
In flash points across the country, criminals, political groups and the frustrated poor have challenged the authority of institutions, intimidating local officials and spreading fear with little or no worry of legal consequences. The bulk of the violence is the result of a barbaric, five-year war between Mexican drug cartels — which are now approaching the strength and size of the notorious Colombian cartels of the 1980s. Drug killings have nearly doubled in the past year; in a single incident this month, six police officers were fatally shot in the troubled state of Michoacan.