Mexico, a failing state?

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One of the marks of a dying polity, at least in my estimation, is when the criminals no longer fear the police. When that happens, the government can no longer enforce law and order and a state of anarchy prevails. Mexico may not be a failed state –yet– but there are numerous and growing signs of breakdown, such as the kidnapping and murder of the police, themselves:

Police in Mexico say eight officers who were abducted by gunmen in the southern state of Guerrero on Friday have been found shot dead.

A ninth member of the unit has been found alive with wounds to his head. The bodies of some of the dead officers are reported to have been mutilated.

The police patrol was investigating a murder when it was ambushed.

Guerrero state has been a focus of the drugs-related violence that has killed more than 28,000 Mexicans since 2006.

The nine agents from the federal investigative police had travelled to the Teloloapan district after a man was reported shot dead.

As they went in pursuit of the suspected killers they were stopped by a large group of gunmen.

Two officers were found shot dead close to where they were abducted. The other six bodies were found about 15km away after a search by police and troops.

Note that these were federal cops, Mexico’s equivalent of the FBI or Justice Department investigators. Imagine if a group of FBI agents were kidnapped and executed in the US. This isn’t just criminal activity; it’s insurrection. These cartels are not just running drugs, they’re denying the authority of the government itself and saying they rule, instead.

In one of the rare times I’ll ever agree with Hillary Clinton on anything, she was right to say Mexico more and more resembles Colombia as it was 20 years ago.

Only this time the problem is right on our border, rather than 3,500 miles away.

LINKS: The AP has an earlier article on the kidnapping and murder.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Tampa Bay at the Panthers (UPDATE: PANTHERS LOSE 20-7)

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Panthers logoAfter last week’s embarassing away game loss to the Giants, the Panthers are hoping for a little redemption today as they play their home opener against NFC South division rival Tampa Bay. Tampa, on the other hand, will hope to build on last week’s 17-14 home win over the Jake Delhomme-led Browns with one today against Delhomme’s former team.

Panthers starting QB Matt Moore left late into last week’s game with what was later diagnosed as a concussion, but will be starting today:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers will have quarterback Matt Moore against Tampa Bay, but starting receiver Brandon LaFell, defensive end Tyler Brayton and defensive tackle Louis Leonard are out with injuries.

The Buccaneers will be without running back Kareem Huggins, but tight end Kellen Winslow is active despite a sore right knee.

Moore, who sustained a concussion last week, had one less receiving target. LaFell was sidelined with a hamstring injury, giving Dwayne Jarrett the start. Receiver David Gettis was active for Carolina ahead of fellow rookie Armanti Edwards.

It’s a purrrrfect day for football here in Charlotte, NC. Sunny and 84 degrees, with low humidity. Game time is 1 pm ET and it will be broadcast on Fox.

Update – 7:45 PM: Another bad day for the Panthers. Some bright spots in the game but it mostly stank. Tampa wins 20-7.