There is a lot of hand wringing on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border about what to call the drug-related conflagration in Mexico – and much talk about whether the U.S. should intervene directly. While stopping short of calling for U.S. troops, for Mexico’s Excelsior newspaper, military analyst Jorge Luis Sierra makes no bones about what he would call it: a full-scale war.
For Excelsior, Jorge Luis Sierra writes in part:
In responding to the government offensive, based primarily on the implementation of armed force, the drug traffickers were forced to militarize their ranks with the integration of deserters and acquire enough light weaponry to cope with united of the Mexican Army and Navy. The seizures of weapons capable of penetrating the body armor of Army soldiers or destroy military ground vehicles and aircraft corroborate that view.
Nearly a million Mexicans are directly involved in these armed conflicts. Most of the 265,000 members of the armed forces, more than 11,000 federal police officers and about 470,000 people involved with organized crime participate in the armed hostilities, not counting the thousands of state and municipal police who collude with drug traffickers.
These figures give us an idea of the dimensions of the problem. We are confronting conflicts of a magnitude similar to those in Guatemala and El Salvador during the 1980s, and we need to resort to international humanitarian law, as we are observing the execution of war prisoners, armed aggression against members of the Red Cross and a growing number of collateral casualties. What we are experiencing are the horrors of war.
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