At the root of the violence is a turf war between two drug cartels that want control of the illegal flow of drugs to the United States, estimated at roughly $14 billion each year. Pledging to stem that trade, President Felipe Calderon has deployed 40,000 army troops since taking office in 2006. If there is rising violence, some analysts say, it is a backlash signaling that the crackdown is working, reports The Dallas Morning News.
To U.S. law enforcement, the escalating violence is a perverse sign of success.
"These cartel leaders are starting to feel the pain, and the natural response is to up the ante in terms of violence," said a U.S. law-enforcement official who's close to the drug war and spoke on condition of anonymity.