In the never ending progress of the drug war it appears that Mexico is making great progress against the drug cartel. Or is is cartels? Or a loose confederation of independent operators?
The federal government insists it is steadily wiping out the once-powerful Beltran Leyva cartel. Two of the Beltran Leyva brothers are behind bars. Last week, troops captured Jose Gerardo Alvarez, another purported leader of the gang who had a $2 million U.S. bounty on his head.Is the war now going on in Mexico a conspiracy of evil or the profit motive at work? If it is a conspiracy of evil - well we are in trouble. On the other hand if it is just the profit motive at work then something can be done. Prohibition is the only difference between a pile of vegetables and a million dollars. Laws passed by city councils and legislators can be repealed.
Troops fought Alvarez and his men in a wealthy neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City, leaving three people dead. The battle brought closer to the capital the kind of bloody conflicts that have often rattled states on the northern border and the country's two coasts.
Authorities say Alvarez, known as "El Indio," was behind much of the fight for control of the Beltran Leyva cartel, both in Cuernavaca and the Pacific resort city of Acapulco to the southwest.
The U.S. State Department hailed his capture, saying Alvarez has overseen major deals involving the trafficking of crystal methamphetamine and other drugs between Mexico, Central America, South America and the United States.
President Felipe Calderon counts the downfall of the Beltran Leyva brothers as one of the biggest accomplishments of his military-led offensive against drug traffickers.
Calderon has deployed tens of thousands of troops and federal police across the country since taking office in December 2006, a campaign the U.S. has backed with training and equipment through a $1.3 billion aid package.
Drug-gang violence has since soared though, claiming nearly 23,000 lives throughout Mexico, with Cuernavaca becoming the latest front.