This week in international violence begins with the "end" of combat operations in Iraq and a fresh round of murders in Mexico:

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Church in Hidalgo.
  • Church in Hidalgo.

For the second time in two weeks, the mayor of a Mexican city has been slain by purported drug traffickers, authorities say.

Marco Antonio Leal Garcia, the mayor of Hidalgo in the violent border state of Tamaulipas, was shot to death Sunday. His young daughter was wounded in the attack.

Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, is the same state where a drug gang is suspected in the massacre last week of 72 migrants and where the battle between rival cartels has left a bloody trail of death, cowed authorities and terrified citizens.

The killing has a special symbolic sting as Mexico's big bicentennial party is in a couple of weeks and its Patrick Henry was a priest named Hidalgo.

And as the bicentennial approaches, a fight is breaking out in the comments threads of the Blog del Narco about whether Mexico should celebrate by asking for foreign intervention:

I say and I repeat, URGE foreign intervention, the drug is infiltado and at all levels of government, police and justice, without Colombianization of Mexico will not solve anything, legalizing drugs will not help much why ? because it is much easier to buy it illegally (though coming up heads) to fill a thousand forms of government to the end you sell "cheaper" something of dubious quality and in a very long delivery time, the illegal market will continue to prevail if the government legalize (because if legalized, the government will try to monopolize the sale and distribution) to foreign intervention for ya!

Do not say stupid things, never allow a foreign power in Mexico...


I'm not sure a country whose elected leaders are held hostage (literally) to the illegal appetites of North America and Europe counts as free and sovereign. The country is already overrun with foreign interests—it's just that those interests are unofficial, illegal, and (unlike the U.S. in Iraq) will never announce the end of combat operations. Not as long as the drug war insures the scarcity of product that keeps prices high and profits worth fighting for.