The solution to Mexico's woes: legalise drugs
There's really only one solution to the drug-related violence ravaging the north of Mexico. Legalise drugs and legitimise the vast sums of money flowing in from the US.
This is a very interesting piece from George Friedman at Stratfor: Mexico and the failed state revisited. In it, Friedman essentially argues that Mexico has no real incentive to tackle the drug violence ravaging the north of the country. Why? For two main reasons:
The violence takes place at a sufficient distance from the Mexican heartland so that it doesn't represent a "direct threat to the survival of the Mexican regime". It's unpleasant, but they can put up with it.
And why put up with it? Because it results in an enormous amount of money flooding into Mexico. Friedman argues that $35bn-$40bn pours into Mexico each year from the drug trade. "On the whole, Mexico is a tremendous beneficiary of the drug trade. Even if some of the profits are invested overseas, the pool of remaining money flowing into Mexico creates tremendous liquidity in the Mexican economy at a time of global recession."
In all, although he only alludes to the solution in his piece, Friedman's analysis makes the case for the legalisation of drugs even 'hard' ones more effectively than any student rag polemic.