Another 18 people have been added to the death toll in Mexico’s ‘war on drugs’ as rival gangs fought gun battles in the north-eastern town of Abasolo. That brings the total number killed over the last five years to a staggering 34,000.
Now the ‘war’ is spreading, as the Mexican mafias move into neighbouring countries, such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The last two now have the highest murder rates in the world.
The mobs run training camps, and recruit among ex-soldiers laid off as defence spending has been cut. Central America is reckoned to have 70,000 young people who are members of gangs.
The countries involved are among the poorest in the world, and receive little outside help. (See also my blogs of June 10,12 and Sept 10, 2010.)