October 1st, 2008 – by Kristin Bricker: Military convoys patrol the streets. Soldiers kick down doors to carry out warrantless house searches, terrorizing families in the name of “security.” At military checkpoints, nervous, trigger-happy soldiers massacre families. Soldiers rape young girls with impunity. US-based private contractors teach police sadistic variations on waterboarding.
This is not occupied Iraq. This is Mexico. The “war” on organized crime is Mexico’s “war on terror.” President Felipe Calderón kicked this endless war into high gear when he deployed 25,000 federal soldiers into drug-cartel dominated states just days after he took office, thanks to widespread electoral fraud. He claims this exponential increase in the militarization of Mexican society is necessary to reclaim territory occupied and dominated by drug cartels. However, civil society organizations on both sides of the border see it as his attempt to bolster his weak presidency with a strong military alliance against an internal enemy – historically a popular strategy among dictators.