Feb 26, 2013

Mexico Goes After the Narcos—Before They Join the Gangs

Time

By Ioan Grillo and Dolly Mascareñas / Nezahualcóyotl
Feb. 25, 2013

The gunshots at dawn woke residents of the cinder block homes in Nezahualcóyotl, a working-class city on the edge of the Mexican capital, making a few people duck for cover behind their beds. When they finally peered out their windows, they saw the corpses of two young men, one stacked over the other, besides a threatening note written on cardboard and signed by the drug cartel called La Familia. The double murder, which took place on Feb. 16, was the latest in a series of killings that have brought the drug war to the edges of Mexico City – the mountain capital that has long been viewed as a safe haven from cartel violence ravaging other parts of Mexico.

Recently installed President Enrique Peña Nieto hopes to reverse this trend with a new anti crime strategy – transforming poor neighborhoods like Nezahualcóyotl where cartels make their bastions and preventing young people from joining their criminal armies. On Feb. 12, Peña Nieto announced there would be more than $9 billion for crime prevention aimed at 57 hotspots. “We must put special emphasis on prevention, because we can’t only keep employing more sophisticated weapons, better equipment, more police, a higher presence of the armed forces in the country as the only form of combating organized crime,” Peña Nieto said. Rather than just shooting or incarcerating the seemingly endless ranks of cartel gunmen, the president hopes to stop young people from becoming assassins in the first place.  Read more.

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