Yesterday Mexican officials found the headless bodies of 49 unknown people — all with hands and feet also cut off — on a highway near the city of Monterrey. The bodies, already beginning to decompose, were dumped in a pile on the road.
Mexico has been dealing with drug violence for years, and its politicians keep promising to end the killings and curtail the powers of the drug cartels. However, the violence seems to be getting worse, with cartels and their enforcers fighting for control of territories, thousands of people killed in the conflicts, and decapitations becoming increasingly common. Moreover, this latest lawlessness strikes very close to home for Americans. Monterrey is the capital of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, which is located just across the border from Texas.
Incidents like this make Mexico seem like the location for apocalyptic fiction about a future where social order has totally broken down and only brute force prevails. We can’t afford to have Mexico descend into utter chaos, however. Although we obviously need to pay attention to the financial disasters that are rocking Europe, we can’t afford to forget about our neighbor to the south, and the possibility that the awful violence could spill over onto American soil.