Mexico Spiraling Out of Control
Country is losing ground to drug cartels, Reuters columnist writes
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2008 5:56 PM CST
A group of boys gather on the Tijuana side of the primary fence separating the United States and Mexico in a neighborhood known as Colonia Libertad. The neighborhood is where there has allegedly been...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The violent conflict between drug cartels and Mexico's government has the country perilously close to spinning out of control, writes Reuters' Bernd Debusmann. The battle for control of the drug trade that delivers the majority of the US’ cocaine and marijuana has produced a culture in which there is “widespread acceptance of insecurity as a way of life,” Debusmann says.

He cites the cartel’s use of “rent-a-crowds,” whole protests bought for $50-200 a head, for political purposes, as a symptom of the “corrosive effect of torrents of drug money” on state control. And the problem is spilling out of Mexico: Scores of US officials have been revealed to be taking cartel money to look the other way.