Drug Crime Looms Over Everyday Life in Mexico

People alter habits to guard against risk of violence
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 31, 2008 1:38 PM CDT
Police officers look on for drug addicts near the US-Mexico border fence in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, June 26, 2008.    (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
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(Newser) – The effects of the wave of violent drug crime in Mexico--one paper puts this year’s related deaths at 2,682--have seeped into everyday life in the once-pacific country, the New York Times reports. “You have to be more careful with everything these days,” says a watchdog. Some are thinking twice about going to local restaurants, while others take measures like bulletproofing their cars.

Once, the drug war, intensified by president Felipe Calderon’s recent crackdown on cartels, was a vague concept seen only in the news. Now, “those who don’t see the drug war going on around them have their heads stuck in the sand,” says an activist actress. “We all live in fear now,” the watchdog added. “Any of us could be taken or killed.” (Read more drug cartel stories.)