(Mexico City) Mexican President Vincente Fox has vowed the "Mother of All Battles" against drug kingpins, so federal authorities were justifiably excited this past weekend with the arrest of a man they thought was most-wanted drug lord Vicente Carrillo Fuentes. Unfortunately, DNA and fingerprint analysis indicated that they had arrested the wrong man. Oh, darn!
From the Houston Chronicle:
The determination that the detained man was not Vicente Carrillo Fuentes dashed hopes for a rare instance of good news for Mexico's anti-narcotics forces amid an upsurge of violence.
It was also the second high-profile error in the last two weeks.
What!? Second error? Darn again!
In June, Mexican federal authorities detained a British citizen of Lebanese descent on suspicion that he was connected to terrorist organizations behind the Sept. 11 attacks. But he turned out to be a tourist.
Terrorist, tourist -- hmmm -- they do sound similar but nobody is looking for excuses right now. The Mexican authorities are under significant pressure to achieve results in stemming the flow of drugs into the U.S. while clamping down on the level of gang violence along the border. This year alone, drug-related violence has claimed more than 600 lives, many along the border.
Bodies are turning up almost daily from Tijuana to Cancun, many of them bearing marks of torture and mutilation that are the calling cards of organized crime.
Unfortunately, a troublesome aspect of arresting drug lords is that it usually results in a territorial battle among other gangs which increases the level of violence. Evidently, as long as there exists a mountain of money to be made in the drug trade, there will be people lining up to get a piece of the action. They'll use violence to get the action and they'll use violence to keep it.
It should be noted that the last guy to fight the "Mother of All Battles" lost, quickly and decisively. That was Saddam Hussein. Hopefully, President Fox will be more successful.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.