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Debate Rages in Mexico Over Narco War

After twin massacres occurred in northern Mexico recently, sharp debate over Mexico’s approach to the war on narcotics has emerged. A recent Mexidata report highlights the growing violence in the country and points to drastic responses from political leaders that could curb civil liberties.

Eduardo Olmos, Mayor of the northern Mexican city of Torreon, is urging citizens to avoid going out at night unless they have urgent business. His warning comes on the heels of an attack against a nightclub complex that left eight people dead and another 41 reportedly injured.

A second attack occurred in a shoot-out between the Mexican Army and Federal Police on one side, and suspected drug cartel gunmen on the other. Seven suspects wound up dead as a result. It was also reported that three officers and one soldier were reported wounded.

In Mexico City, finger-pointing, recrimination and accusations of corruption characterized the political response to the massacre of 16 people, the majority of which were teenagers, at a party in Ciudad Juarez's Villas de Salvarcar neighborhood.

Congresswoman Antonieta Perez Reyes of Ciudad Juarez, a member of President Felipe Calderon's National Action Party (PAN), said serious thought should be given to ordering a curfew in the border city. "A curfew should be considered now more than ever," Perez declared.

On a comparable note, PAN Senator Guillermo Tamborel of Queretaro proposed a "state of exception" for Ciudad Juarez. No specifics were provided other than to say that drugs should not be legalized or the death penalty enacted.

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