My fascination with the Mexican Narco War has only kicked into higher gear thanks to the latest series of Breaking Bad (probably one of the finest things on screens of any size). If you're not watching it, you're a bad person, there you go, I said it.
This post isn't intended to posit anything particularly important, but is rather just to draw together a selection of things which I've been reading recently on the topic:
Boing Boing had an excellent selection of images from a meth lab South of the border. I have no idea what I'm looking at when I see something like this, but I'm pretty sure just from the quantities of chemicals in the background of some of the shots its a pretty massive operation.
This report by Dr. Robert J. Bunker (who also writes for the inimitable and invaluable Small Wars Journal) makes for grim reading, making a strong strategic argument for the US to rethink its position on the Middle East, suggesting instead that the emphasis should be on dealing with the growing danger from the South. The title "Criminal (Cartel & Gang) Insurgencies in Mexico and the Americas: What you need to know, not what you want to hear" speaks to the simple truth that no one wants to deal with the problem, even as it gnaws its way into the marrow of Mexican society.
Finally, an article from the Guardian (dated 2008, but still enormously relevant) on how Guinea-Bissau has become the world's first Narco State. With countries like Mexico slowly losing the battle against cartels it's possible that this small West African state won't be the only country which is run for and by criminal enterprise.
I will be writing a piece in the near future, revisiting the world of 3D printing, and its potential impact on conflicts like the one in Mexico, but that will have to wait for another day.