There has been increased security throughout Mexico since President Felipe Calderon has made fighting organized crime, especially the country's drug cartels, a priority. It appears that the aggressive stance against the drug cartels has been effective in the "war on drugs," and curbing violent crimes. In El Paso, Texas border towns and throughout Mexico, there have also been noticeable changes in the reduction in crime and drug related activities.
According to police statistics, the number of murders during the first three months of this year fell more than 6 percent compared with the same period in 2011. This is the first fall in homicides since 2007. The murder rate this year has driven down to 17 percent below its peak during the second half of last year.
The Mexican government is optimistic that violent crimes trends related to drugs have flattened out and may even be turning around. There are several reasons that these changes may be taking effect. There has been increased investment in intelligence service, security forces, and indications that the government's intelligence is working better. The government has reported that there were several high-level arrests made without resorting to violence.
As locals may remember, El Paso border towns were a center for gang violence resulting in an average of 263 murders a month in 2010. Currently, there is an average of 100 murders per month, but these statistics have been reduced.
It is unclear whether the U.S. government has also cracked down or if the reduction in criminal border activity is the result of action taken by the Mexican government. Individuals who have been arrested for drug related crimes in El Paso should consult with an experienced attorney to protect their rights.
Source: Financial Times, "Security: First signs that a drug crime is on the wane," Adam Thomson, June 18, 2012.