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Drug War Without Borders
Soldiers patrol as federal police vehicles are inspected at a military check point on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009. Mexico's drug war has brought a surge in violence, with more than 5,300 gang killings reported in 2008. (AP)

Soldiers patrol as federal police vehicles are inspected at a military check point on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, on Jan. 22, 2009. Mexico's drug war has brought a surge in violence, with more than 5,300 gang killings reported in 2008. (AP)

Police officers beheaded, civilians bombed. No, not in Afghanistan, but Mexico — where last year more than 5,000 people were killed in drug cartel violence.

Now that violence is spilling over the border like never before — to Tuscon and Atlanta. Phoenix is the new capital of kidnappings for ransom.

Mexican President Calderon’s U.S.-backed crackdown has created a brutal backlash from warring cartel factions. And the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff worry that a “failed state” is in the making.

This hour, On Point: Mexico’s drug war, and its consequences, on both sides of the border.

You can join the conversation. Can you imagine drug cartel kidnappings in major U.S. cities? How should President Obama respond to Mexico’s drug war? Is it time for a new approach?

Guests:

Joining is from Phoenix, Arizona, is J.J. Hensley, staff reporter at The Arizona Republic. He’s been covering the spike in drug-related kidnappings for ransom hitting Phoenix.

With us in our studio is Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News and currently a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

From Washington, we’re joined by Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

And from Tuscon, Arizona, we’re joined by Anthony Coulson, assistant special agent in charge at the Drug Enforcement Administration in Tucson.

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