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Combating Mexico's Cartels

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a press conference in Mexico City on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Clinton said that the drug cartels responsible for increasing violence in the border region are fighting not just Mexican military and law enforcement but also the United States. (AP

In Mexico, “drug war” is not a turn of phrase. It’s a war.

Eighteen thousand Mexicans have died — been killed — since President Felipe Calderon went to war with the drug cartels. That’s war.

Ten days ago, three people with ties to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez were killed. Yesterday, an unprecedented crew of top American security brass descended on Mexico City — Hillary Clinton, the secretary of defense, the director of national intelligence, the secretary of homeland security, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

So, what now? This hour, On Point: War at the border. Mexico and the drug cartels.

Guests:

Joining us from Mexico City is Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News.

From Washington we’re joined by Samuel Logan, senior writer for the International Relations and Security Network (ISN), and founder of Southern Pulse | Networked Intelligence, an organization that gathers news and intelligence on Latin America. He’s author of “This is for the Mara Salvatrucha: Inside the MS-13, America’s Most Violent Gang.”

And from Vail, Colo., we’re joined by Jorge Castañeda, former Foreign Minister of Mexico under President Vicente Fox (2000-2003). He’s currently Professor of Politics and Latin Studies at New York University and a fellow at the New America Foundation.

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