Law enforcement officials on both sides of the border have deemed the drug cartel power struggle that is occurring in northern Mexico and its subsequent "bleed-over" into Arizona "an outright war" and an escalating concern.
These views were voiced by officials from both countries during the annual law enforcement conference held in Arizona. Designed to find mutually conducive solutions to international problems that affect both the U.S. and Mexico, the conference is a key component to the establishment of productive communications between the two countries. Much of the conference time is dedicated to devising strategies to address major common concerns while fostering goodwill, neighborliness and cooperation.
One such "major common concern" is the increasing drug cartel violence that currently is affecting both the U.S. and Mexico.
Three weeks ago, 50 gunmen arrived in a convoy in Cananea in northern Sonora state and killed seven people including five police officers. Mexican troops and police pursued them, with Mexican authorities saying 16 of the gunmen were killed.
The gunmen were identified as "Zetas," former Mexican army elite soldiers. Authorities say they were allied with a group of drug operatives who had lost control of smuggling in northern Sonora to another group based in the state of Sinaloa.