So deeply has this incident shaken the country that, as author Ruben Martinez describes it, “To understand the historical significance -- and the moral and political gravity -- of what is occurring, think of 9/11, of Sandy Hook, of the day JFK was assassinated.”
In the annals of a conflict that has killed more than 34,600 since Mexican President Felipe Calderon militarized his country’s battle against drug traffickers in December 2006, the conflict in Tamaulipas is writing a new and bloody chapter. Like Jesús Malverde, Santa Muerte has become an object of veneration among Mexico’s criminals.
In an apparent mixing of official messages, President Obama has contradicted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by rejecting the analogy that Mexico is becoming more and more like 1990s drug-heyday Colombia, when 40 percent of the country's territory was controlled by rebel groups.
Violence in the Mexican border town of Reynosa has endangered both the lives of its citizens as well as the quality of its journalism. Fearing violent reprisal, many journalists have left, while others are admittedly censoring themselves after being threatened by the drug cartels.