Monterrey, once the safest city in Latin America, now a casualty of Mexico’s drug wars

June 10, 2011

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(Getty Images/Spencer Platt)
Bodies have piled up in cities across Mexico due to the drug wars.

Monterrey, Mexico was once considered one of the safest cities in Latin America.  That’s before this industrial and financial capital collapsed into the hands of Mexico’s drug cartels. In the last couple of years this city of four million has seen the kind of violence that people expected in places like Tijuana.

It’s estimated that since the Mexican government began deploying the military to combat the drug cartels in 2007, 35,000 people have been killed.  But for many, Monterrey has been an unexpected victim.

Nik Steinberg is a researcher in the Americas division of Human Rights Watch.  His article, “The Monster and Monterrey: The Politics and Cartels of Mexico’s Drug War,” appears in this month’s edition of The Nation


Video of armored vehicles built by Mexican drug cartels