Magazine July 5, 2010, Issue

Progress Pains

A student holds a sign reading “In the sight of the people” during a protest in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, February 11, 2010. (Alejandro Bringas/Reuters)
The Mexican political reforms we applaud have helped cause the Mexican drug violence we deplore

How bad is the violence in Mexico? According to a Time report, “Frustration with the government’s inability to protect the citizenry against crime long ago reached the boiling point.”

Actually, that report was published in the fall of 1996, several months before Mexican drug czar Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo was arrested for having links to the Juárez cartel. The mid-1990s were a harrowing period for our southern neighbor — a period in which it experienced an armed rebellion among rural Indians, a disastrous currency meltdown, its worst recession since World War II, high-profile political assassinations, an explosion of drug-related brutality, and major

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Helen Thomas was a fixture — a reporter for 40 years, a columnist for ten — always a plus in Washington. She was a left-wing scold: another plus.

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