Photo: microturbian via Flickr
The State Department reports that 79 Americans were murdered in Mexico in 2009. At least 60 Americans were killed there in 2010. The final tally won’t be available for another month or so. All of this has people who live along or near the Mexican border feeling like they’re living in a movie — “No Country For Old Men” to be specific. Today’s New York Times tells the story of Samuel and Nancy Davis, Texas missionaries who have devoted their lives to helping people in Tamaulipas State in Mexico. They used to live there, but moved back to the relative safety of Texas as Tamaupilas grew more lawless and violent in recent years.
In late January, Nancy Davis was shot in the head — her husband barely escaped the same fate — in a wild shoot-out and car chase near the Texas-Mexico border. Who attacked them (and why) is unclear. It might have been highway robbers. It might have been drug gangs. We’ll probably never know. What we do know is that the rule of law has collapsed in Tamaupilas State.
Nancy Davis’s murder didn’t get much major media coverage until today. But for people who live along the border, the mayhem and violence of Mexican drug gangs and the descent of individual Mexican states into lawlessness has become a huge political issue. Maybe the only political issue.
It will be an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. It will be a big issue in the 2012 Republican presidential nomination campaign. Right now, Texas Governor Rick Perry seems to be the only one in the field of candidates who understands this.
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