Stratfor Global Intelligence is in my opinion among the better international news sites.
At about $30 a month, it's probably not worth it to most folks.
They have a one week trial deal.
I like it.
From an article titled,
"Mexico a Struggle for Balance"
“…Mexico was nearing the status of a failed state.
A failed state is one in which the central government has lost control over significant areas of the country and the state is unable to function.
In revisiting this issue, it seems to us that the Mexican government has lost control of the northern tier of Mexico to drug-smuggling organizations, which have significantly greater power in that region than government forces.
Moreover, the ability of the central government to assert its will against these organizations has weakened to the point that decisions made by the state against the cartels are not being implemented or are being implemented in a way that would guarantee failure…
“…The United States consumes vast amounts of narcotics, which, while illegal there, make their way in abundance.
Narcotics derive from low-cost agricultural products that become consumable with minimal processing.
With its long, shared border with the United States, Mexico has become a major grower, processor and exporter of narcotics.
Because the drugs are illegal and thus outside normal market processes, their price is determined by their illegality rather than by the cost of production.
This means extraordinary profits can be made by moving narcotics from the Mexican side of the border to markets on the other side…
“…each smuggling organization has an attached paramilitary organization designed to protect its own supply chain and to seize its competitors' supply chains.
The result is ongoing warfare between competing organizations…
Membership in such paramilitary groups offers impoverished young men extraordinary opportunities for making money, far greater than would be available to them in legitimate activities…
“Indeed, what the wars are being fought over in some ways benefits Mexico.
The amount of money pouring into Mexico annually is stunning. It is estimated to be about $35 billion to $40 billion each year…
From Mexico's point of view, interrupting the flow of drugs to the United States is not clearly in the national interest or in that of the economic elite…