Drug-related violence has reached warlike levels in parts of Mexico. It has spilled over into the United States - though, fortunately, not nearly at the scale being seen south of the border. There is no reason to believe the wave of murders, kidnapping, home invasions and other crimes linked to the drug cartels will break anytime soon.
That makes it important that Mexican drug lords be put out of business, because the drug-related violence here in the United States is linked to them.
For many years, drug enforcement and the Mexican government seemed to be mutually exclusive terms. So corrupt were many Mexican police that U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officials - while being very diplomatic in public comments - sometimes kept their counterparts south of the border in the dark on DEA campaigns against the drug lords' operations.
Things have changed. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has vowed to crack down on drug traffickers, and he has been joined by a strong corps of honest police officers and judges. Ironically, that new attitude has spurred the drug lords to new heights of violence in efforts to intimidate law enforcement officials. To their enormous credit, Calderon and many police officials and judges have not backed down.
Calderon and those courageous enough to have signed up for his initiative against the cartels are Americans' best allies in curbing drug-related violence. U.S. officials already have indicated that they support Calderon strongly. Words will not be enough, however. Whatever concrete help can be provided, in the form of equipment, expertise and, if necessary, DEA agents should be given to Mexico.