The recent assassination of Rodolfo Torre has proven once more the northeast Mexican state of Tamaulipas is not only a flash point in Mexico’s drug war, but of great concern within the ongoing battle for U.S. border security. Reuters reports that Torre – an opposition candidate representing the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) – was slain along with four of his aides in the border town of Valle Hermoso. The responsible group of 16 hooded gunmen is believed to represent the notorious Los Zetas gang.
Rodolfo Torre’s killing has border security agents and investors worried
Since it started in 2006, Mexico’s drug war has claimed more than 25,000 lives, when violent gun battles began spilling to the streets, but Rodolfo Torre’s death is allegedly the largest-scale example to date of a drug cartel attempting to influence Mexico’s politics. Tourists are reportedly avoiding Tamaulipas and foreign investors have bailed on the peso in large numbers. Reuters indicates that its recent position at 12.71 per $ 1 U.S. was .46 percent weaker. Televised images of Rodolfo Torre’s body in the media don't seem to help to reverse this trend. In addition, local stocks remained flat as news out of the recent G-20 summit point toward an end to fiscal stimulus in the region.
Border security is apparently influencing Mexico's credit picture
According to the Wall Street Journal, Credit Suisse has had some optimistic things to say about Mexico’s financial condition. Particularly, Credit Suisse praised the nation’s “record or near-record low yields on government debt,” and pointed out to numerous that Mexico’s central bank is enjoying a nice level of inflation that rests within what experts consider to be a comfort zone. Lately the inflation level has ranged from 2 to 4 percent. Furthermore, Credit Suisse believes that Mexico’s recovering growth is, “as good as it gets.”
Mexico's ongoing drug war violence has given creditors pause. ”The violence problem has worsened notably in 2010, with the number of drug-related killings making new highs, and with organized crime defying the state more openly than ever before,” Credit Suisse explained. “We are not certain this is as bad as it gets on the security front, unfortunately.”
Washington appears to be watching closely
The United States is no doubt taking notice of this. The death of Rodolfo Torre appears to be just a stone’s throw from American soil has the U.S. on alert. Border security against bold drug cartels just a small measure in American politics, from the president’s funding of additional forces to the ongoing immigration debates. When Los Zetas might not represent any of the illegal traffic that crosses the U.S. border, their actions do little to dissuade states like Arizona from abandoning their own bold stance against the hazards of illegal immigration.
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Wall Street Journal
Rodolfo Torre campaign video (en Español):