Rodolfo Torre assination in Tamaulipas, Mexico has the U.S. on alert.
Photo Attribution: CC by TJ Scenes/Flickr

The recent assassination of Rodolfo Torre has proven once more that the northeast Mexican state of Tamaulipas is not only a flash point in Mexico’s drug war, but of great concern regarding the ongoing battle for U.S. border security. As outlined by Reuters, 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 party of 16 hooded gunmen is supposed to represent the notorious Los Zetas gang.

Rodolfo Torre’s killing has border security agents and investors worried

Mexico’s drug war has claimed more than 25,000 lives since 2006, when violent gun battles started 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 numerous foreign investors have bailed on the peso in large numbers. Reuters explains 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 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 within the region.

Border security appears to be influencing Mexico’s credit picture

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Credit Suisse has had some good 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 that Mexico’s central bank is enjoying a level of inflation that rests within what experts consider to be a comfort zone. The inflation level has ranged from 2 to 4 percent of late. Furthermore, Credit Suisse believes that Mexico’s recovering growth is, “as good as it gets.”

Creditors are given pause by Mexico’s ongoing drug war. “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 aren’t certain this is as bad as it gets on the security front, unfortunately.”

Washington DC paying attention

America is no doubt taking notice of this. The death of Rodolfo Torre so near American soil has placed the U.S. on alert. Border security against bold drug cartels is no small measure in American politics, from the president’s funding of additional forces to the huge immigration debates. While Los Zetas may not represent all 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 dangers of illegal immigration.

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Wall Street Journal


Rodolfo Torre campaign video (en EspaƱol):

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