A red on red truce in Mexico?

LA Times:

Reporting from Mexico City -- Have some of Mexico's most notorious drug bosses declared a truce?

After a record year of bloodshed, killings have dropped by two-thirds from the December level in the state of Sinaloa, the historic center of Mexican drug trafficking, according to tallies kept by local and national news media.

Those reports have fueled speculation that leaders of the two biggest Sinaloan drug gangs, which have been locked in a fight for territorial control, reached an agreement in December to hold fire, after finding that the battle was sapping time, energy and money better spent on the drug business.

A truce would be welcome in Sinaloa, where ambushes, shootouts and kidnappings have occurred day and night. More than 120 people were killed in the state in December, according to Mexican news media; January looks set to end with about 40 deaths.

Riodoce, a respected weekly newspaper based in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, first reported the potential truce earlier this month. Mexico's foremost investigative magazine, Proceso, published a similar account this week.

U.S. law enforcement officials said there was no evidence of a truce, though they acknowledged that it was a plausible tactic to free the drug-running business of disruptions. Mexican authorities said they were analyzing the reports, and that it was premature to judge their veracity.

Several officials and experts cautioned that any cease-fire could be fleeting. Killing continues in most of Mexico; even in Sinaloa last week, a top drug-gang lieutenant and alleged money launderer, Lamberto Verdugo Calderon, was killed in a gun battle.

The criminal insurgency may be taking a breather to get more supply of drugs into the market place so they can buy more weapons for the next rod of fighting. At best it is probably what Hamas would describe as a hudna, a pause to reload for the next round. Perhaps they will find it is in their interest to share the trade routes into the US. That is a novel concept that US authorities would not welcome.


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