Published December 02, 2010
The violence in Juarez, Mexico, is bad enough that the language is changing to keep pace.
"Narcofosa" is a word I heard for the first time in Juarez. Narco means workers for the drug cartels and fosa means grave. We were standing in a mass grave where twenty narcos had been buried outside of Juarez. Because many of the bodies were decapitated, identification is unlikely. So the bodies are just put in unmarked graves in one section of the cemetery known as the narcofosa or "the graves for the headless."
The ranch where the most recent mass grave was discovered this past weekend is a five minute drive from the U.S. border. There is some debate over how much of the drug violence is already spilling over into the U.S. Many analysts say the attack from the cartels in the U.S. will not be a direct assault on the military or the police, as these institutions are much stronger than their Mexican counterparts.
Instead, the initial goal for the cartels in the U.S. is drug distribution networks carried out by youth gangs that are loosely affiliated with the cartels. But they also warn that the same competition for the 40 billion dollar a year illegal drug trade that is leading to uncontrolled violence in parts of Mexico will continue to grow on the U.S. side of the border. Analysts say it will likely produce more violence with some of the same ruthless tactics going on today in Juarez.