I don't know whether it has always been, or whether these drug cartels are just making more headlines than usual, but it seems to me that the Federal and state govts of Mexico are fucked. Don't get me wrong, I am not that naive to realise that the police and politicians in Mexico have not always been corrupt, but it seems to have become totally out of control over the past 4-5 years. Gunmen kill mother protesting over slain daughter As a personal anecdote of sorts, my cousin played rugby in San Diego about 15-20 years ago and he popped over the border to Tijuana. He got pulled over by a Federale who tried the shakedown on him. Being from a country where corruption is negligible to say the least - and being a hot head to boot - he refused to cooperate. The federale started getting a bit pissed, but what the cop didn't realise that my cousin had four US marines in the car with him (well, he knew he had passengers, but didn't know what they did for a living). So a couple of them get out, tell them what they do, and the guy backed off big time. He ended up apologising, and they got talking to him, and it turned out he had to pay for his own uniform and gun and ammo. And his pay was negligible. Is this a case where strong central govt is important? That tax laws are enforced so govt workers can earn a decent salary and not have to rely on the blight of corruption to make ends meet? Because once corruption does take hold you end up with tinpot dictatorships that dot the globe like those in Africa, parts of Asia and South America?