Sinaloa, Gulf and Juárez cartels, Mexico
Half a dozen cartels have fought each other relentlessly since the late 1990s for control of drug trafficking in the areas bordering the United States. The traffickers do not hesitate to bribe politicians in order to impose their law. Their presence is far from being limited to the coastal and border states, and the situation got much worse when a federal offensive was launched against the cartels immediately after President Felipe Calder n's installation in December 2006. The police and army have also played a major role in violations of human rights and free expression. Seventy-one journalists have been murdered since 2000 and 10 others have disappeared since 2003. More than half of them had been covering stories linked to drug trafficking. None of the instigators of these murders and disappearances has ever been arrested or tried. Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for the media in the western hemisphere.