STRATFOR has a status update on the Mexican drug cartel wars, with an interesting animated map on developments over the past year.
The full report is only for subscribers, but the most important point in the summary report is: all cartels are suffering except one — the Sinaloa Federation. Although they may soon dominate the drug trade, the situation is likely to become more violent until the Sinaloa hegemony is complete.
STRATFOR reports that:
In order to reduce the violence, compromise with the lead cartel — once unspeakable — now looks like a real option for the Mexican government, which is incapable of eliminating cartels completely.
But that’s very inaccurate. Allegations of collusion between the Mexican government and the Sinaloa are at least two years old. More insidious is the fear that the favoritism towards the Sinaloa is because the Sinaloa have and continue to further their infiltration of the military and the police.
(See the map as of 2007 at a previous post here.)