Whether you live in Ciudad Juarez, Sinaloa, Jalisco, or even Acapulco, life south of the border seems more Hobbesian than ever.
Warfare has recently broken out between the Mexican government and a cartel I'd never heard of before, "Jalisco New Generation." In April they ambushed a state police convoy, killing 15 officers.
This past weekend they got into a gunfight with Mexican soldiers and police; seven people were killed. They even forced down a military helicopter.
The cartels are fabulously wealthy. When "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, was finally captured by law enforcement authorities in February of 2014, he was said to be a billionaire.
And their money gives them power. They regularly hire ex-Mexican Special Forces personnel to work as their muscle, and they can afford the latest and fanciest weaponry. Local police forces are completely outgunned. On top of this, the cartels are ruthless.
Pretty much everybody in Mexico lives in terror of them. Local police don't want to tangle with them, journalists don't want to write about them. And local politicians pretend they don't exist.
All for good reason: they don't want to become part of the latest mass beheading.
All of this makes the social unrest in Baltimore's seem minor. The Baltimore rioters broke windows and looted. But none of them exchanged gunfire with the police or National Guard. None of them shot down any military helicopters. And none cut anyone's head off.
Be grateful you live in the US and not Mexico.